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October 1st 2016 marked the start of the over 3-year (38 months) European Reaching Out project, which is characterized by a highly innovative and comprehensive approach to empower an effective EU support to large external crises, linking end-users, researchers and industrial experts from across the EU. This project is supported by different Associated Partners from the demonstration countries outside the EU.
The REACHING OUT (Demonstration of EU effective large scale threat and crisis management outside the EU) Project, funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Framework Secure Societies topic DRS-03-2015 "Crisis management topic 3: Demonstration activity on large scale disasters and crisis management and resilience of EU external assets against major identified threats or causes of crisis" - represents the next step (after EDEN project) of one of the largest research efforts ever made in the Crisis Management area within the European Union.
The project demonstration outputs will aim to allow capabilities to be shared among multi-national and intercontinental stakeholders, which is paramount in cross-border incident/crises management and over time will allow for a build-up of common capability not only across Europe but across international boundaries as well.
The recent catastrophes involving huge earthquakes in many places (e.g. Italy, Nepal) around the world; nuclear disaster in Fukushima; large evacuation and humanitarian support in Tunisia; Ebola epidemic in West Africa - require strict international cooperation in both the prevention and response phase.
Reaching Out address a wide spectrum of users from professional responders to the public (inside and outside of the EU), optimize the EU external crisis management activities at all levels and maximize the innovation success on the market. This approach takes into account the main needs and gaps identified in previous projects such as the EDEN CBRN demonstration project; the UNOCHA World Humanitarian Summit ongoing consultation; interviews; review of existing EU systems, procedures, policies, etc.
Reaching Out provide innovative solutions to improve crisis resilience and allow enhanced interoperability and effectiveness between EU and others crisis operators from different continents. This project will increase the technical maturity and performances of distributed situation awareness, monitoring and decision support systems.
The “Reaching Out” concept offer end users a collaborative and innovative approach to improve the efficiency of EU external crises and disasters management. Reaching Out’s ambition is to help meet the most immediate needs of the users inside and outside the EU in an external crisis management situation and harness the possibilities of bringing science, technology and industry together that can result in innovative and cost efficient functional services and tools.
Reaching Out comprises a consortium of twenty-five members across ten different countries in the EU and Israel (including six Associated Partners from demonstration regions outside the EU (in Africa, Middle East and Asia) coordinated by Airbus Defence and Space SAS. The consortium includes main categories of Crisis management actors: end-users, industry (system integrators) and solution providers, SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) with innovative solutions, universities and RTOs (Research and Technology Organisation). This project, with a total grant close to € 19 M, marks an unprecedented effort from the European Commission to support R&D on the international Crisis management theme. Reaching Out intends to bring the crisis resilience capacity between the EU and external countries to a higher level of maturity when it comes to crisis events. The project will build on the results and successful completion of previous EU FP7 project (EDEN Demonstration project) and is finalized to test in the field, with key demonstrations to take place outside EU. The demonstrations will involve local associated partners and users from the Local Authorities, Operators and research institutes in Regional Platforms. This will enlarge End User participation, the links with the international science community, the supplier base and the possible market. The results of the project will be made public through a Business Day and final Reaching Out Forum scheduled at the end of the project in 2019.
Reaching out project main objectives: