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Research project a European CBRN Center of EXcellence

The purpose of ECCofEX is to conduct a study, in consultation with EU member states and the Commission Services, of the feasibility of developing a CBRN Center of Excellence (ECCofEX) for the EU through the development of a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) and a business plan for such a center.

Project overview

Project period:

2018-11-01 2021-10-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

European CBRNE Centre

Project description

The goal of the project is to address needs identified by the European Parliament, as well as stated in the European Commission’s recent CBRN Action Plan, which calls for closer cooperation at EU level, pooling expertise and assets, and utilizing synergies across borders. This will be accomplished by the successful completion of a feasibility study and the development of a concept of operations for a European CBRN Center of Excellence.  The project is lead by SCK•CEN, one of the largest research institutions in Belgium and is renowned for its expertise world-wide.

The project is a reaction to European Parliament Resolution 2012/C 169 E/02, which calls for the establishment of a European crisis response mechanism, based in the commission’s services, which would coordinate civilian and military means in order to ensure the EU has a rapid response capability. The project also addresses the need for reinforced resilience against CBRN threats in terms of prevention, preparedness and response, stated in the European Commission’s 2017 CBRN Action Plan.

ECCofEX is comprised of six separate work packages:

  1. Project Management and Coordination of the Action – in essence ensuring proper functioning of the ECCofEx consortium, cooperation between the partners in the other work packages, timely delivered high quality project results, and outreach to the CBRNE community.
  2. Identification of opportunities to improve member state preparedness and response to CBRN (accidental/intentional) – to identify the needs of EU member state First Responders, Incident Command Centres and other relevant parties at local, regional or national levels regarding CBRN events and its possible follow-up.
  3. Inventory of reach-back capabilities, assets and experts available in the EU and could be available to other EU member states
  4. Inventory of FP6, FP7 and H2020 research outcomes that could be made operational in order to satisfy the needs of work package 2 - An inventory said projects to assess whether they could be made operational to satisfy the needs of work package 2 and the establishment of the CBRN Centre of Excellence.
  5. Proof of concept and feasibility study - Using the information gathered in work packages 2, 3 and 4 to inform a concept of operations which will enhance the European Commission and member states' current response capacity to CBRN incidents.
  6. Dissemination - The objective of work package 6 is to disseminate the project results, especially those for work package 5, among European policy makers and member states. This will be achieved by organizing a closing conference and bilateral meetings with policy makers.

The project partners will conduct surveys, interviews, workshops, and meetings with relevant agencies in order to gather the information needed and deliver the outcomes specified in each work package.

At the completion of the project should be a feasibility study for a European CBRN Center of Excellence, as well as a concept of operations and a business plan for said center. The project will culminate in a conference, at which the consortium will present the project deliverables and outline the next steps in creating a physical center, thereby ensuring continuity and sustainability of the project.