DRIVER+, the Next Stage of Innovation in Crisis Management for European Resilience
Launched in May 2014, DRIVER (Driving Innovation in Crisis Management for European Resilience) is a project funded under the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission, whose main aim is to cope with current and future challenges due to increasingly severe consequences of natural disasters and terrorist threats, by the development and uptake of innovative solutions that are addressing the operational needs of practitioners dealing with Crisis Management. Having implemented necessary improvements and taking the needs of Crisis Management practitioners better into account, the project has returned in September 2017 with a facelift: new name, new leadership, new partners, new visual identity, and a project team more committed than ever to drive the next stage of innovation in Crisis Management for European Resilience.
To inaugurate the start of this new phase of the project, which is relaunched as “DRIVER+”, all partners met in Rotterdam on 25-27 September for a fruitful Kick-off Meeting. The event was the occasion to set the stage for the next years of activities, and to exchange with invited EU-funded projects, initiatives and practitioner organisations on concrete opportunities for collaboration in the near future.
What are the project’s objectives?
To achieve its overarching objective, DRIVER+ is committed to deliver and make sustainable by April 2020 (end date of the project):
• A pan-European Test-Bed for Crisis Management capability development enabling practitioners to create a space in which stakeholders can collaborate in testing and evaluating new products, tools, processes or organisational solutions.
• A Portfolio of Solutions (PoS) in the form of a database-driven website that aims at documenting all DRIVER+ solutions. These will be tested via trials during the project lifetime. Ultimately, the PoS will be opened up to any external organisations willing to share data and experiences of solutions.
• A shared understanding in Crisis Management across Europe, through the enhancement of the cooperation framework. This will be achieved, amongst others, by building a dedicated Community of Practice in Crisis Management (CoPCM), closely aligned to and supporting the Community of Users (CoU) initiative from DG HOME and the Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre (DRMKC).
What lies ahead and what type of activities are to come?
To achieve the above, a series of events, each serving a particular set of objectives, will be organised during the project’s lifetime.
Benefiting from the DRIVER+ Test-bed components, four trials will be organised to operationalise and test the solutions, whose results will be stored in the PoS. These trials are based on updated Crisis Management gaps and practitioner needs, whose
main ones identified so far relate to: (i) Cross-Border Tasking and Resource Management, (ii) High Level Coordination, (iii) Volunteer Management and (iv) Situation Assessment and Logistics. Towards the end of the project, a final demonstration will showcase the selected solutions and demonstrate the added value, when the European-level is brought into operation.
Also, in order to strengthen the Policy-Research Dialogue on research and demonstration activities in Crisis Management and to increase the EU added value of the DRIVER+ trials, three Policy-Research roundtables will be organised to involve policymakers (i) before the trials and final demonstration, to allow exchanges on the potential EU policies to be addressed and the involvement of DG HOME, DG ECHO /ERCC staff members; and (ii) after the events to allow exchanges on the results and the potential policy implications.
To complement the aforementioned activities, two editions of the Innovation for Crisis Management (I4CM) events will be organised in Warsaw and Copenhagen so as to address the Crisis Management practitioners and stakeholders at regional level, therefore providing a relay towards the EU level and complementing initiatives such as the Community of Users. A final conference will be organized in Brussels to communicate on the project final results.
From DRIVER to DRIVER+, what has changed?
The project structure was simplified to more clearly link the objectives and the results of the project and to improve the path towards successful implementation of the project plans. To reflect the new architecture of the project, the leadership and project management team have changed, some partners have left and new partners were introduced to the consortium.
In addition, the involvement of external stakeholders, Crisis Management experts, practitioners and solution providers has been significantly enhanced. DRIVER+ is resolutely opened to the external world and its success will largely depend on its capacity to develop strong links with external collaborators. To achieve this, DRIVER+ will foster the formation of a Community of Practice on Crisis Management (CoPCM), linking existing Crisis Management networks and organising events especially tailored for that purpose.
The new role of C³M in DRIVER+
Within DRIVER+ the C³M team still contributes as solution provider of design, planning and simulation tools for disaster relief supply logistics developed at the group in the past. In addition C³M became member of the review board and contributes now also to the development, application and evaluation of the test-bed methodology. Last but not least, C³M facilitates the review process of the Solution Selection Group, where crisis management practitioners evaluate potential solutions in a double blind review process.
Support DRIVER+ and Join the Crisis Management Community!
To increase the relevance of the project results, and ensure that the DRIVER+ trials are conducted taking into account the technological state-of-the-art and relevant knowledge available outside of the consortium, the project events will be opened up to additional innovative solution providers, experts and practitioners; these will have, in return, the opportunity to use the expertise generated as part of the project to support their own initiatives.
Your expertise, lessons learnt and best practices from past experience are of great value to the consortium, so that we can jointly progress in the critical areas of Crisis Management and create acceptance for new solutions and approaches towards the successful introduction of innovation in the field.
If you are interested to get involved in the DRIVER+ activities to offer your solutions to the trials or to get your hands on innovative technology and share best practices and experiences, you are cordially invited to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For any other questions, please contact: email@example.com