Picture Top left: The DRIVER+ Advanced Crisis Management Conference, brought together over 300 Crisis Management specialists, academics and technology developers from throughout Europe and beyond.

Picture Top right:  Representatives of the first seven DRIVER+ Centres of Expertise with Marcel van Berlo, project technical coordinator (third from right), after signing letters of agreement at the conference.

The DRIVER+ Advanced Crisis Management Conference was held in Brussels on the 18th, 19th and 20th of February, bringing together over 300 Crisis Management specialists, academics and technology developers from throughout Europe and beyond.

The project’s outputs, achievements and long-term legacy benefits for all European and international Crisis Management organisations were praised by senior European Commission officials and conference delegates.

Angelo Moreno, Head of Unit B4, Safeguarding Secure Society, REA, European Commission

Ionut Homeag, Emergency Response Coordination Centre, European Commission

Felix Bloch, Head of Unit B3, Disaster Preparedness and Prevention, Knowledge Network and Evidence-Based Policy, DG ECHO

Ilkka Salmi, Director of the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Directorate, DG ECHO (The Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations), European Commission

The conference was the culmination of several years of intense work across Europe, involving 4 large-scale crisis scenario trials and a final trial/demonstration, technology development and assessments, and the development of a unique Trial Guidance Methodology for testing the best solutions for specific emergency management tasks.
Research was also undertaken to accelerate innovation in Crisis Management throughout Europe, in particular in connection with climate change related-events such as wildfires and flooding as well as medical emergencies such as coronavirus and industrial accidents.

Anna Nalecz, Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences, one of the first of seven new DRIVER+ Centres of Expertise

Martha Bird, Danish Red Cross and Thomas Seltsam of Austrian Red Cross

Delegates at the DRIVER+ Advanced Crisis Management Conference came from all sectors involved with Crisis Management – practitioners  academics and solutions providers  

The project has also fostered the establishment of a number of Centres of Expertise to promote enhanced Crisis Management skills and innovation, and set up a pan-European network, the Crisis Management Innovation Network Europe (CMINE) to foster knowledge sharing and cooperation.

DRIVER+ is an EU funded project tasked with promoting and testing new, science-based improvements in crisis management. Specialist speakers attended from world leading organisations, such as the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research on climate change and wildfires, the Red Cross on Psychological First Aid training for volunteers, and Patrick Meier of WeRobotics Flying Labs on the promotion of drone flying and mapping skills among local populations for improved crisis response throughout the non-European world.

The DRIVER+ Trial Guidance Methodology for conducting trials of Crisis Management solutions, is supported by the Test-bed Technical Infrastructure (TTI).

All outputs are free and open source, available from the DRIVER+ website. Other free outputs include the DRIVER+ Portfolio of Solutions – an online database of advanced Crisis Management technologies.

Hanneke Vreugdenhil of HKV and Carsten Dalaff of DLR

Chiara Fonio, Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission

An exhibition of DRIVER+ project outputs, such as CMINE, Centres of Expertise, Project Groups and the Trial Guidance Methodology

Alessandra Zampieri, Head of Disaster Risk Management Unit, Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission

Egidija Versinskiene of the Lithuanian Cybercrime Centre of Excellence for Training, Research and Education, a new DRIVER+ Centre of Expertise

The establishment of a network of DRIVER+ Centres of Expertise to ensure the sustainability of project outputs has been a major achievement, with 7 Centres signing letters of agreement at the conference – Entente Valabre (France), the Main School of Fire Service (SGSP, Poland), L3CE (Lithuania), The Resilience Advisors Network (RAN, Ireland), SRC-PAS (Poland), EASS (Estonian Academy of Security Sciences), and the Austrian Red Cross (ARC).

Thomas Seltsam of Austrian Red Cross and Marcel van Berlo, DRIVER+ project technical coordinator sign a DRIVER+ Centre of Expertise agreement for the Austrian Red Cross

The DRIVER+ project team celebrate a successful project and conference at the end of the Brussels conference

For more information or to download reports and other project outputs go to: www.driver-project.eu  www.driver-project.eu/final-conference

This project has received funding from the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration under Grant Agreement (GA) N° #607798