EURMARS 2nd Plenary Meeting

The EURMARS Project’s second plenary meeting took place in Cyprus on October 12 and 13, 2023, offering a valuable occasion for consortium members to meet in person and examine the developments achieved since the last plenary session. Throughout the two-day meeting, an in-depth review of progress within each Work Package and the associated milestones was undertaken.

Participants offered detailed insights into the tasks they lead and the performed and planned activities for each of the tasks.

EURMARS – A Multimodal Fusion Architecture for Sensor Applications (MuFASA)

The overall vision of the project is to develop a platform that will improve sensing capabilities for wider areas by integrating high altitude technology, satellite imagery and UxVs in addition to ground sensor platforms in order to prevent, detect and react to crime, including that crossing external borders, illegal border crossings and/or smuggling at the border regions of the EU and of the Schengen area. With this challenge a wide arsenal of sensors and external data sources is needed to withstand the complexity of the use-cases. Thus, a sophisticated data fusion approach within a modular architecture is essential.

In EURMARS data fusion has a central role in combing homogeneous and heterogenous data with the goal to improve the overall confidence in detecting  use-case specific events. In particular, the data fusion capabilities involve the alignment of the different data delivered by the individual sensors and systems to gain additional information which can not be obtained by individual systems alone. The goal is to decrease false alarms by combining different data sources as well as increase measurement precision to metadata interpretation.

To achieve this goal, different individual data fusion modules are being developed or further improved within EURMARS. Some of them already have shown great promise in previous projects (e.g FOLDOUT), such as  the MuFASA (Multimodal Fusion Architecture for Sensor Applications) developed by AIT.

MuFASA addresses various disciplines in terms of Data Fusion on different levels, such as data imperfection, data alignment/registration and data heterogeneity. In this senses MuFASA provides data fusion methodologies and modules dedicated to said tasks. In EURMRAS, the capabilities of MuFASA will be further improved and developed and are focusing on feature level data fusion.  On feature level, MuFASA incorporates a multimodal data fusion methodology based on inference (Bayesian). Beside establishing spatio-temporal coincidence of sensor observations an increased confidence and robustness of a sensing system is achieved.

It´s main advantaged are summarized in a reduction of the overall alarm rates as well as geo-localized fused events. MuFASA therefore benefits in:  

  • Time saving when verifying alarms
  • Same sensor technology as competitors, better detection rates and fewer false alarms.
  • Trust in overall sensor system is strengthened
  • No installation effort

By providing a real-time data fusion approach, sensor observation immediately can be fused to establish situational awareness in the use-cases defined within the EURMARS project. One challenge in the given setting is, that not only real-time data is available, but also semi-real time data (such as satellite images) and external data sources such as AIS[1]. This puts MuFASA before a new set of challenges, which will be evaluated within the project scope.

Due to its core methodology (inference), MuFASA excels in reducing the overall false alarms produced by single sensor systems. This is considered as one of the main impacts of the EURMARS system.

[1] AIS – Automatic identification system – Transponders are designed to be capable of providing position, identification, and other information about the ship to other ships and to coastal authorities automatically.

EURMARS project presentation at iProcureNet Workshop

SKYLD LTD as a representative of the EURMARS Project at the iProcureNet Workshop had the chance to present the solution that will be developed during EURMARS project that could be of interest to the security sector.

During its annual meeting, the iProcureNet General Assembly organized a workshop that brought together a diverse range of participants, including internal and external stakeholders, as well as experts. The workshop took place in Nicosia, Cyprus on 11th – 12th of September and was convened to facilitate discussions centered on the research and solutions developed within the framework of addressing the innovation needs for the JCBPP (Joint Capability Building and Procurement Planning) project.

In addition to the esteemed members of the iProcureNet General Assembly and project stakeholders, the workshop extended its invitation to various groups:

  • Representatives from H2020/Horizon Europe projects.
  • Providers of innovative solutions.
  • Experts in the field of procurement.

This workshop provided a platform for participants to exchange valuable insights pertaining to cutting-edge technologies and advancements within specific domains that the iProcureNet project has identified as particularly promising for the JCBPP initiative. These domains encompass:

  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
  • Border management solutions.
  • Data fusion techniques.
  • Mitigation strategies for wildfires.

Attendees had the opportunity to discuss not only the state of the art in these areas but also to explore the solutions that have been developed within other innovative projects.

EURMARS participated to Projects to Policy Seminar

We are delighted to share that the recent Projects to Policy Seminar that was held in Brussels on June 14 and 15, 2023, provided an invaluable platform for collaboration and knowledge exchange between newly launched projects and policy DGs. Organized by DG HOME and REA, the seminar facilitated engagement, fostering alignment between research efforts and policy priorities. Participants were grouped into four thematic areas, enabling focused discussions and enhancing the impact of the seminar. The four thematic areas where:

  • Fighting crime and terrorism & Infrastructure (FCT/INFRA)
  • Strengthened Security Research and Innovation (SSRI)
  • Disaster-resilient societies (DRS),
  • Border management (BM)

The aim was to raise awareness among the relevant policy DGs on the new projects that have been launched, as well as to provide guidance to these new projects regarding the policy-related outputs the policy DGs are interested in.

The EURMARS team was excited to share its progress, exchange knowledge, and receive guidance from policy experts during the seminar’s plenary sessions and thematic breakout discussions.

It provided a great opportunity for the EURMARS project to showcase its ground-breaking vision and present its innovative solutions for improving situational awareness and operational efficiency in border management.

The Ethics of Border Management Surveillance Technology – Workshop

A workshop on “The Ethics of Border Management Surveillance Technology” took place via webinar on the 15th of June 2023. As experts in the ethics of new technologies, Trilateral Research was chairing the discussions on ethical, social, and legal implications of an EU Border Management Surveillance System.

The workshop was designed to bring together EURMARS project partners as specialists in the field of surveillance technology and border management, and civil society representatives focused on the protection of human rights, to discuss the latest developments and challenges in border management.

It was a great opportunity for project partners and other professionals to share perspective on the Ethics of Border Management Surveillance Technology and discuss to what extent these perspectives should be considered during EURMARS and/or other border management projects.

Topics that where discussed:

  • EU Border Management: challenges and path going forward
  • Overview of the EURMARS Project and its objectives
  • Ethical and Social Implications of EU border Management Surveillance Systems
  • Legal Framework and Best Practices for Border Management Surveillance Systems
  • AI Act and its impact on border management surveillance technologies
  • Best Practices for Border Management Surveillance

EURMARS presentation in the RISE-SD 2023 conference

The EURMARS Project actively participated in the prestigious RISE-SD 2023 conference that took place in Rhodes, Greece on 29 – 31 May,2023. The “Research and Innovation Symposium for European SECURITY and Defense 2023” (RISE-SD 2023) is an international event stemming from previous initiatives, and aiming to bring together the European R&D communities in Civil Protection & Defense.

This symposium revolved around key topics crucial to our society’s safety and resilience:

  • Civil Protection and Disaster-Resilient Societies
  • Critical Infrastructures Resilience and Smart Cities
  • Better protect the EU and its citizens against Crime and Terrorism
  • Protection of Public Spaces
  • Effective Management of EU External Borders
  • Enhancing the defense capabilities of the EU
  • Enhancing Cybersecurity
  • Strengthened Security Research and Innovation

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology was present at the RISE-SD 2023 conference and had the privilege to showcase the EURMARS Project’s contribution in these domains, alongside with other esteemed experts and visionaries. The conference fostered insightful discussions, fruitful collaborations, and groundbreaking ideas.

EURMARS project presentation at CyprusDefence & Security Conference (CYPSEC)2023

SKYLD LTD as an exhibitor at the Cyprus Defence & Security Conference (CYPSEC) 2023 Nicosia representing one the companies in the Defense and Security industry in Cyprus, had the chance to present the EURMARS, (An advanced surveillance platform to improve the EURopean Multi Authority bordeR Security efficiency and cooperation) project to different exhibitors and visitors.

 Cyprus Defence & Security Conference (CYPSEC) 2023 Nicosia was held on 15-16 May 2023, in Nicosia – Cyprus.

The organization of the conference follows the new 5-year term of the Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus and the corresponding appointments of new administration of the MoD & National Guard, the lifting of the US embargo and the new geopolitical issues in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region related to energy and not only, which will be high on the agenda for the next period of time.

The aim of the conference is to present the capabilities of the most modern and effective technology in Defense & Security matters to the new Cypriot authorities, in the context of today’s unstable international environment which is full of security challenges. Dealing with them requires, in addition to continuous diplomatic efforts, the exchange of knowledge and cooperation, especially with large technological players.

The conference was attended by the Ministry of Defence, the Chief and senior officials of the National Guard, representatives of ministries and other interested Cypriot authorities, representatives of EU member states, international organizations and the international defence industry.

1st Plenary Meeting (Sofia)

The first EURMARS Plenary Meeting after the Kick-Off took place in Sofia, on March 21 and 22, 2023! It was great opportunity for the whole consortium to collaborate in person and discuss the latest advancements and developments in topics related to the project.

Sofia End-User Workshop 

A EURMARS end-user workshop was held in Sofia, Bulgaria at the end of January 2023. The EURMARS consortium had the chance to meet in-person to discuss the progress of the currently ongoing tasks focusing on the needs of the end users and the envisioned pilot features.

Kick Off Meeting

The EURMARS Kick-off Meeting was held in Athens, Greece on October 11 and 12, 2022. During the two- day meeting the partners presented their vision and plans for the tasks they lead, and analysed the work that needs to be done especially in the forthcoming months in order to conclude on the next steps and start the project’s development with no delays.