Framework Programme - Research for Civil Security
Security is the foundation of freedom and an important factor for our prosperity in Germany. Through modern progress, however, challenges to security are subject to constant change. Supply grids and networks are the lifelines of our society, and despite the robust technology utilized, they can break down at the smallest disturbance. Natural disasters are becoming increasingly dangerous due to climate change. So too can large events present challenges to safety. What can research do to minimize the impact of catastrophes? How can citizens be better protected against terrorist attacks? Security research within the Federal Government's High-Tech Strategy is addressing these questions.
Globalization has provided Germany with a variety of opportunities for the future due to its strong involvement in international trade and travel routes, its open communication structures, and its strongly developed infrastructure. These opportunities, however, are accompanied by certain risks. Energy and transport networks, the internet and telecommunications, food supply and public health - all these factors lead to new vulnerabilities, as do threats of natural disaster or globally operated terrorism. In a changing world, even our enterprises are exposed, for example, to industrial espionage.
Security risks at large events ©Thinkstock
If we want to effectively ensure individual freedom, the integrity of all citizens, as well as the vital state and industrial infrastructures in the future, we must find new ways and solutions to meet these kinds of challenges.
Since 2007, the BMBF has spent more than 250 million euros on the security of citizen within the first national framework programme for civil security.
Building on the success of the first programme and within the context of new global challenges, research funding will be continued through the new framework programme "Research for Civil Security" from 2012 until 2017
This security research programme is not purely technological. Numerous projects deal with realistic scenarios, such as football matches or concerts. This research concentrates on damage prevention as well as measures to deal with crises. In order to improve the security of visitors at such large events, new organizational concepts and strategies of action are being developed. Researchers in the fields of natural, technical, and social sciences, as well as in the humanities, are working closely with end-users and industry from the beginning onwards. Only in this way can security solutions be adjusted to meet practical needs.
For this, the inclusion of social aspects plays an important role. We need to create innovative security solutions which maintain the balance between safety and freedom.
Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Rachel at the BMBF innovation forum "Civil Security" on 17 April 2012 ©Jörg Carstensen
At the opening of the first innovation forum "Security in an open Society" in Berlin in 2012, BMBF Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Rachel announced: "Over the next five years, we want to invest more strongly in research dedicated to the social aspects of civil security. In addition, we want to increase the number of small and medium sized businesses involved in joint projects and expand cooperation with France, Israel, and the USA." In doing so, said Rachel, we must also always maintain the balance between safety and freedom.
topic Hightech Strategy
The purpose of the Federal Government's security research programme is to develop innovative solutions that increase civil security while maintaining a good balance between security and freedom. What makes the security research programme special is that it is not just a technology programme, but also includes innovative organizational concepts and strategies for action. The security research programme features interdisciplinary projects, knowledge transfer to the general public, sociological research on data protection and ethics, and a high level of transparency. The programme is also integrated in a European framework.
topic Hightech Strategy
The Federal Government decided on 25 January 2012 to continue its security research programme by launching the new "Research for civil security" framework programme. To help identify priorities, the BMBF initiated an interdisciplinary agenda process in cooperation with those involved in civil security research.
One of the ways in which the Federal Ministry of Education and Research supports the networking of stakeholders in the field of security research (including companies and research establishments in Germany) is the SecurityResearchMap.