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Research project The project will increase societal preparedness against CBRNe threats and incidents, especially focusing on managing large groups of people and individuals with special needs.

PROACTIVE will work to enhance societal CBRNe preparedness by increasing first responder’s ability to effectively manage large, diverse groups of people. The project will be studying the CBRNe incident management from the perspective of the European citizens, something that has rarely been done. The project is funded by Horizon 2020 and coordinated by the Security Division of Union internationale des chemins de fer (UIC).

Project overview

Project period:

2019-05-01 2022-04-30


Horizon 2020

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

European CBRNE Centre

Project description

Previous research concerning CBRNe-security shown that during CBRNe events people react and interact with first responders and other emergency personnel in ways that are different from other types of major incidents. More than in other types of crises, civilians depend on the type of communication, tactics, techniques and technology employed by first responders and others responsible for dealing with the incident. Therefore, managing the public effectively is crucial for those responding to the incident.

The project will focus on European citizens, meaning all members of the public but specifically including citizens with needs that differ from the average population such as persons with disabilities, the ill (e.g. with chronic or acute health conditions), elderly, or members of an ethnic minority or of a vulnerable group. Vulnerable citizens also include persons with limited proficiency of the respective national languages or with restrictions regarding use of transportation.

Practioners whose managing skills this project aims to increase include; law enforcement agencies (typically police organizations), first responders (e.g. civil protection agencies, fire brigades, ambulance) and related stakeholders including private and public bodies, transport and logistic operators who may be involved in a response in support of the official responders and international, national and municipal authorities and civil society organizations such as those helping persons with disabilities and crisis management.

Tools that may be used, evaluated and developed in this project include processes, software, procedures, machine, mechanism, apparatus, appliance, piece of equipment and contraption. Several tools can be regrouped under a toolkit dedicated to a specific target group.
PROACTIVE will span a period of 36 months and is divided into nine work packages:

  1. CBRNe terrorism in Europe and beyond: Human Factors analysis of preparedness and response
  2. Engagement of Law Enforcement Agencies and other Practitioners
  3. Engagement of the civil society including vulnerable citizens
  4. Toolkit for Law Enforcement Agencies and security policy-makers
  5. Toolkit for civil society organizations
  6. Joint exercises, evaluation and validation of the tools
  7. Dissemination and exploitation
  8. Legal, Ethical and Acceptability Requirements
  9. Management

The project will result in common approaches to CBRNe emergencies adopted by European safety and security practitioners, in particular law enforcement agencies and CBRNe first responders. These are to be evaluated and validated against the needs and requirements of the civil society, especially considering vulnerable groups of citizens. It is key that government agencies, law enforcement and other emergency personnel act as partners with the civil society in the event of a CBRNe crisis, and that critical actions are carried out together. This requires mutual trust between the two, which is a critical aspect of the project.      

To learn more, visit the project website.