Introduction – a Football match
On a cool October evening, the S.Darius & S. Girenas football stadium in Kaunas, Lithuania was buzzing with excitement as football fans gathered to witness the thrilling match of the Hungary and Lithuania football teams. Amidst the celebrations, cheers and festive atmosphere that typically accompanies such events, there still exists the potential for violence, threats to safety, and clashes between police and football fans. Hence, the crucial responsibility of safeguarding the event’s security rested with the national police force.
Within this challenging context, the innovative FusionSec technology underwent rigorous testing and validation in an operational setting by the Lithuanian police. This innovation is designed to equip police patrols with the tools needed to be exceptionally well-prepared for managing incidents and achieving security goals.
Facilitating innovations in public space protection
The development of innovation was made possible through the funding of SecurIT (New industrial value chain for Fase, Secure and Resilient cities, and Territories) project funded by EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
SecurIT supports financially and with other means promising innovations developed by SMEs in three distinct security domains- public space protection, sensitive infrastructure protection and enhancing disaster resilience.
FusionSec (360º multi-force event planning and coordination) idea was proposed by Lithuanian police and implemented by a consortium of two SMEs, UAB Iterato (Lithuania), and Nuuk Technologies SL. (Spain). The project gained recognition of SecurIT Selection Committee, being considered as the promising innovation that effectively addresses up to date challenges in the realm of public space protection.
To guarantee a seamless and all-encompassing innovation development process, Lithuanian Cybercrime Center of Excellence for Training, Research and Education (L3CE), a partner within the SecurIT project, facilitated the collaboration among diverse stakeholders. L3CE involvement included the task of identifying essential gaps and needs critical to the Lithuanian police, guiding and facilitation of every stage of the innovation development process, providing consulting and in-depth analysis of the legal, ethical, and social acceptance aspects that are critical factors in the adoption and integration of the innovation into operational environment.
FusionSec is a cutting-edge communication platform for planning and coordination of public events requiring the cooperation of different public safety forces and volunteers as well as citizens. It was specifically designed to integrate various devices for real-time data streaming to command-and-control rooms thereby promoting elevated situational awareness and facilitating a streamlined and effective decision-making process.
It offers an advanced set of features, making it an ideal solution for addressing the complex challenges of public space protection.
The power of collaborative development of solutions
A big part of the success story of FusionSec comes from the close cooperation between the technology development team and the Lithuanian police, allowing the technology providers to gain invaluable insights into internal processes and challenges associated with different aspects of planning and organizing security of public events.
From the outset, the engagement of the Lithuanian police was highly active, emphasizing communication and co-creation between the technology providers and practitioners. This collaborative effort ensured that the technology aligned with the real needs, operational requirements, and expectations of all involved stakeholders.
It’s worth mentioning, that the football game in S. Darius & S.Girenas stadium provided an excellent opportunity to test and facilitate the transition of innovation from the controlled environment of a laboratory to the dynamic real-world context.
The testing and validation of FusionSec platform followed a similar approach, where the technology providers closely shadowed the practitioners, explaining the complexity of how the technology functions. The feedback loop from the police was instrumental in pinpointing the necessary improvements and adjustments, making the solution more mature, user-friendly, and aligned with the internal processes of police.
The innovation was developed within an exceptionally short timeframe of just 12 months, starting from the initial idea and culminating in the creation of a functional demonstrator. This rapid development was made possible due to the huge commitment and professionalism of all the involved parties, including UAB Iterato, Nuuk Technologies SL., L3CE and the Lithuanian police.
The technology garnered significant attention from the Latvian police, which made a special visit to observe the technology demonstration.
It is noteworthy to highlight, that the FusionSec platform has already recognized significant market opportunities. Potential users of the FusionSec platform, namely port of Klaipėda, actively participated in a demonstration to acquire a deeper understanding of how this cutting-edge technology can be integrated into their operational endeavors.
Naturally, innovation is now in prototype stage, but the police are considering the potential for a sustained collaboration with the technology provider. Intention is to continue the partnership until the technology attains the requisite level of maturity and is deemed ready for operational deployment.
SecureIT has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 101005292. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.