Safety & Security Test Arena – A triple helix-project focusing on collaboration at the scene of accidents and disasters
The goal of the project was to create innovative solutions to optimize collaboration at scenes of large accidents and disasters.
Safety & Security Test Arena was a large regional collaboration project in northern Sweden with multiple benefits. The project was to result in better collaboration between first responders at large accidents and mass injury sites, new opportunities for development of products and services in the safety sector, and ultimately a Test Arena for development and evaluation.
Umeå University, Västerbotten County Council, Polisregion Nord, Swedish Civil Contingency Agency (MSB), local Emergency Services, and businesses
Climate change, terrorism and changes in political structures worldwide increase the demands on local government and first responders. Training activities, tests and evaluations of products and services are prioritized in areas working with societal safety and protection. There is an increased demand for more and better products facilitating the work of public authorities and first responders. The market for safety related products and services has traditionally been reactive, new products have been developed after considerable incidents and realizations about lacking abilities. The ability to instead predict future needs was central to this project. Northern Sweden has strong networks and good infrastructure, solid research resources and great competencies in leading research and development projects in the field of safety and security. The success of the project was intended to place northern Norrland on the map as a focal point for the development of products and services in the security field.
Implementation The project started October 2016 and ran for just over three years, until early 2020. The project was coordinated by the European CBRNE-center at Umeå University, which has a solid background in similar projects. The European Regional Development Fund funded the project as an investment in growth and activity to strengthen research and technical development and innovation in northern Norrland. Participating members were Umeå University through the European CBRNE-center and an additional seven departments under the faculties of medicine and social sciences, the police education programme and the ambulance nurse programme. Västerbotten County Council participated through the division for emergency healthcare. Other project members were Emergency Services in Umeå, Skellefteå and Luleå, the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency (MSB), along with several businesses. The project consisted of a number of activities, or work packages, focused on developing actual products and services (educational services, trainings in simulated environments, rescue equipment) as well as performing research concerning collaboration between first responders. Products and services were developed in close collaboration between researchers, businesses, and active first responder personnel and instructors, as is the intention with a triple helix constellation.
Results Safety & Security Test Arena would lead to increased innovation in the security field. The project would also result in the development of products and services for a global market of security solutions, as well as crisis and disaster preparation. The establishment of the platform S&S Test Arena was a goal in itself which was predicted to have great long-term impact on the growth of the security field in the region, and also lay the foundation for a commercial business at the end of the project. The individual activities constituting the project would result in the following:
- Prototype of heated mattress for rescue operations in cold climate - Validated proof of concept for a flexible, stackable stretcher - Validated proof of concept for simulated training of emergency vehicles - Instructor training for drivers of emergency vehicles - Product package, exercises - Education concept, collaboration in crises - Education concept, simulating task force management and collaboration - Education concept, rescue operations under ground