The 3rd and 4th September saw the latest I4CM conference and workshop arrive at the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw and standardisation was one of the main protagonists, along with interoperability and interagency cooperation. This event attracted participants from across Europe who came together to debate these key issues facing Crisis Management professionals. The I4CM conference and workshop is a central part of the EU-funded project DRIVER+ and brings together many Crisis Management experts – practitioners, policy makers, researchers, representatives of related projects and industry – to help create a shared understanding across all Member States.
Co-hosted by ITTI, the German Institute of Standardisation (DIN) and Public Safety Communications Europe (PSCE), the opening address was delivered by Philippe Quevauviller of the European Commission’s DG HOME. Keynote presenters, panel discussions, interactive workshops and hands-on sessions contributed to a packed programme and gave the floor to the different stakeholders. Participants were encouraged to network with like-minded peers, discuss areas of common interest and develop synergies between various initiatives and projects and discuss the research roadmap for Horizon 2020 and beyond.
Top of the two-day programme was the subject of standardisation. It was discussed how standardisation can improve Crisis Management capabilities and cooperation, as well as the importance of community participation in the development of standards through a bottom-up process and with the European Commission’s support, by ensuring that proposals correspond to the needs of practitioners. A “Wall of Standards” was available, where participants could learn more about standardisation in an informal way and were invited to provide their own ideas and test their knowledge of application of standards. Patricia Compard, senior police commissioner of the French Ministry of Interior and chair of the Societal and Citizen Security body at the European Committee for Standardization, stated that “standards are some of the most powerful tools we can have. They can achieve the use of a common language, harmonised processes, trust and compatibility.”
Participants had the opportunity to learn more about the DRIVER+ project, including the Test-bed and Portfolio of Solutions that are being developed and used in the four project Trials.
Feedback on the organisation of the project’s first two Trials was provided to participants. They were also able to learn about the CMINE, the new Community of Practice in Crisis Management.
Interagency cooperation and interoperability of communication systems were discussed in dedicated panels were experiences and good practices were put at the centre of the discussions and emphasised how innovative solutions can assist Crisis Management practitioners. Despite the innovation of technological components, “it’s not just the system that matters, it’s the culture when partners are willing to share information”, said Jan Kuipers, senior fire officer and cluster commander in the Safety Region of Haaglanden (the Netherlands). Sanja Holen, Chair of the Technical Team of the European Broad Way project, stressed that “technology will bring us interoperability but we need more – it’s easier if practitioners use the same system, but willingness to share information is the zero phase.”
A poster area and a marketplace were central to the event, giving the space and visibility for related projects and initiatives and solution providers to present their innovative Crisis Management solutions and allowing practitioners to discover them. Overall sixteen solution providers were represented with demonstrations available for participants to try, along with twelve innovative projects in the field of Crisis Management which were on display at the poster area. This adds to the overall value of I4CM and sets it apart from other events thanks to its level of interactivity.
Thanks to the high number of participants and the level of interactivity of this third edition of I4CM, the DRIVER+ project will take another significant step in its mission to strengthen European Crisis Management capability development.
For more information on this event, visit the DRIVER+ website at www.driver-project.eu/events-2/3rd-i4cm/