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Commission Proposes Preparatory Action On Security Research

Europe is building its own independent security network that makes extensive use of satellites.
Brussels - Feb 19, 2004
European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin presented a Communication on Security Research to the European Parliament and the Council on 3 February 2004. Its aim is to explain why action is needed now and to present the issues under consideration.

Europe is entering a new phase in its history, marked by major political, demographic, social and economic changes. Meanwhile, world events have pushed security concerns to the fore, and Europe is seeking to combine the strengths of the security industry and the research community to effectively respond to security challenges.

"Both the European Parliament and the Council have encouraged the Commission to move forward in this area," said Research Commissioner Busquin. "We have already committed ourselves to pursuing research to combat bio-terrorism and to support security measures relating to the Petersberg tasks. We are now ready to develop a comprehensive programme of Security Research for 2007."

What does security mean?
Security is an evolving concept, representing challenges for the EU-25 in a wide range of policy areas. The European security strategy 'A secure Europe in a better world', endorsed by the European Council in December 2003 outlines global challenges and key threats. Among these are terrorism, organised crime, natural disasters and disease.

The new Communication, entitled 'Towards a programme to advance European security through Research and Technology', explains why security research needs to be co-ordinated at the EU level, presenting the key priority areas, including those mentioned above as well as improving crisis management and enhancing the security, reliability, protection and interoperability of communication systems.

Action now
A �65 million budget has been earmarked for the Preparatory Action (2004-2006), which will lead to a full European Security Research Programme starting in 2007. This will bring together the necessary know-how and investment for the development of technologies that are critical for Europe's security. In the long term, it will contribute to enhancing Europe's industrial competitiveness in these areas.

"Today Europe is faced with considerable duplication and fragmentation in security structures and programmes," said Busquin.

"This hampers cost-efficiency and leads to many other problems. The cross-fertilization between civilian and military research represent exciting potential for an enlarged Europe. However, in order to realise such potential, Europe must invest in a culture that harnesses the combined strengths of industry and the research community. The Preparatory Action will generate useful lessons, and lead to the building of a foundation and knowledge base for future activities in this area."

The first call for proposals for the Preparatory Action will be published in early March 2004. For the coming year an amount of �15 million has been allocated to fund six to eight projects and supporting activities. Research projects selected will be 'mission oriented', i.e. capable of delivering tangible results that address the 'immediate security challenges' facing Europe.

Source: European Union Related Links
Security Research Communication (PDF File)
EU Space White Paper
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SI International Wins $6 Million Air Force Space Command Contract
Reston - Feb 16, 2004
SI International has been awarded a prime contract to provide Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) engineering and technical services to the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) for defining, developing, fielding, testing, and sustaining their components of the BMD system. The competitive task order has a 11-month base period with a one-year option. The task order's potential value is $6 million, inclusive of the option period.

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