December 16, 2021

The second workshop of the CONNEXIONs project took place jointly with its sister project CREST on December 16th, 2021. The workshop focused on the technologies developed and challenges addressed by the two projects regarding security in public spaces and large-scale public events and their respective Pilot Use Cases. Seventy people from different organisations, including Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), Universities, Research Centres, SMEs and NGOs, participated providing an ideal audience to generate interesting discussions and interactions. The workshop took place virtually since the COVID-19 restrictions were still in place. Nevertheless, the two projects demonstrated their Pilot Use Cases successfully allowing for better understanding and deeper insights to be gained.

At the start of the event, an introduction regarding the workshop was given by the CONNEXIONs Scientific Manager, Dr. Theodora Tsikrika (CERTH). Following that, both the CONNEXIONs and CREST projects were presented, respectively, by Dr. Despoina Chatzakou (CERTH) and Ovidiu Dumitrache (SPP)/George Kalpakis (CERTH), and each project’s aims and objectives were further analysed. With the completion of the two projects presentations, the CONNEXIONs and CREST synergies were demonstrated by Dr. Theodora Tsikrika (CERTH), where similarities and differences were highlighted and discussed. Those presentations allowed for a better understanding of the workshop’s core theme. Thus, the analysis of the two projects as well as their synergies prepared the audience for the Pilot Use Case demonstrations.

The first Pilot Use Case that was demonstrated was “Counter-terrorism security in large scale public events” from the CONNEXIONs project. Dr. Constantinos Rizogiannis (KEMEA) presented the relevant pilot demonstration that took place successfully on May 25, 2021 at KEMEA premises. During the pilot, the Hellenic Police alongside with KEMEA partners tested and validated technologies for mission planning and operation, including Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies, 3D models, a Command Center for real-time operation management, and Visual data analysis. The presentation was comprehensive, giving the opportunity to participants to understand the tools which have been developed by the project. The demonstrations of CREST Pilot Use Cases on “Counter-terrorism security in crowded areas” and “Protection of public figures in motorcades and public spaces” followed and the relevant pilot demonstrations were presented by Tobias Mattes (BayHFoD) and Eugen Badea (SPP). The two pilots were fully demonstrated and explained, presenting the tools and technologies developed by the CREST project; further to the aforementioned technologies, additional solutions related to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Adaptive mission planning, UAV swarming, and Concealed object detection were also demonstrated.

With the completion of the pilot demonstrations, a panel discussion moderated by Eddie Schneid (MSIL) followed. Partners from the two consortia, namely Alexandru Vladuta (SPP)/ Eugen Badea (SPP), Max Hausner (BayHFOD), Konstantinos Gkountakos (CERTH), and Xavier Español Espinar (EVERIS), discussed the Challenges and Opportunities in the Use of Advanced Technologies for Protecting Public Spaces, explaining important details and responding to participants’ questions.

Finally, we had the wonderful opportunity to welcome representatives from four EU sister projects: PREVISION, IcARUS, PROTECT and CYCLOPES who presented their projects’ objectives and achievements, thus contributing to synergies creation and knowledge exchange. We were more than happy to welcome their contribution to our event and we hope for more interactive activities in the future.

Our last workshop and the project’s final event will take place in February 2022! More information will be shared soon both on our website and social media pages.

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