The Federal Ministry of Education and Research provides funding for research projects aimed at developing technologies that can help governmental and non-governmental stakeholders as well as citizens and migrants overcome current and future challenges. The goal is to devise new security and support solutions that show great promise in terms of practical benefit and potential for implementation. Part of the funding goes to bilateral projects conducted with Austria. The two countries have decided to pool their resources and collaborate on research to ensure optimised processes for admitting migrants on humanitarian grounds, transferring them and providing them with food, accommodation and basic necessities.
Funding codes 13N14784 bis 13N14790
When cities and municipalities take in and attempt to integrate large numbers of migrants and refugees, they face a number of challenges, one of which concerns security. Ethnic residential segregation is considered to increase the local population’s risk of falling victim to a crime or becoming involved in crime themselves. The ESKrim project will examine this assumption by means of a comprehensive and interdisciplinary research method. The team will explore what risk factors can be identified and how they can be influenced, basing their considerations on a variety of scientific perspectives. They will use surveys, interviews and statistical evaluations to collect data on migration, integration and segregation, which they will then analyse in conjunction with crime reports and city-specific/district-specific data. The empirical work in the area of social science will be accompanied by ethical research and studies of legal aspects.
Funding codes 13N14716 to 13N14723
The Austrian-German project HUMAN+ has set out to develop an integrated solution for real-time situation assessment for refugee movements. The solution is based on social networks and remote sensing data, enabling migration movements to be predicted and acute situations to be handled. The ethical, sociological and legal parameters play an essential role in this work, as does the need to be able to integrate the solution into existing solutions and process chains. The system will facilitate early detection of migration movements, preparation of emergency services on both sides of the border for the situations they can expect and, at the same time, optimal, humane handling of migrants.
HUMAN+ project outline (PDF, only available in German)
Funding codes 13N14796 bis 13N14800
The influx of refugees into Germany in 2015/16 posed a major challenge for the police and authorities since they had to check and determine the identity of a huge number of migrants as quickly as possible. One of the main aspects requiring improvement is portable facilities for checking data and documents. Current practice is to take unidentified people to police stations to determine their identity but the MEDIAN project aims to devise a technical solution to facilitate mobile identity checks. The team are looking to develop components for rapid, contactless capture and automated comparison of fingerprints or facial images. Research is also being carried out on technologies for optical and electronic capture and checking of documents carried about the person. The portable equipment will enable police officers to determine a person’s identity in situ and save them from having to be taken to a police station.
MEDIAN project outline (PDF, only available in German)
Funding codes 13N14741 bis 13N14744
During the peak of the 2015/2016 refugee influx, new forms of cooperation and action were required in order to look after the people coming into Germany. Numerous players were involved, especially local authorities, aid organisations, the police and private organisations. In addition, it was the personal dedication of those players and the successful inclusion of those willing to volunteer their assistance that produced a positive result. Usable documentation and evaluations of the lessons learned are required if those people’s experience is to be harnessed for future situations. It is for this reason that the SiKoMi project aims to collate and systematically evaluate the knowledge gained during these processes, especially that of local authorities, the police and the German Red Cross (DRK) to identify both good practice and problems.
SiKoMi project outline (PDF, only available in German)
Funding codes 13N14764 to 13N14768
The aim of the Austrian-German “SmartIdentifikation” project is to develop a system with which to evaluate data from documents and smartphones carried by migrants. The data is to be used to identify individuals and to check the information they give. The photos stored on their smartphones will be used to establish their age. The data will also be analysed with the aim of identifying smuggling routes. As well as developing the necessary technology, the project will investigate the legal and ethical conditions that need to be in place for the system to be accepted and legal, and incorporate these aspects into the technology. The goal is for the system to be used to help check migrants’ statements on the spot and thus to minimise the number of cases requiring individuals to be taken to police stations.
SmartIdentifikation project outline (PDF, only available in German)
Funding codes 13N14748 bis 13N14752
For many aid organisations in the field of civil protection, the refugee situation of 2015/2016 was one of the largest operations they had ever had to handle. During it, they acquired new knowledge through lessons learned as well as adapting their previous knowledge and processes to the specific requirements facing them. This knowledge needs to be systematically merged, structured and processed in order to preserve it and make it transferable to other scenarios in the future. The aim of WAKE is to develop and implement a knowledge-management solution that integrates all levels, authorities and organisations. As part of an ongoing process, this will result in civil protection practice that learns systematically, constantly adapts to new challenges and thus helps improve civil security in disaster situations.
WAKE project outline (PDF, only available in German)
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