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The Fundación Valenciaport to launch 4 projects on new technologies in port security financed by the Horizon Europe programme

Valencia, 11 May 2023. – The Fundación Valenciaport has won four projects, SMAUG, UNDERSEC, METEOR and ST BERNARD, in the latest call on secure societies of the Horizon Europe programme, initiatives that entail funding of 20.6 million euros in total and that will start after the summer.

According to the Director of Security and Safety of the Fundación Valenciaport, Rafael Company, these four projects (Horizon Europe) are funded in an “extremely competitive” European call, in which the best proposals are selected to implement disruptive technologies in the field of port security and critical infrastructure protection.

The main objective of the SMAUG – Smart Marine and Underwater Guardian project is to improve the underwater detection of threats in ports and their entry routes, by means of an integrated system capable of providing threat analysis data between 3 and 5 metres deep. This project will test technologies including the use of hydrophones; rapid hull scanning with sonar; high resolution inspections using high frequency multibeam sonar or the management of a fleet of drones.

The UNDERSEC – Underwater Security project, which also focuses on underwater security, will test LiDAR technology for underwater 3D scanning; the LAUV (light autonomous underwater inspection vehicle) with integrated visual camera and the ROV (remotely operated vehicle) for radioactivity inspection with integrated visual camera.

With regard to the METEOR project – Rapid, portable and reliable cargo screener – New concept of vapour screening technology, the objective is to develop and demonstrate an innovative portable and non-intrusive technology to carry out inspections of containers, considered to be the most risky mode of transport in the passage of possible illegal substances such as drugs and explosives, due to the enormous volumes transported and the heterogeneous loads.

Finally, the ST BERNARD – SysTem for SAFE Biological chEmical Radiological and Nuclear Assessment, Rescue and Decontamination project will seek to rapidly and accurately detect and identify the presence of explosive atmospheres and/or NBC-E agents (radioactive, biological, chemical and explosive agents) in risk or emergency situations. Different technologies will be considered, such as the use of APEX-certified drones for their speed and the remote detection of situations or scenarios in the event of possible leaks of polluting gases.

For the development of these projects, the Fundación Valenciaport will collaborate with the Guardia Civil; the Tax Agency; the CSIC and the Spanish School of rescue and detection with dogs, among many other partners.

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