The European Defence Agency (EDA) and TNO Defence and Security have signed the last of the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) protection projects within the Joint Investment Programme CBRN (JIP CBRN).

The contract signing paved the way for the RACED project, which aims to improve decontamination (DECON) procedures of material or equipment exposed to chemical or biological warfare agents.

The project is expected to assess DECON procedures and lead to development of a prototype tool that will aid operational commanders in minimising the after-decontamination exposure risk.

In addition, the assist tool will help commanders in making decisions on the assessment of the sufficient level of DECON, remaining hazards in terms of exposure to human beings, and necessity of taking further steps.

Executed by a consortium led by the Netherlands-based TNO with partners coming from four member states and Norway, RACED will primarily focus on a scientific and technological consideration of the complex question of ‘how clean is clean enough?’

The consortium partners include FFI from Norway, ITQB and LBDB from Portugal, Austria-based Acmit and ADL, Belgian RMA, as well as SUJCHBO from Czech Republic.

RACED is the last of 14 projects under the JIP-CBRN, which serves as an EDA contribution for the European Framework Cooperation, a joint effort of the European Commission and the EDA on maximising synergies between civilian and defence-related research activities.

"RACED is the last of 14 projects under the JIP-CBRN, which serves as an EDA contribution for the European Framework Cooperation,"

The €12m project has been set up as Category A programme, and is being funded by 12 member states and Norway.

The JIP-CBRN programme arrangement was signed in March 2012, while two calls for proposals covering various research and technology projects within the CBRN area were conducted in 2012 and 2013.

Projects included stand-off detection for chemical agents, point detection of biological agents, unknown samples handling, modelling and simulation of CBRN architectures, decontamination, protection equipment, and sensor networking.

A total of seven projects were initiated within the first call frame, and one project, dubbed ‘Biotype’ successfully ended with a demonstrator device with an integrated biosensor for point detection of airborne bio-threats based on anti-body lab on a chip technology this year.

Image: TNO Defence and Security director Henk Geveke and EDA deputy chief executive Rini Goos signed the last contract under CBRN Joint Investment Programme. Photo: courtesy of European Defence Agency.