Maritime Forum

Maritime Forum Themes


"Research and Development activities for improved capabilities in surveillance to enhance EU maritime border security" (3.13)

Event date:
21/05/2010 - 09:00 to 10:45
Table of Contents

    EU Security R&D is mission-oriented and end-user driven. In the area of maritime security and border surveillance it aims to set up innovative solutions to permanently track vessels, monitor vulnerable lanes, ports and extended border zones, to understand and identify risks and threats in time to respond appropriately. Key challenges are detection of small craft, fusion of information to detect anomalies, interoperability and affordability. Projects and proposals will be presented with the aim of improving capabilities, to be tried out and validated in pre-operational scenarios.                  

    P R O G R A M M E

    Friday 21, 09:00-10:45

    Room: Plataforma 2 (Art Centre)


    CHAIR: Erik Berglund, Director of Capacity Building, European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders  (FRONTEX)

    Gregorio Ameyugo Catalan - Research and Development Unit – Surveillance - European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders (FRONTEX)

    Miguel Acitores, Director of Border Surveillance Systems, Indra Sistemas S.A

    Marco Malacarne - Head of Unit Security Research and Development - Directorate General Enterprise and Industry, European Commission

    Jan Tore Pedersen - Managing Director - Marlo a.s.

    Michel Morel - Scientific Director - Division Système d'Information et Sécurité (DCNS) 

    Salvatore Rampino - Vice President & Product Planning - Selex Sistemi Integrati - Strategy 

    Harm Greidanus - Scientific/Technical Project Officer, Maritime Affairs Unit, Joint Research Centre (JRC) European Commission 


     (Lead: Directorate General Enterprise and Industry, Unit H4, European Commission)

    1. Three key messages

    • The integration of R&D providers with institutional end users is a basic requirement for effective take-up of results of research at EU scale and exploitation of the internal market potential.


    • R&D activities will support the implementation of EUROSUR. Coherence should be sought with the needs to be identified by other EC pilot projects (e.g. BLUEMASSMED, MARSUNO).


    • FRONTEX is well suited to supervise a monitoring group, composed of user representatives, to be set up on a voluntary basis, to ensure informal follow-up and discussion of research activities, also as a tool for promoting improved inter-agency cooperation and development of standards, where appropriate.


    2.  Summary of the interventions from the panel


    EU Security R&D is mission oriented and end-user driven.  In the area of maritime security and border surveillance it aims to set up innovative solutions to permanently track vessels, monitor vulnerable lanes, ports and extended border zones, to early understand and identify risks and threats for appropriate response. Key challenges are detection of small crafts, fusion of information to detect anomalies, persistency of the monitoring, interoperability and affordability. This is also an area of synergy with the research being undertaken by ESA and EDA.


    This workshop followed and complemented three previous workshops related to maritime surveillance:

    i)   Maritime surveillance policy in the EU (6.8),

    ii)  Satellite derived information for enhanced Maritime Surveillance (6.9),

    iii) Maritime surveillance challenges to security in the EU (6.10).

    The R&D activities presented in this workshop represent an important investment for the EU research budget, and range from capability projects to a demonstration programme.


    The workshop was a first step to further structure their implementation, setting them against the evolution of EU policy making (i.e. the EUROSUR strategic plan explicitly indicates FP7 R&D as enabler for implementation).

    The workshop did provide an opportunity for researchers and stakeholders to 'synchronize' their work, and stimulated further involvement of stakeholders (in particular of end users nationally responsible for the surveillance of the maritime border, and of European Agencies, foremost Frontex).


    G. Ameyugo presented the "demand side" for further research and technology developments, from the perspective of the actors which operate in border surveillance.  He explained the bottom up approach of EUROSUR and presented the pilot project that Frontex is about to implement with the participation of Spain, France and Italy. He stressed that, unlike the military case, border security implies local awareness and response. Border guards need affordable tools suitable for integration.


    M. Acitores presented the challenges for effective technology implementation and exploitation (including schemes/needs for testing and validation of systems), from an industrial perspective (supply side), Indra being the leading Spanish industry in this area. Mr. Acitores presented the Spanish SIVE system, explaining how and why it had been developed, and the lessons learnt from the SeaHorse exercise, set up for the control of immigration from western Africa to Europe (mainly Canary islands). Finally he hinted at the PERSEUS demonstration project, now in negotiation.


    M. Malacarne outlined the vision and objectives set for implementation of the FP7 Security R&D Theme. He put these into a broader political context (EC President Barroso's political guidelines, the EU 2020 strategy, the Lisbon Treaty, the Stockholm Process). Mr. Malacarne stressed the novelty (for EU Security R&D) of a demonstration project, and advocated an improved dialogue between research and standardization setting communities. Finally, he wished that this workshop would regularly take place again in the future.


    J.T. Pedersen presented the SUPPORT integrated project.


    M. Morel presented the I2C integrated project.


    S. Rampino presented the SEABILLA integrated project.


    H. Greidanus presented the activities related to maritime surveillance of the EC Joint Research Centre, where R&D topics are selected based on (foreseen) demands of EU level users. Presently, they cover the fields of communications, concepts of operations, reporting systems and sensors, focusing on the use of airborne and satellite technologies. Amongst others, he showed some results of the LIMES and WIMAAS EC R&D projects, on satellite and unmanned airborne surveillance respectively, and the PASTAMARE study contract, which aims at assessing the capacity of space borne AIS for supporting the European Commission’s maritime policy. He also discussed the improved capabilities of the recent satellite SARs and their possibilities and limitations in detecting small boats.


    3 Key questions and messages from the floor, as well as responses given by the panellists.

    In his concluding remarks, the Chairman appreciated the open attitude of all speakers. He stressed the importance to involve end-users in the definition and implementation of R&D activities, and to make use of R&D initiatives as a tool to proceed towards harmonization of requirements.

    Mr. Philippe Chrobocinski (EADS), in his intervention from the audience, stressed that maritime border surveillance is a very complex issue, with many actors involved and many activities undertaken. He stated that implementation of novel technology is intrinsically a slow process and that it would be desirable for all EU maritime countries to identify minimum performance system requirements.

    The Chairman agreed that keeping up with technological developments whilst achieving harmonization of capabilities will not be a quick process.


    4. Links to presentations and speeches by speakers, and other documentation relevant for the workshop


    Each speaker provided a powerpoint presentation. These presentations are available (see below)


    Contact person: Paolo Salieri, European Commission DG ENTR (+32-2-29629521,