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Apply until:

Nov 20, 2024

Funding up to:

€6 000 000

Startup; SME

If you are:

Industry:

Ocean Management

Short description:

Rolling out advanced, user-friendly systems for secure identity verification and travel document management.

ExpectedOutcome:
Projects’ results are expected to contribute to some or all of the following outcomes:

Improved capabilities to validate breeder and identity documents as well as ICAO Type 1 and Type 2 digitalised travel documents;
Improved compatibility among tools for verification of travel documents and identity, while guaranteeing not sharing (beyond what’s strictly necessary) or compromising personal data;
Enhanced integration with EU current or planned architecture(s) for digital identity frameworks;
Contribute to capabilities that strengthen the Schengen area, by providing security at its external borders that also reassure on maintaining the free movement within its borders.


Scope:
Authentication of documents is relevant for border management, immigration or visa applications. Furthermore, it could also be relevant to combat other illicit activities, such as financial fraud. Facilitation of travel across external EU borders went and is further going through remarkable developments thanks to subsequent technological generations, and updated procedures and regulatory frameworks. From automated border control gates to “no-gate” solutions, and to “seamless travel”; from secure documents, to digitalised travel documents, and to “dematerialised travel documents” and “digital wallets”. All to ease border crossing for travellers, while maintaining border security against illicit or irregular crossings and protecting fundamental rights. This topic aims at exploring and developing enhanced capabilities for securely managing digitalised travel documents used for travel across external borders.

The proposed solution should be compatible with planned or possible future EU highly digitalised travel documents formats and travel facilitation systems, and with applicable ICAO current and upcoming schemes. The proposed solutions should be compatible or interoperable with relevant existing digitalised travel documents systems. The proposed solutions should also respect fundamental rights such as privacy and protection of personal data, apply privacy by design of the application and use privacy-enhancing technologies.

The operational applicability focus should be on highly digitalised travel documents and “digital identity management” used for travel across external borders. However, the research should include enhancing the security of breeder documents, which risk being “weak links” when they are used to obtain genuine, secure travel documents.

The proposed solution should include techniques (including those to increase the robustness against attempts to falsify biometric data) to allow sharing of results from the tools, and share as few data used by the tool as possible to return those results (in order to increase data protection and minimize data leak risks). Leakage or compromising of personal data should be avoided in the transfer of tools or of their results.

The proposed solution should ensure secure data collection, access, encryption and decision support for those in relevant roles in the border management processes. Full encryption at transit and rest should be ensured, while enabling fuzzy searches on all metrics of the documents’ data.

The proposed solution should include an automated decision support system that helps the work of operators and suggests to end-users (such as border authorities’ staff) which process and which database/tool can be legally used with, or by, a certain technology or database.

The developed solutions need to comply with the Ethics Guidelines on Trustworthy AI (2019)[1].

Should the project deliver on its goal and be compatible with applicable legislation, EU and Member States authorities should plan to take up the results of the research with the support of the Border Management and Visa Instrument (BMVI).

Research projects should consider, build on (if appropriate) and not duplicate previous research, including but not limited to research by other Framework Programmes projects. In particular, proposals should build on achievements and findings of relevant recent EU-funded civil security research projects, including those funded under HORIZON-CL3-2022-BM-01-02: Enhanced security of, and combating the frauds on, identity management and identity and travel documents.

Proposals should delineate concrete and clear plans for further development to subsequent TRLs as well as uptake (industrialisation, commercialisation, acquisition and/or deployment in operational contexts) at national and EU level, should the research deliver on its goals.

Proposals submitted under this topic are expected to address the priorities of the European Border and Coast Guard and of its Agency (Frontex) and of the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (eu-LISA). This should start from the definition of requirements and the design phase of their work, including basing on the EBCG Capability Roadmap when available; and on the engagement with the Agencies during the implementation of the project. This perspective should be considered and planned when drafting proposals. Proposals should foresee that Frontex and of eu-LISA will observe projects’ pilots and demonstrations, with the aim of facilitating future uptake of innovations for the border and coast guard community.

Synergies across authorities and across communities (such as border management, customs, law enforcement communities) within the civil security sector will be an asset, for example with Fighting Crime and Terrorism (regarding combating crime involving identity fraud).

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