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Border Security and External Security

Call for Proposals for Horizon 2020

Border Security and External Security

The Call for Proposals H2020-BES-2014 “Ethical Societal Dimension topic 1: Human Factors in Border Control” sub call of H2020-BES-2014-2015 “Border Security and External Security” has been published by the European Commission, Directorate Education and Training.

The purpose of the current “Human Factors in Border Control” call is to list and carefully analyze the psychological factors which may affect the performance of key border guard tasks and also include a review of the psychological literature relevant to such task. In fact, Border control relies on a number of presumed abilities in those performing it. These include the ability to: stay alert from the beginning of a shift to the end; distinguish truth from falsity; detect malicious intent; detect invalid or falsified documents; detect hidden goods or humans in vehicles; detect behavioural indicators of persons engaged in, or methods used to undertake, illicit activity; compare and agree a match or non match between the facial image in the passport with the face of the traveler, irrespective of ethnic background, age difference or normality in the passport image.

The “Human Factors in Border Control” call aims to identify which tasks related to border control could be carried out in a more automated manner, and for which tasks the human factor is indispensable. The research should suggest remedies and a strategy for improving performance. Studies show that in the long term perspective, the task of border management to facilitate legitimate border crossings, while detecting and preventing illicit activities will remain a critical capability, given the expected rising cross-border flows. Border control is likely to face increasing demands for efficiency, which implies a need for technical systems that are user friendly and reliable in operational conditions.

The expexted impact of the actions in the framework of the current “Human Factors in Border Control” call consist in a research that should make a major contribution in improving the effectiveness of EU border control. It will contribute to the implementation of the Smart borders initiative (and future regulation), reinforcing checks while speeding up border crossing for regular travellers, optimizing procedures and enhancing the security at the moment of the crossing of the EU external borders. The action is expected to proactively target the needs and requirements of users, such as border management decision-makers, border guards and citizens (regular travellers).

Under the current “Human Factors in Border Control” call for proposals, eligible proposals will be research and innovation actions. That is actions primarily consisting of activities aiming to establish new knowledge and/or to explore the feasibility of a new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution. For this purpose they may include basic and applied research, technology development and integration, testing and validation on a small-scale prototype in a laboratory or simulated environment. Projects may contain closely connected but limited demonstration or pilot activities aiming to show technical feasibility in a near to operational environment.

The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of the action is estimated at EUR 20 780 000 maximum. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between €2m and €5m would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The deadline for submitting proposals in the framework of the current “Human Factors in Border Control” call for proposals is 28 August 2014.

Further information on the current call for proposals is available on the European Commission’s web site at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/calls/h2020-bes-2014.html

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