Putting the EC proposal into action
During the previous introductory sessions of Space 4 Critical Infrastructure, the focus was on the scope of the proposed EU Directive on the resilience of critical entities as well as the rationale behind it. This time around, the session covered the question on how to put the proposed directive into action. The European Commission shared opportunities and views for the green and digital transition in the construction sector. Furthermore, two examples of cooperative projects in the transport sector were addressed. One national project related to the use of satellite technology for monitoring the stability and security of infrastructure, and one European project on EGNSS applications for mobility solutions.
Circular economy in the construction industry
The economic importance of construction is evident. The construction industry ecosystem contributes almost 10% of EU value added, and employs around 25 million people in over 5 million firms. As the biggest single source of waste in the EU (35.9% of total waste generated per year) and with construction activity accounting for half of Europe’s extracted resources, it also has a significant environmental impact.
Philippe Moseley, Policy Officer at the Construction Unit in the Directorate General in the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and SMEs (DG GROW), presented policies for the green and digital transition in the construction sector. The European Commission is working on a transition pathway in partnership with business and industry, as well as with public authorities, and other stakeholders to modernise the industry and improve productivity, while at the same time reducing the environmental impact. Different initiatives and funding programmes are put in place relevant for construction. Examples are the Big buyers initiative which brings together the major procurers such as cities and national infrastructure procurement bodies to exchange best practices, and the NextGenerationEU offers the Recovery and Resilience Facility focusing on being prepared for the green and digital transitions.
Monitoring transport infrastructure
Moving on from the construction sector to transport infrastructure, Raffaele Santangelo, Deputy Program Manager of Enterprises Network presented “Mille Infrastrutture”. The predecessor of the proposed directive, the European Critical Infrastructure (ECI) Directive of 2008 already applied to the energy and transport sectors, designating road and rail networks as European critical infrastructures. However, as covered in the previous session, the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa highlighted the need to intervene on the methods and effectiveness of infrastructure monitoring systems.
In July 2021, the “Mille Infrastruttere” enterprises network was established to aggregate the best national excellences in the sector the skills to apply complex digital models (digital twin, decision support tools, automatic detection of anomalies, etc.) aimed at increasing the effectiveness of monitoring while reducing costs and implementation times. The network is implementing a monitoring platform combining different datasets and technologies (satellites, drones, AI, terrestrial surveys, etc.) to ensure the protection of national critical infrastructures.
GNSS infrastructure for automotive, rail, and drones
To conclude the session, Arianna Persia, researcher at Radiolabs, brought us back to the European level with the High Integrity EGNSS Layer for Multimodal Eco-friendly Tranportation (HELMET) H2020 Project. The project consortium, consisting of research centres and industrial partners, aims to develop a cyber-secured multimodal, multi-sensor integrity monitoring architecture based on EGNSS in three different transportation sectors: automotive, rail, and drones.
The transport sector is rapidly changing, moving towards increasingly safe and sustainable mobility. Satellite navigation technologies are critical for an eco-friendly and smart transport sector that makes the most of digitalisation and automation. Target EGNSS applications within the HELMET Project are connected and driverless cars, train management and automation, as well as drones for the surveillance of roads and railways.
Thematic sessions Space 4 Critical Infrastructure
After three introductory sessions to set the stage for the novelties of the directive, the webinars will now explore operational satellite-based applications per each sector identified in the proposed EU-directive. The next one will take place on 23 June and will cover how space can boost the preparedness of public administration.
Watch the webinar here: