MEDEA Solutions Demonstration I at Alexandroupolis, Greece
The first MEDEA Solutions Demonstration event was successfully carried out on October 18-20, 2022 in Alexandroupolis, Greece. The three-day event was co-organised by the MEDEA consortium partners, KEMEA, ISDEFE, and EU SATCEN along with the highly significant support of the Hellenic Police and the Local Police Department of Alexandroupolis. The event hosted more than sixty (60) guests from across Europe, while the agenda covered presentations, demonstrations, and panel discussions, welcoming the participants’ perspective and expertise on security issues and showcasing the practitioners’ operational challenges.
Through this initiative, MEDEA accomplished the valuable objective of bringing together practitioners and Ιndustry, thereby establishing a constructive dialogue that bridges the two sides regarding security challenges. More specifically, the aim was to first identify solutions that would address gaps and provide practitioners with improved levels of preparedness and response, and consequently to increase the security level in the European Union. To accomplish this, MEDEA undertook the action of initially launching an Open Call for Security Solutions and Ideas, where 13 solutions and ideas were submitted following specific terms of reference, and concluded with the MEDEA Solutions Demonstrations, where the selected by practitioner solution providers (companies) were invited to demonstrate their solutions in front of a live audience of practitioners. More than 40 Practitioners from Mediterranean Area and the Black Sea Region participated. Specifically, practitioners in the fields of migration management, border management and fight against organised crime and terrorism from France, Spain, Greece, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, North Macedonia, and Portugal attended the solutions demonstration and participated in a Table Top Exercise.
Each day of the event opened with presentations by the organisers, followed by the keynote speakers. The first day we had the honour to welcome the speech of Mr. Dragos Voicu from FRONTEX, who talked about the significance and also the challenges of practitioners’ involvement in border security research. The second day we were happy to welcome the presentation of Ms. Linda Bama-Tandia from the General Secretariat of the Sea (France), followed by Mr. Dimosthenis Kamargios, Police Major of the Hellenic Police.
CYACOMB, SPACE HELLAS SA, T3K and ADDITESS, were the finalists companies who were invited to this event and presented their solutions to the audience. Their demonstrations were warmly received by the attendees and a fruitful dialogue was encouraged throughout all sessions covering operations questions about the services and tools, the functionalities, the usability and re-usability, the integration to current systems and also the ethics and pertinent legal aspects especially where personal data are collected. A small token (plaque) for the contribution to provide solutions to practitioners was given to the representatives of each company, handed over to them by delegates from Guardia Civil and the Romanian Police.
At the last day of the event, the organisers visited the newly established Command and Control Center of the Police Directorate of Alexandroupolis namely the “Regional Integrated Border Management & Migration Center”. A short visit near the newly built fence in the area, was the next stop, while the last was a boat guided tour on patrol boats in Evros Delta river, an area that is considered a natura site location. The guests showed great enthusiasm about this trip, where besides a great scenery they witnessed in real environment a border area, under the guidance of the local police units.
As organisers, we received numerous meaningful comments for the importance of this endeavour and the fact that it was a great opportunity for critical knowledge exchange and for the sustainability of the work that is delivered within the MEDEA project.
Once again, MEDEA was delighted to welcome all these exceptional attendees! We wish to thank everyone, participants, keynote speakers, the organising teams, local people and all those who supported this activity. All of you, have been an integral part of this successful event with plenty fruitful and insightful results.