The STRATEGY project, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 innovation programme, aims to improve the interoperability of Crisis Management systems, tools & operational procedures. This article aims to summarize the main research results achieved during the first year.
Standardisation items landscape __________________________________________________________________________
In the first months of the project, we conducted research with respect to the identification, categorization and prioritization of the proposed standardisation items in Crisis Management:
(a) the methodological approach for the gap analysis and identification of recommendations.
(b) a presentation of end-users needs related to Crisis Management, based on input from past projects and discussion with STRATEGY end users
(c) the existing standards related to Crisis Management based on past projects, and a general review of all existing standards related to Crisis Management
(d) classification of the needs and standards to the eight streams of the project
(e) a gap analysis, comparison of needs against standards, and comparison of results with those of previous projects
(f) identification of standardization gaps with a prioritization from the end-user aspect, (and consequently of potential standardization items that can be explored in the framework of STRATEGY)
(g) identification of opportunities (technological tools and others) that could be used for testing and validating the proposed standardization items
(h) matching of opportunities with standardization gaps, and
(i) the main conclusions of the analysis and recommendations for WP2 based on the identified gaps and existing opportunities.
We have also investigated the current standardisation landscape, focusing on the framework regarding Crisis Management related standards, and on defining the overall project approach and methodology for the (pre)-standardization process.
We also laid out the current standardization organisations and their structure, the types of standards, the standardization and pre-standardization process, the types of standardization deliverables as well as the approach of STRATEGY to (pre)-standardization.
Meanwhile, significant effort has already been made on developing regulatory, political, and organizational compliance of pre-standardisation activities. The focus is on identifying the legal and political state of the art framework with regards to pre-standardisation and standardisation activities. This will also include the difference between pre-standardisation and standardisation, the current standardisation framework in EU (EU standardisation bodies, national, international, and other relevant bodies) and relevant policies (regulative basis, joint initiatives on standardisation, annual work programmes, requests and mandates, etc.).
Another important research aspect is the assessment of the ethical, societal and privacy issues that need to be considered in the selection, development, and implementation of standards. We have published the Preliminary guide to ethical, societal and privacy issues and Ethical, Societal and Privacy Framework interim report, which describes the basic international and European principles regarding ethical issues and an initial approach on how to use them in STRATEGY. One virtual workshop has been organized to discuss ethical and societal aspects during STRATEGY.
Project use cases __________________________________________________________________________
Based on the analysis of the standardisation landscape, we developed Use Cases across the eight Crisis Management Streams addressed in STRATEGY:
- Search and rescue
- Critical infrastructure protection
- Response planning
- Command and control
- Early warning and Rapid damage assessment
- Chemical, biological radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive (CBRN-E)
- Training and
The Use Cases serve to define specific contexts in which the envisaged standards are supposed to be applied. They will be operated and evaluated in the table-top exercises (TTXs), and possibly the full-scale exercise (FSX). Each Use Case description includes a presentation of
- its general scope and objective,
- the methodology,
- main actors,
- standardisation items addressed,
- the targeted state and criteria of success, and
- a description of the Use Case flow.
Based on the comprehensive list of the gaps identified when mapping the standardisation landscape, and prior to the actual definition of Use Cases, the standardisation items to be addressed in each stream were selected. Following a structured process, and involving all relevant STRATEGY partners, especially end-users as well as standardisation bodies, the specific standardisation items to be further addressed in STRATEGY by means of Use Cases were selected.
Based on the Use Case descriptions, preparations of the prestandardisation activities and related TTXs are currently ongoing. In this context, a dedicated workshop on prestandardisation was organised by the representative of the Austrian Standards.
Testing the solutions for standards implementation
The project covers the management of the technical activities that are required in order to configure and integrate the existing components/solutions, focusing on the implementation and evaluation of the standardisation items that will be proposed within the STRATEGY project. The list of Use Cases and the related pre-standardization activities will be organized and will set the basis of the standards that have to be implemented, demonstrated and evaluated during the upcoming TTXs and FSX exercises.
The key role to these activities plays the common informational and integration environment that has been defined as “Setting up Common Informational and Integration Environment” and has been documented in the project deliverable “Initial version of Common Information and Integration Environment”. The role of this environment is to set up the common technical infrastructure that can be used for all exercises (TTXs & FSX) that will be conducted in STRATEGY, and for the integration and testing activities. Additionally, a common methodology of working to prepare, execute and evaluate exercises has been provided. This environment is based on the results of the FP7 DRIVER+ project. The technical infrastructure, the common methodology (eXercise Guidance Method), as well as other material that is useful for the project activities, are publicly available on the following link: https://github.com/STRATEGY-EU
Overall, the first year of the STRATEGY project proves very fruitful, bringing us closer to achieving interoperability in crisis response across the EU. In the next two years, we will continue the hard work and validate the findings through realistic table top exercises (TTXs).