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Project Idea

OrganisationDUNE srl
Project TitlePROTECT
H2020 Topic ListSU-DRS02-2018-2019-2020: Technologies for first responders
Role within the Consortium* Project Partner
* Project Coordinator
Type of activity* Technology development
* Research
* Management
Project DescriptionSubject of the proposal
Design, develop, integrate, test and validate a comprehensive tracking, localisation and environment sensing system for first responders in GNSS/GPS-denied environments (e.g. indoor, underground, tactical scenarios where hostile elements (terrorists) can easily jam the GPS signal) and in visually-impaired scenarios (e.g. forest fires), along with the relevant business plan and market analysis.

Technologic motivation
Despite the GNSS/GPS availability makes “tracking” a trivial task, almost all the safety/security interventions, the operational scenarios of first responders (e.g. Law Enforcement Units, Firefighters) and urban soft targets are GPS-denied environments (e.g. indoor and underground areas); therefore, safety/security operators are (almost) never traceable, jeopardising the Situational Awareness and therefore the effectiveness of the operations, thus increasing the loss probability of human lives and high-value assets. GPS is also very easy to jam; a point to be considered when intentional hostile actions are accounted in the scenario (e.g. terroristic attack).
In addition, there are also many use cases in which the GNSS signal is available, but the situational awareness is jeopardised by the environmental conditions; for instance, in a forest fire the operators can experience a very limited sight capability (night operations, smoke, fog) in a scenario with rapidly evolving fire fronts; in such a scenario, a real-time synoptic view of both the positions of the operators and fire fronts should be provided to the Command and Control, but such a functionality is not available nowadays.
The impossibility of:
- locating the operators in scenarios where the GNSS signal is absent (e.g. hostile jamming, indoor environments);
- tracking in real-time the rapid evolution of the hazards in the scenario (e.g. moving fire fronts);
are still a major cause of severe decrease of the Situational Awareness, thus decreasing the safety, effectiveness of the operations, prevention, preparedness and post-crisis recovery capabilities.

Marketing motivation
Restricting to the indoor localisation market, Markets&Markets estimates that (with focus on the protection of Critical Infrastructures ) “the indoor location market size is estimated to grow from USD 4.72 Billion in 2016 to USD 23.13 Billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 37.4%”. Similar figures are also provided by Technavio for the US market . It is not therefore surprising that during the last decade both Academic and Private Organisations have steered a significant amount of resources toward the indoor localisation technologies, so to gain a promising market segment. As a consequence, the current situation (in Europe and worldwide) is dominated by infrastructure-based tracking solutions and the relevant key-players are gathered in the InLocation Alliance. However, these solutions are heavily infrastructure-based and have been specifically developed for the retailer’s market and LBS (Location Based Services), e.g. malls, airports, museums, but the global market still lacks comprehensive solutions specifically tailored for security, first responders and CIs protection applications. The market position of the project will be specifically addressed to fill the gap in the localisation/tracking for first responders and safety/security market segment by:
i) offering a high value proposition for the customers (new functionalities and simplification);
ii) avoiding the (now) unaffordable competition on retailer’s and consumers’ market and LBS, fully dominated by the InLocation Alliance;
iii) targeting to a market segment with a (current) very low level of competition, but worth a global turnover of hundreds of M€.