Call for proposals for border Security and External Security H2020-BES-2014 Closed!


The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) is implemented by specific programme and work programmes.

The “Societal challenges” responds directly to the policy priorities and societal challenges that are identified in the Europe 2020 strategy and that aim to stimulate the critical mass of research and innovation efforts needed to achieve the Union's policy goals.

The specific objective is to fully exploit the potential of Europe's talent pool and to ensure that the benefits of an innovation-led economy are both maximised and widely distributed across the Union in accordance with the principle of excellence.

Funding shall be focused on the following specific objectives:
(a) Health, demographic change and well-being.
(b) Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research. and the bioeconomy.
(c) Secure, clean and efficient energy.
(d) Smart, green and integrated transport.
(e) Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.
(f) Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies.
(g) Secure societies - Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.


Actions foreseen within this call for proposals include the following topics:

  • BES-01-2014: Maritime Border Security topic 1: radar systems for the surveillance of coastal and pre-frontier areas and in support of search and rescue operations. The challenge refers to early and distance border surveillance. Research is needed in the development of Over the Horizon (OTH) radars of improved performance, reduced cost, lower power requirements, deployable. Deployability is an important issue, also because of its impact on the coastal environment and of public alarms that bulky radar installations may provoke. These technologies are expected to be appropriate to support Search-and-Rescue (SAR) operations in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • BES-09-2014: Supply Chain Security topic 2: Technologies for inspections of large volume freight. Approximately 70% of all cargo is transported in intermodal shipping containers representing approximately 240 million container moves in any given year. As a major trans‐shipment hub, the EU handles around a third of the container moves throughout the world. Container security associated with terrorist threats, illegal immigration, theft and smuggling is therefore an important factor in the overall EU border security. The greatest volume (and risk) of illegal/illicit/mis-declared goods into the EU, as of interest to Customs, include, but are not limited to: illicit narcotics (heroin, cocaine, etc.) explosives, tobacco products, chemicals. Intelligence together with scanning is useful in narrowing suspicious consignments, but ultimately a physical examination of the load is required. This is resource intensive and adds cost and delay to importers, should the anomaly be found to be benign. 
  • BES-11-2014: Information management topic 2: Information management, systems and infrastructure for civilian EU External Actions. Considering the range of civilian CSDP missions in complex environments, the ability to efficiently manage information and resources is a key factor to enhance decision-making, planning and conduct capabilities and to increase the efficiency, visibility and impact of those actions in all the phases of crisis management, from early warning up to “the-lessons-learned’ phase. There is a need to identify the state of the art of the existing processes, procedures, equipment (information management systems and infrastructures, tools, technologies), cultures, within the context of the EU External Action with a view to developing a coherent and interoperable situational awareness and information exchange capability to improve decision-making, planning and conduct related to EU external action and crisis management operations. The development of a Situational Awareness, Information exchange and Operation Control Platform will improve cooperation among different EU actors and with Member States and Associated Countries, with the possibility to involve also other international organisations, and in particular EU partners in crisis management, notably UN, NGOs, etc.. The needs of decision-makers, planners and end-users will be a focal point of the proposed coordination action.
  • BES-12-2014: Conflict prevention and peace building topic 1: Enhancing the civilian conflict prevention and peace building capabilities of the EU. Since the end of the cold war the relative global political stability created through the balance of power between the Soviet Union and the US has considerably decreased. Across the world the new multipolar structure of international politics reopened dormant conflicts and lead to new emerging crisis situations. Overcoming these new conflicts necessitates novel approaches on prevention, mediation and peace keeping to which the occidental world is only insufficiently prepared. Classical stabilisation/intervention operations are often not appropriate anymore, nor do they guarantee any long term stability. Conflicts cannot be overcome solely by military or civilian means alone. The majority of these conflicts are asymmetrical by nature. This often implies that the primary victims are non-combatants, particularly in civil wars. The humanitarian crises (famines, epidemics, forced migrations) that follow often affect especially women and children. These conflicts represent both a humanitarian obligation for the EU to act, and a liability for the external and internal security of the EU. Economic and political disparities have often proven to be a breeding ground for political extremism, violent radicalisation and terrorism.
  • BES-03-2014: Maritime Border Security topic 3: Light optionally piloted vehicles (and sensors) for maritime surveillance. Beyond coastal waters, surveillance tools such as Off-shore Patrol Vessels (OPV) and Maritime Patrol Aircrafts (MPA) are used as mobile assets to identify and position targets. However, MPAs (and helicopters) have very high operational costs, whilst the lack of regulations to fly outside a segregated air space impose limits the utilization of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for the surveillance of remote areas. In addition, the analysis of current operational obstacles faced by the End-Users community shows that weaknesses in communications capabilities (in particular related with tactical communications, interoperability and standardization) hinder the detection, identification and tracking of small boats at the external EU Maritime borders. The tactical communications between surface and aerial assets are considered to be a key for improving situational awareness, early warning and reaction capacity. This R&D is therefore targeted to extend the portfolio of light surveillance platforms for reduced operational cost, and increased capability in surveillance in high seas and to improve the communication between assets, which is particularly critical in multi-national joint operations, where different systems co-operate in one single operational scenario (to be tested in the context of a real operational scenario, such a Frontex led joint operation).
  • BES-14-2014: Ethical Societal Dimension topic 1: Human factors in border control. 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.

European community funding

The Community provisional funding available for the call for proposals is:

  • 40,78 Million EUR (Global Budget)

All the important deadlines

  • 28 August 2014 - 7 years ago (Deadline for the presentation of proposals)

Further information about the call

Official webpage of the call

Useful documents

  • Border Security and External Security (Legal base)

Organisations eligible to participate

Opened to the following bodies or institutes with legal status established in the covered areas:

  • Any legal organisation

Covered areas

Bodies or institutes must have their registered legal seat in one of the countries taking part in the Programme which are:

  • European Union (EU)

Directorate-Generale responsible

Directorate-General for Research

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