BroadWay's Brussels meeting paves the way
On 23 January, practitioners from 16 European countries gathered to contribute to BroadWay, a European Union pre-commercial procurement (PCP) project which aims to pave the way for a pan-European mobile broadband network for public safety.
“We are very happy to be here today with PPDR practitioners from all across Europe to present and discuss BroadWay. It really shows that practitioners today acknowledge the need for more cross-border cooperation and mobility,” said Uwe Kippnich, representing the Bavarian Red Cross and Chair of the Practitioner Evaluation Team (PEVT).
With natural disasters, crime and terrorism crossing borders, European first responders need to be able communicate, share and access information regardless of their location.
Given the current climate and increasingly complex and diffuse threats, there is a clear need to enhance Europe’s resilience and improve the capability of European first responders to cope with difficult crisis situations.
This is the challenge currently addressed by the BroadWay project… a team of 11 procurers from 11 European countries that have come together with the common challenge to procure innovation activity to enable a pan-European broadband mobile system for use by public safety responders.
BroadWay will follow a PCP process that will formally procure innovative designs, prototypes and a pan-European pilot system which will be carefully evaluated by two different entities throughout the project lifetime.
Those two entities are the PEVT, which will provide feedback about on-the-ground requirements, and the technical validation committee (TVC), which will ensure the quality of the pre-commercial solutions and how they address the BroadWay challenge.
So far, more than 60 innovative suppliers have expressed interest, and await publication of the request for Tender (anticipated for February).
The procured prototypes will be evaluated by the PEVT to ensure that the system will fulfil the needs of first responders. The PEVT will define real-world evaluation scenarios for the final pilot system and influence the scope of the BroadWay objectives as suppliers move beyond the design phase and prepare for the prototype and pilot phases of the PCP.
“I am happy to be part of the PEVT that will work with the Project consortium to develop a Pan European Mobile Broadband system for PPDRs. It is an ambitious project and deserves the full support and commitment of all emergency service stakeholders in Europe,” said Finian Joyce, Fire Chief Officer and Secretary of the Federation of the European Union Fire Officer Associations (FEU).
The procured pre-commercial solutions are expected to be available in early 2022.
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