At a glance
The Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) is one of the seven institutes of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).
Located in Ispra, Italy, the Institute provides scientific and technological support to European Union policies in different areas, including global stability and security, crisis management, maritime and fisheries policies and the protection of critical infrastructures. Moreover, the Institute performs statistics and information analysis for the evaluation of the effectiveness of policies and to enhance financial stability.
IPSC's core competencies are in the field of engineering and information technologies, satellite image processing and analysis, open source information analysis, structural mechanics and risk assessment.
IPSC works in close collaboration with research centres, universities, private companies and international organisations in a concerted effort to develop research-based solutions for the security and protection of citizens.
Since its foundation in 2001, the IPSC has produced scientific knowledge, tools, methods and prototypes in a diverse range of fields to provide essential scientific and technological support to European Union policies and to the direct benefit of citizens.
The following are some of the most famous IPSC products and activities. These examples will give you an insight of IPSC research work and its applications:
- Europe Media Monitor (EMM)
EMM is a live media monitoring system that gathers reports from news portals world-wide in 50 languages, aggregates and classifies the articles, analyses the news texts by extracting information from them and produces intuitive visual presentations of the data found.
See also the OPTIMA work in the GLOBESEC unit.
- Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS)
GDACS is a web-based platform developed by the IPSC and the United Nations. It provides near real-time alerts about natural disasters around the world and tools to facilitate response coordination. It includes also a Tsunami wave propagation model developed by IPSC scientists.
See also the CRITECH work in the GLOBESEC unit.
- Composite Indicators
Composite indicators can quantify complex issues, such as innovation, competitiveness, environmental performance, education, providing decision-makers with the "big picture". IPSC scientists have developed methodologies to construct reliable composite indicators, and in cooperation with the OECD, published a "Handbook on Constructing Composite Indicators: Methodology and User Guide" which has quickly become a reference point for professionals in a variety of fields.
See also the SIPA work in the EAS unit.
- Symbol: strengthening the financial stability
The IPSC, in cooperation with researchers of the DG Internal Market & Services and academics, has developed SYMBOL, a SYstemic Model of Banking Originated Losses, which estimates the probability and the magnitude of any new potential crisis hitting the banking system. This model was used in support to various EU legislative initiatives to strengthen financial stability.
See also the work of the FINEPRO action in the SFA unit
- Vessel Detection System (VDS)
The IPSC has developed the Vessel Detection System (VDS) a system able to detect vessels using satellite images. The VDS system complements other reporting systems, such as the Vessel Monitoring system (VMS) and the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and helps maritime authorities by better targeting inspections.
Starting in January 2009, the EU fisheries legislation foresees operational use of the VDS in contexts where its cost-effectiveness can be proven.
See also the FISHREG and VESCOSUR work in the MARE unit.
- Eccairs: aviation safety
Implementing EU legislation in the aviation safety domain, the IPSC has developed a software to collect, share and analyse data about accidents and incidents in the aviation sector. The concept was then extended to the maritime and railway sectors.
See also the MULTRA work in the MARE unit.
- Eurocodes: standards in construction
The pre-normative research carried out at the IPSC's European Laboratory for Structural Assessment (ELSA) has contributed to the development of the Eurocodes, a set of European standards for the construction sector. As of 2010, all new public buildings and other civil engineering structures in the EU are to be constructed with similar levels of structural safety.
See also the SAFECONSTRUCT work in the ELSA unit.
- Road safety: the Digital Tachograph
The digital tachograph is an electronic recorder of the professional drivers' activities (rest and driving hours and speed). IPSC is managing two major services of the Digital Tachograph: the European Root Certification Authority, which oversees the cryptographic key management infrastructure, and the Laboratory for Interoperability Certification, which provides one of the three certificates requested for granting new equipment type-approving.
See also the CIDIPRINT work in the DCS unit.
- Sesamonet: improved mobility of visually impaired people
The IPSC has developed a prototype system which uses RFID micro-chips embedded in the ground to guide a visually impaired person through a predefined area. The microchips can be recycled from the electronic tracking of cattle.
- MAHB: Major Accident Hazards Bureau
The Major Accident Hazards Bureau (MAHB) provides scientific support to the European Community on the formulation, implementation and monitoring of EU policies for the control of major accident hazards, chiefly the Seveso II-Directive, 96/82/EC, concerning the processing and storage of hazardous substances. The Bureau has also an instrumental role in managing the European accidents database (e-MARS), analysing trends in accident occurrence and identifying and disseminating lessons learned in order to avoid recurrence of similar events.
See also the MAHB action in the STA unit.
See also the brochure "10 years of research for your security"