Critical infrastructures supply households, enterprises and public administration with electricity, water and Internet or other essential goods and services. Even minor disturbances can be mutually reinforcing and cause supply shortages and high economic losses. By dependencies between infrastructures cascading effects can cause a wide spreading of failures. Risks are particularly identified in long-term power outages. Furthermore, the increasing penetration of all areas of life with networked information and communications technologies can lead to higher vulnerability of critical infrastructure.
Also transportation is a major infrastructure for the economy and society. It can be vulnerable to natural disasters, major accidents, crime and international terrorism.
The objective of the framework program "Research for Civil Security 2012-2017" of the federal government’s research is to explore innovative solutions that enhance the security of citizens. Security research focuses on both the prevention of damage as well as crisis management. In order to tailor these security solutions to real-life scenarios, researchers from nature, technology and the humanities work closely together with end users (such as the police and rescue teams as well as the industry). The inclusion of social aspects plays a central role. The aim is to explore comprehensive security solutions that safeguard the balance between security and freedom.
The topics of the research programme face the following aspects:
- protection and rescue of people
- Critical Infrastructure Protection
- Protection against crime and terrorism
As well as these two transverse topics:
- Society and economy
- Cross-cutting issues and activities
In detail, the topic "Critical Infrastructure Protection" contains the issues of shipping, air transport, road transport and rail transport.
The funding is about the protection of critical transport infrastructure in all its functions and dimensions. Project proposals must clearly go beyond the current state of science and technology to achieve a decisive improvement in the protection of citizens for the future. They must have clear advantages over existing solutions.
Eligible applicants are:
- Commercial companies
- universities, research and science institutions
- authorities and their research institutions and similar institutions
and end-users under the Directive:
- operators of critical infrastructure
- security and emergency services (e.g. police, fire department,…)
- companies of private security industry
A research facility which obtains basic funding from the Federal Government and / or countries can receive project funding under certain conditions only. The involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is encouraged and will be considered positively in the project evaluation.