European Network of Crisis Management Laboratories

The European Network of Crisis Management Laboratories is a permanent infrastructure shared between Member States and European Institutions to serve as a testbed for new crisis management technology. 

The ENCML envisages to provide:

  • Workshops, Test-beds and Laboratories to run experiments, benchmarking exercises and demonstrations.  
  • Tools and services for designing, running and evaluating experiments 
  • Expert panels to conduct evaluation of results of workshops, experiments and exercises and in turn draft scoping papers that feed into EU R&I requirements

JRC European Crisis Management Laboratory (ECML) Minimize

A research, development and test facility for ICT focused solutions

The JRC European Crisis Management Laboratory acts as a research, development and test facility for ICT focused solutions which integrate devices, applications, and crisis management related information sources to support crisis management needs, such as threats analysis, common situation awareness, and collaborative decision making. The laboratory also allows distributed crisis management training across relevant services of the European Commission, as well as with partners in the EU Member States and others engaged in crisis management, thereby enhancing their awareness and confidence in the application of technological solutions to strengthen their functions in crisis management.

jrc facility ecml

The laboratory is used in a variety of crisis scenarios ranging from intentional threats and natural disasters to health crises. The use of visual analytics for improving information readability, visualization and effectiveness, particularly in large video screen environments, forms an integral part of the laboratory research. The Laboratory has a central role during real emergencies when the analysis of complex events requires the use of several software components to give a unique picture of the ongoing events. The European Crisis Management Laboratory is equipped with a 5 x 2.2 m. large video wall that can be fed by several video and/or audio sources. It is also fitted with a video conference system, A0 plotter, printer, several computers, wireless. The laboratory's staff is operational during working days, but the infrastructure can be operated on a 24h basis by personnel from other European Commission services who can use the European Crisis Management Laboratory as a backup of their systems to assure business continuity, and also in the extreme situations when their respective crisis rooms are not available.

List of Workshops in the ECML

A support mechanism to the ENCML – The DRIVER+ Test-bed Minimize

Driving Innovation in Crisis Management for European Resilience

Driver + logoThe scale and pace of crises pose enormous challenges for the Crisis Management (CM) sector, with new threats emerging all the time. An already complex field must also strive to integrate new technologies and methods, cope with a rapidly changing infrastructure, understand evolving risks, be effective across cultural, administrative and national boundaries and engage with populations to enhance their resilience. Innovation is therefore critical, but will only be successful if it is relevant and accessible to practitioners and operators. Many crises involve interfacing diverse CM systems and solutions. Major crises can also frequently involve more than one country or region, which may have differing CM infrastructures and cultures. It is also highly likely that this will necessitate interfacing different systems and combining different solutions. CM innovation must therefore be capable of meeting these multifaceted challenges and delivering solutions that are modular, flexible and adaptable. These solutions must be tested and validated in realistic environments; they must be evaluated to assess their true benefits and for their overall suitability, before being adopted by end-users. Failure to meet these needs could result in less than perfect solutions being introduced or in the increased costs of CM capability development, due to the imperfect management of ever more complex crises.

In May 2014, dedicated practitioners’ organisations, research institutes, industries and SMEs teamed up to support the European Union to tackle this issue. Until April 2020 the broad aim of the DRIVER+ project, funded under the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme, will be to improve the way capability development and innovation management are addressed, by assessing and delivering solutions that can be used, and combined, to address different types of large-scale crises.

For more details