BroadGNSS Agreement signed by PSCE and GSA

On Friday 6th November 2020, PSCE signed a grant agreement with European GNSS Agency (GSA https://www.gsa.europa.eu/) to coordinate the BroadGNSS Pre-Commercial Procurement programme.

BroadGNSS will procure innovative solutions for Applications, Synchronisation and Monitoring of Critical Mobile Broadband Communication Infrastructure and Information Assets for Public Protection and Disaster Recovery (PPDR) Operations.
The project brings together 3 members of a joint procurement team:
• French Ministry of Interior (lead procurer)
• Estonian Infocommunication Foundation
• Finnish Erillisverkot

supported by PSCE, and Austrian GNSS experts, OHB Digital.

This agreement provides for a total budget of €3.6Million over 40months, commencing from 1st December 2020.
€2.5Million is reserved for pre-commercial procurement of innovation solutions. This budget will be made available to industry following an open and competitive process. This challenge to industry will seek innovative solutions to apply EGNSS to further improve the overall capability of trustworthy information exchange, enabled by new broadband mobile communication.

BroadGNSS will consult key government stakeholders across Europe in order to scope the specific objectives of the PCP procurement. A Prior Information Notice will be released to initiate consultation with innovative industry to contribute their knowledge and capabilities to help our team to prepare a formal request for tender to be released later next year.

BroadGNSS will build upon the success of the BroadWay PCP, which is currently in the prototyping phase. 3 innovative prototypes are now in development to address the challenge to enable a pan-European mobile broadband system for PPDR. Prototypes are due to be evaluated in April, with interim demonstrations to the BroadWay group of procurers this month (November). These prototypes are developed under the leadership of key industry heavyweights, Airbus, Frequentis and Leonardo.

The combination of the results of BroadWay and BroadGNSS will contribute to provide improved mission critical services to public safety responders.

Details of the Pre-Commercial Procurement process can be found on the European Commission website: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/innovation-procurement
For up to date information on BroadGNSS events, please refer to www.broadgnss-info.eu
For details of BroadMap and BroadWay progress, please click here www.broadmap.eu, www.broadway-info.eu

BroadWay Prototypes Demonstrations

The second of the three-phase BroadWay PCP got underway on 6th July 2020 when the Group of Procurers awarded contracts to three consortia that met all the technical and quality requirements of the call-off competition at the end of phase 1. The consortia in phase 2 (prototype phase) are led by Airbus DS, Frequentis AG and Leonardo S.p.A.

In phase 2, each consortium has been working on their prototypes that harness the power of broadband and mobile communication to enable public safety responders to access and share information wherever they are, with assured confidence in the security, availability and continuity of their services that goes beyond state-of-the-art. In addition to bi-monthly monitoring, co-operative work with the Group of Procurers and the Practitioner Evaluation Team to refine use-cases and a common methodology, the consortia will virtually showcase the progress of their prototypes in interim demonstrations to the Group of Procurers this week (i.e. week beginning 9 November 2020).

Before phase 2 closes in spring 2021, the final prototypes will be tested and evaluated. It remains to be seen if live testing will be impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. By spring 2022 the prototypes will be refined to a market-viable product, which will be validated by the Group of Procurers against the BroadWay objectives. Keep up with developments and follow the results of the prototype phase on our project website.

Upcoming PSCE webinar: "Use Cases and Scenarios for Good Practitioner-led innovation in PPDR"

PSCE is happy to resume its series of webinars and to announce our upcoming webinar, "Use Cases and Scenarios for Good Practitioner-led innovation in PPDR". The webinar will take place on November 20 in the morning (10h-12h30 GMT) and it will feature speakers from the University of Lancaster, Trilateral Research, the University of Munster and Exus Innovation. Some concrete solutions prepared in three EU-funded projects — STAMINA, IN-PREP and iTRACK— will be presented. Both projects are pooling resources to assess best methods in effective disaster response and preparedness.  

Each panel speaker will focus on a particular topic as follow:

  • Use Cases and Scenarios for ‘good’ PPDR Innovation: Setting the scene, Monika Büscher, Lancaster University, UK   
  • Engaging societal and ethical impact with uses cases and trials, Katrina Petersen (Trilateral Research) and Adam Widera (University of Munster) 
  • Presenting Scenario Builder, Anax Fotopoulos, Exus Innovation 
  • Gaming as a research method, Tina Comes, Delft University

This webinar will provide relevant up-to-date information to all Public Preparedness and Disaster Response Organisations (PPDR), EU stakeholders and academics in crisis management. Alike to previous PSCE webinars, this virtual event will allow open discussions between participants and the speakers in view of fostering debate.  

We'll be sharing more information soon! 

If you want to attend our webinar, register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1kPKshGwwk4Qw2JnAjxIEwglO9zYmO58szb2VFWH7DOA/edit

International Risk Reduction Day

Disasters induced by natural and technological hazards affect millions of people every year worldwide, but much of their impact can be reduced through pro-active measures and planning. The International Day for Disaster Reduction, held each year on 13 October, celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters. PSCE, through its activities, is committed to play its part to increase Europe's resilience to crises.

This year, the International Day for Disaster Reduction focuses on “Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk”, calling upon Target E of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2039 that measures the number of countries and local actors that have DRR strategies in place, aiming to “substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020”.

Although it is impossible to completely eliminate disaster risk, countries that design policy and legislative frameworks and that prepare their institutions in line with the goal, targets and priorities for action of the Sendai Framework, have greater capacity to manage disaster risk and therefore to reduce the impact of disasters when they occur. However, a successful strategy for disaster risk reduction is complex and requires effective multistakeholder coordination mechanisms, an overarching national policy, transdisciplinary and multisector collaboration and input, amongst other requisites.

With that in mind, and maintaining the focus of the Day on the impact disasters have on communities, individuals and infrastructures, deeply affecting their wellbeing, this year’s theme is focused on conveying the message that many disasters can be avoided or prevented if there are disaster risk reduction strategies in place to manage and reduce existing levels of risk and to avoid the creation of new risk. In short, “good disaster risk governance.”

New steps for improving the EU Civil Protection Mechanism

On 26 March 2020, the European Council discussed the EU's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It subsequently invited the European Commission to make proposals to establish “a more ambitious and wide-ranging crisis management system” in the EU. With this in mind, the Commission proposed, within less than two months, amending the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM). The overall aim of this legislative proposal is to ensure that the EU can provide its citizens in Europe and beyond with better crisis and emergency support. 

The Commission’s proposal boosts the UCPM budget capacities from €1.4 billion to €3.5 billion for 2021-2027 to help the mechanism take on new responsibilities, such as creating strategic reserves of medical equipment, developing medical evacuation capacities, or forming emergency medical teams.

According to an Opinion published on October 2, by the European Court of Auditors, the recent proposal on amending the EU's 'Union civil protection mechanism' (UCPM) needs further clarification. In particular, it remains to be decided how its increased resources will be used and monitored. While speeding up the EU's response to crises is essential, the principles of sound financial management and accountability need to prevail, the auditors warned. 

First, this would require a proper needs assessment. There is very little evidence in the proposal of the need for this €2 billion budget increase, as it does not provide any estimate of the costs associated with those new tasks. This makes it impossible to determine whether the proposed budget is appropriate for achieving the intended objectives. 

Furthermore, some of the new objectives proposed lack any corresponding performance indicators or specific monitoring. The proposal no longer guarantees a minimum share of spending for each of the three key strategic pillars of the EU’s crisis response strategy (prevention, preparedness and response). The auditors therefore consider it would be helpful to include a mechanism for reporting the UCPM’s actual spending for each of these pillars.