Fund Category: European calls dedicated to Maritime surveillance

Funding Operators: EU

Call text:

SU-BES02-2019-2020: Technologies to enhance border and external security

Specific Challenge: Innovation for border and external security may draw, in particular, from novel technologies, provided that they are affordable, accepted by citizens and customized and implemented for the needs of security practitioners.

Scope: Proposals are invited to address related research and innovation issues, in particular:

  • Sub-topic 3: [2019] Security on-board passenger ships

Security on-board passenger ships is challenging, given the larger number of specific constraints that apply. To ensure security all along the “life cycle” of a voyage, new technologies can be implemented (together with methods for their deployment and possibly their integration into ship systems), as well as security novel procedures (including for embarkation and disembarkation, mooring at pier, etc.)


  • Sub-topic 4: [2019] Detecting threats in the stream of commerce without disrupting business

The flow of goods crossing borders is increasing, whilst ways of concealing methods for dangerous materials and illegally trafficked goods are improving. The detection of such dangerous and illegal goods should be facilitated by novel technologies and sensing strategies characterized by risk-based protection and non-intrusive security checks, that can be implemented without disrupting business.

Proposals should target the automation and integration of existing technologies for the purpose of identifying the largest possible amount of threat materials and ensuring the full supervision of the logistic flow of goods. This would require exploiting information obtained through the analysis of cargo flow data available from open source and documentary control, intelligence gathering, risk management, as well as through physical detection or inspection of cargo in means of transport, luggage, or carried by individuals. The fitness for purpose of novel solutions should be validated at the EU external border, in a context chosen on the basis of a sound and factual risk analysis.

Of particular relevance: the enhancement of detection capabilities of contraband (mainly cigarettes) hidden in high density cargo (coal, iron ore) in particular for rail cargo transport, and well as the fight against illicit trafficking of radioactive and nuclear (NR) materials (including through the establishment of trans-European network of detection facilities with its specific concept of operations.

  • Sub-topic 5: [2020] Disruptive sensor technologies for border surveillance

 Sub-topic: [2019-2020] Open

Proposals addressing other issues relevant to this challenge, based on a sound rationale and supported by a large number of relevant practitioners are invited to apply under this sub-topic (see eligibility and admissibility conditions.)

Proposals should lead to solutions developed, tested, and validated in compliance with European societal values, fundamental rights and applicable legislation, including in the area of free movement of persons, privacy and protection of personal data. Societal aspects (e.g. perception of security, possible side effects of technological solutions, societal resilience) have to be addressed in a comprehensive and thorough manner.

The centre of gravity for technology development with actions funded under this topic is expected to be up to TRL 4 to 6 – see General Annex G of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. 

Expected Impact:

Short term:

  • Clear, realistic benchmarks against which to assess progress, so as to possibly stop the project if at mid-term review
  • Plan to provide confidence in the take up of project results after the completion of the project

Medium term:

  • Evidence based knowledge, and developments performing beyond the current state of the art and leading quickly to innovation
  • Technical and operational guidelines, recommendations and best practices set in the EUROSUR handbook and in the future handbook for coast guards (as per Article 53 of the European Border and Coast Guard regulation.)

Long term:

  • Implementation of solutions resulting from the legislative initiative in the “Smart Borders” package
  • Implementation of actions of civilian nature identified in the EU Maritime Security Strategy action plan

Type of Action: Research and Innovation action

Deadline to Submit: 22 August 2018