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Resilience Launch

by msecadm4921

On Wednesday July 28, Cranfield University at Shrivenham, near Swindon in partnership with the DefenceAcademy of the United Kingdom, launched its Resilience Centre.

Resilience is a term used to describe the ability of public and private sector organisations to deal with natural or environmental disasters, industrial accidents and terrorist threats in a managed and controlled way.  It also extends to the state of preparedness of organisations in dealing with such contingencies.
 
Ivar Hellberg OBE, executive director, Resilience Centre, says: “We’re interested in the capacity of governments and businesses to respond to disruptive challenges; whether natural, accidental or deliberate – through the provision of relevant education, training and research into the theory of risk, management and relevant technology.”
 
Cranfield University is one of the leading centres in the world offering a series of security related MSc and short courses.  The Resilience Centre is founded on an extensive defence and security management and technology expertise at the University.
 
“We’ve heard a lot about ‘alert’ not ‘alarmed’.  I think actually we’re well past that stage.  We need to be alert and also informed and prepared.  And that’s the real job that education needs to do”, adds John Smith, group security advisor, Prudential plc.  A new 15 minute film, Security of the Realm, presented by Prof Chris Bellamy, explains the importance of resilience in a national and European context.  Contributors include Sir David Omand, permanent secretary, Cabinet Office and was shown before an audience of military, police, security, defence and business leaders. In addition, Cranfield University is in the process of developing a common methodology for dealing with disaster recovery throughout the European Union (EU), which includes work on a software platform that refines this methodology and improves contingency and continuity planning both in the public and private sectors.
 
This expertise and experience has been recognised by the European Commission, which recently awarded research funding for two major crisis and disaster management projects (OASIS and DEMOCRITUS), which involve creating a shared communication and response platform across all 25 EU member states.
 
Guy Weets, director general at the European Commission with special responsibility for risk management, concludes: “We’ll have to disseminate a way of working to new member states.  It’s clear that natural disasters and even industrial accidents don’t respect borders.  We therefore have to share the same procedures across the EU in order to respond effectively to any disaster.  And this applies to new candidate states and all future neighbours.”

Defence and security management and technology staff at Cranfield University are developing a common methodology for dealing with emergencies and disaster recovery throughout the European Union (EU). Currently, all 25-member states of the EU have very different operational procedures and communication systems that do not talk to each other.  The early stage project work addresses this issue and includes development of a software platform that improves interoperability between communication systems as well as enhancing contingency and continuity planning in the public and private sectors.
 
“The intention is to create a generic integrated crisis management system to support the operations of European civil protection organisations in the case of large-scale natural and industrial disasters and terrorist and security threats across all 25 European Union member states,” says Ivar Hellberg OBE, executive director, The Resilience Centre, Cranfield University.
 
Guy Weets, director general at the European Commission with special responsibility for risk management, adds: “We’ll have to disseminate a way of working to new member states.  It’s clear that natural disasters and even industrial accidents don’t respect borders. We therefore have to share the same procedures across the EU in order to respond effectively to any disaster.  And this applies to new candidate states and all future neighbours.”
 
Cranfield University is working with leading defence and communications organisations EADS, Datamat, BAE Systems, Ericsson and Thales on both the OASIS and DEMOCRITUS projects.

OASIS Project
 
A key objective of the OASIS project is the creation of a civil crisis management methodology and a command and control infrastructure that is interoperable with NATO command, control and communication systems. The OASIS project will examine the viability of an EU network of effective transnational headquarters with the capability of dealing with more than one transregional crisis at any one time. It will also examine the task of bringing together local, regional responders to work within common operational procedures and decision-making processes in order to meet complex emergencies.
 
DEMOCRITUS Project
 
A key objective of the DEMOCRITUS project is the ability to integrate teams to respond to any emergency or crisis that may occur within or outside the EU and how military, blue light emergency services, public and private sector responders can integrate to form a cohesive crisis response team. It will also examine the overall risk methodology and technical architecture, as well as establish an EU-wide user group.
 
New software development
 
The software to support the work of The Resilience Centre as well as the OASIS and DEMOCRITUS projects has been jointly developed by Cranfield University and Office Shadow, a leading software development company that was recently awarded the Most Innovative Product (2003) for its innovative open systems Shadow Planner software platform.

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