Following the Closeye Project dissemination strategy, last Thursday, 23rd of Februrary, Málaga hosted the CLOSEYE Final Event.
The main objective of this event was two-fold. On one hand, it represented the formal closure of the proyect. On the other hand, this event was also a unique opportunity to disseminate the overall results achieved so far during the project, including as well the conclusions and very valuable lessons learnt.
The entry into force of EUROSUR revealed how strongly maritime surveillance relies on technology. There is indeed a strong perception that the success of maritime surveillance operations is very much linked to the technical capacities available, and therefore, research and innovation in this field has gained a prominent position during the last years.
Most of the EU MS exploit good surveillance systems which are fully operational and performing well, but we live in an unstable scenario in terms of threats, trends, EU growth, economy and regulation, where all the elements of the overall system must adapt to the changing environment. This includes technology, which needs to be fit not only for the current situation, but also for whatever is coming in the future.
CLOSEYE, being the first project of its kind promoting innovative procurement schemes applied to border surveillance, was fully backed up by the project partners, the European Commission (DG Home Affairs and DG Enterprise) and the FRONTEX Agency. All of them and many other stakeholders have had the opportunity to contribute to the pre-operational validation of maritime border surveillance tools and to benefit from the outcomes once the cycle initiated by CLOSEYE is finished.
The goal of the CLOSEYE project was not to promote the direct purchase of surveillance systems, but to validate future solutions by means of the experimentation with innovative proposals in a real operational environment. For this reason, the project is not focused on a particular technology, technique or system, yet it contemplated the relevance of those solutions targeted by the Common Application of Surveillance Tools concept as it was defined by EUROSUR. So in order to make these potential solutions be valid also for other Users and applications, the selection of appropriate representative scenarios for the implementation of the validation were crucial.
The event was formally opened with the discourse of the General Head of Fiscal and Border Command of Guardia Civil, Mr. Juan Luis Pérez Martín, who recalled the background that motivated this initiative and the strong commitment of the CLOSEYE Consortium for the achievement of its goals and objectives. Mr. Juan Luis Pérez Martín also highlighted the relevance of the cooperation framework set-up by the participating EU Authorities and by the industry representatives, which will contribute to the reinforcement of future EU Maritime Border Surveillance capabilities.
The Spanish Guardia Civil, being the CLOSEYE project coordinator, also took this opportunity to highlight the human and technical resources committed for this project, particularly in the experiment phase.
A complete set of presentations were delivered at the conference room of the Picasso Museum, where the main project stakeholders reviewed the project results from different perspectives. In this regard, the agenda included presentations from European Commission representatives, CLOSEYE Partners and CLOSEYE Contractors.
The CLOSEYE Final Event counted with distinguished guests representing, among other institutions, the European Commission, several border surveillance authorities from different Member States, EU Agencies and other research and development projects in the security domain.
The event was closed by the General Director of Guardia Civil, D. Jose Manuel Holgado Merino, who once again highlighted the relevance of this initiative for the future of both the Spanish and the EU Maritime Border Surveillance.
Rome June 28, 2016
Today the major challenge with respect to maritime security relates primarily on how to improve the management of irregular migration. Recent events have shown that while geographically the issue is mainly located within Europe’s Southern borders, from Central Mediterranean to Ionian and Aegean waters up to the Black Sea, the political, societal and economic impacts of irregular migration extend far beyond these limits. Therefore, maritime surveillance can only be addressed through enhanced cross-border cooperation, whilst at the same time building on the pre-existing investments done at Member States and European levels.
The European Commission, along with the different Member States authorities responsible for the protection of borders, has identified the enhancement of integrated border management as one of the most important areas of interest. In these types of borders, the deployment of surveillance mechanisms supported by technical equipment and specialized operators has had an enormous impact on the security levels achieved during the last years.
Therefore a number of initiatives have been fostered by the European Commission, and CLOSEYE is among these.
CLOSEYE comes to life with the aim of providing the EU with an operational and technical framework that increases situational awareness and improves the reaction capability of authorities surveying the external borders of the EU. As the first Pre-Operational Validation project in FP7 security theme, CLOSEYE will pursue the validation of innovative services applicable to the surveillance of the EU Maritime Borders in real operational environment following the Common Application of Surveillance Tools concept, established by EUROSUR.
But the validation of innovative solutions in real operational environments demands a notable effort at all levels, including the technical, organizational, operational and financial perspectives. For this reason, the CLOSEYE consortium has brought together the most representative public authorities in charge of the surveillance of the southern EU maritime border, ensuring not only a remarkable expertise at technical and operational level, but also a privileged positioning with respect to the main hot spots for maritime irregular cross-border activities and ensuring access to the existing surveillance systems and assets to support the validation process.
POV project represents a change in the research and development model, being now the Users who will steer and lead the innovation process, the security industry will still be a strong pillar on which the project is built. Under the frame of the CLOSEYE project, the Industry demonstrated the efficiency and effectiveness of specific solutions in order to fulfill real user demands. The assessment of the performance levels of the solutions proposed by the industry has been conducted through a series of exercises, both technical and operational, in two different scenarios. By promoting this competitive testing and assessment of the potential solutions, CLOSEYE contributes towards the definition of future integrated surveillance solutions from a fact-checked perspective, fully validated from those who, eventually, will face the upcoming security threats and risks.
The CLOSEYE project paved the way for the research model pursued by H2020 in which the end user (often called practitioners in H2020 jargon) are included as full partner in the Border Surveillance proposal as stated in the previous session chaired by DG HOME.
With the Second VIP Day, held in Rome on the 28th of June 2016 at Italian Space Agency premises, a summary of CLOSEYE main achievements on innovative technological solutions for maritime surveillance was presented.
The Second VIP Day was opened by the President of the Italian Space Agency, Professor Roberto Battiston, and offered a unique opportunity to highlight successful achievements and the Italian contribution to CLOSEYE in an international framework.
Distinguished guests representing the European Commission, the Italian Space Agency, the Italian Navy, the Italian Ministry of Interior, ISDEFE, Guardia Civil, LEONARDO, GNR, INDRA, AIRBUS and GMV have contributed to the Second VIP Day with the presentation of the activities and the related results.
After a general overview of CLOSEYE, a Live Presentation and Demonstration has been successfully carried out for the LOT1 Solution 1.
Presentations of LOT1 and LOT2 solutions have taken place during the morning and early afternoon, followed by parallel technical workshop on the demonstrated technologies.
Download the complete set of presentations here.
Some presentations were delivered at the conference room of the CECORVIGMAR (Centro de Coordinación para la Vigilancia Marítima de Costas y Fronteras), including presentations from European Commission representatives, CLOSEYE Partners and CLOSEYE Contractors.
Download the complete set of presentations here.