Internationally Funded Project to Develop an Integrated Toolkit for Improved Management of Natural and Man-Made Disasters Kicks-Off Today
Essen, Germany – 5th September 2023 – To boost the efficiency and safety of first responders during life-saving missions, the SYNERGISE team will develop a Novel Integrated Toolkit for Collaborative Response and Enhanced Situational Awareness (NIT-CRES). The toolkit shall improve the management of natural and man-made disasters whilst boosting collaboration between first responders to increase mission effectiveness and victim detection at highly challenging and complex incident sites. The international consortium is officially launching SYNERGISE in Essen today.
18 partners from Europe, Japan, Republic of Korea and the US will design, develop, integrate, deploy, test, validate and demonstrate the Novel Integrated Toolkit. It will comprise a multitude of tools and services required to:
- Boost situational awareness and sense-making by offering first responders (FRs) the means to autonomously and synergistically perform indoor and outdoor exploration of incident sites towards victim detection
- Receive at all times information about responders’ position and vitals as well as analyses of passive and active threats and hazards at the area of operations
- Upgrade collaborative response and incident as well as resources management by continuously sharing and updating the common operational picture across deployed teams, among the chain of command and between participating agencies
- Equip the first responders (FRs) at all fronts by delivering novel, affordable, accepted, and customized response tools and services as part of their operational assets.
For improving the collaborative response and enhancing situational awareness, the Novel Integrated Toolkit will deliver:
- Cutting-edge, innovative and integrated tools featuring aerial, legged swarm of robots and snake like robots for autonomous site exploration and victims detection;
- Advanced wearables for real-time vitals monitoring of first responders, gas/environmental sensing for potential toxics and explosives detection;
- Advanced localisation systems to locate the first responders indoors and outdoors;
- Augmented reality for robotic control, visualization and remote collaboration;
- AI enabled synthesis and fusion of information for acquiring mission intelligence;
- A rapidly deployable communications system to allow for quick information exchange and human-machine interaction for optimisation of exchange between devices and first responders
- An interoperable Incident Management and Command and Control System to enhance multi-agency response and allow for effective mission deployment, resources and assets utilisation whilst enhancing situational awareness and sense-making at all times
These technologies will be extensively tested, validated and evaluated within a rich Testing Programme, in realistic settings, in which response agencies will be operating the tools and in turn shall provide recommendations for their development. Notably, a novel human-machine teaming framework will be followed to allow seamless embedment of new and novel technologies in the users’ operations.
Equipping First Responders with Tools that Enhance their Speed and Safety
“SYNERGISE seeks to match the operational needs of search and rescue teams with current technological capabilities”, explains Sabine Lackner President of the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW). “First responders have practical experience on the field and developers the technological know-how. Through this unique collaboration between technical partners, industry, academics and first responders of various agencies, innovative technology will be developed to locate the victims more swiftly and with less risk for the people conducting the rescue operation.”
Evangelos Sdongos, Technical Coordinator of the project says “Saving lives and ensuring safety of those responding has always been the main goal in disaster response. With SYNERGISE, we aim to offer a unique combination of technological capabilities that effectively contribute to that. The technologies to be delivered in the project will provide unmatched capabilities to address the operational needs and procedures of first responders’ teams. This will enhance first responders’ safety, situational awareness, sense making and collaborative incident management.”
“As a recognized expert in GPS-denied navigation, SYSNAV is committed to apply its leading magneto- inertial indoor positioning technology as part of SYNERGISE”, added David Vissière, President, SYSNAV. “We believe high precision tracking is an important capability for safety and mission effectiveness in urban search and rescue operations”.
Multidisciplinary Team to Maximise Impact Collaborative Response in Complex Incidents
Besides first responders, the SYNERGISE team involves academic and research organisations that will provide leading-edge technology and small and medium companies that will develop key innovative components and commercialize the Novel Integrated Toolkit. First response practitioners will take care of the testing, training and validation at component and toolkit levels in the framework of a rich Integration, Testing and Validation Activities Programme. International relief practitioners will be involved as members of the project’s Advisory Board, responsible for technology validation and wider outreach to the relevant stakeholders and capacity building.
SYNERGISE stands for “A novel integrated SYstem of Systems streNgthening tEchnical and logistical capacities to ensure better Response to emerGencies by synergIStically addrEssing First Responders capability gaps”. The project is jointly funded from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme, State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation from Switzerland; R2 Network from the United States; the Japan Science and Technology Agency; the Korea Ministry of Science and ICT, and the Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute. The project started on 1st September 2023 and will run until 28th February 2027.
Technisches Hilfswerk – Bundesministerium des Innern und für Heimat, Germany
Sodertorns Branforsvarsforbund, Sweden
Openbaar Lichaam Gezamenlijke Brandweer, The Netherlands
Centrum Naukowo-Badawcze Ochrony Przeciwpozarowej Im. Jozefa Tuliszkowskiego – Panstwowy Instytut Badawczy, Poland
Hellenic Rescue Team ATTICA, Greece
ASTRIAL GmbH, Germany
SYSNAV SAS, France
ARTTIC Innovation GmbH, Germany
Wearin’ / Conextivity Group, Switzerland
Ethical & Legal Plus SL, Spain
R2 NETWORK, The United States of America
Tohoku University, Japan
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Netherlands
Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zurich, Switzerland
Electronics And Telecommunications Research Institute, South Korea
VIRNECT, South Korea
Centre for Research & Technology, Hellas , Greece
The Advisory Board is comprised of representatives from the organisations herein: National Resilience at National Fire Chiefs Council from United Kingdom; Estonian Rescue Board; Centre for Security Science at Defence Research and Development in Canada; United States Department of Homeland Security; FirstLink Research and Analytics in the United States of America; Italian Fire Brigades; Hellenic Civil Protection in Greece; French Police; Swedish Police
More information about SYNERGISE will be provided via website and social media!
ARTTIC Innovation GmbH
Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW)
Verena von Scharfenberg
ARTTIC Innovation GmbH