Science for Peace and Security, the Ca’ Foscari/NATO project

Researchers from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and the National Interuniversity Consortium for Environmental Sciences (CINSA) will coordinate an international research project funded by NATO to develop a platform for rapid alert in the event of a terrorist attack with bio-chemical agents and for the management of the emergency. The prototype will be tested in Venice and in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

The project was conceived by Andrea Gambaro, professor of Analytical Chemistry at Ca’ Foscari, with colleagues Ketevan Kupatadze (Ilia State University, Georgia) and David Ebert (Oklahoma University, United States) and is entitled "Network for alerting and managing public safety and resilience”, in short REACT.

The prototype will combine a network of environmental sensors with the detection and analysis of traffic on social networks, whose changes in intensity and spatial distribution will provide an alarm system. Furthermore, in collaboration with the authorities, short, medium and long-term intervention and management protocols will be defined, shared as much as possible between the bodies and nations involved in the project.

“The aspects relating to communication with the population are very topical - says Professor Andrea Gambaro - the planet is practically carrying out a great social experiment on alarms and communication on safety matters. The three years of work will tell us how citizen safety, which is also one of the sustainable development goals established by the UN, can benefit from the most recent scientific innovations in the field of artificial intelligence and sensors without forgetting the social role of new communication systems".

The project partners are Oklahoma University (United States), Ilia State University (Georgia), Ministry of Defence (Georgia) and NBC Joint Technical Logistic Center of the Ministry of Defence (Italy). The project, which involves about twenty end-users including the Italian Red Cross, the Veneto Region, the Italian Ministry of Health - Civil Protection Department, the Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) and the Italian Ministry of Defence, will last 3 years and will be funded with almost 400 thousand euros under NATO’s Science for Peace and Security programme, a programme that has seen the involvement of the CINSA consortium several times in different international scenarios over the last 15 years.