The PathoCERT Project: Improving Emergency Responses for More Resilience

Pathogen contamination occurrences are challenging to detect and trace: They can occur anywhere, may be caused by various reasons, and can easily spread through water causing large-scale contaminations. Our new project, PathoCERT (Pathogen Contamination Emergency Response Technologies), which launches in fall 2020, aims to address a key question: What can be done to respond quicker and better to the pathogen contamination events and thus safeguard our health and the environment?

Over the years, disruptive events, such as earthquakes, flash-floods, accidents or attacks on our infrastructures have shown us how deeply our security and health can be affected. Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has also shed new light on existing communities’ vulnerabilities. Such events remind us how fundamental it is to move towards a more resilient society and become more future-proof.

The PathoCERT project, which focuses on Europe, injects new momentum into this background with a focus on a collaborative approach towards improving our prepardeness to unsettling economic, environmental, and social circumstances. The project builds upon the expertise of an interdisciplinary team composed of 23 members: 21 European-based partners, universities, first responders’ associations, SMEs, NGOs, research centers, and utility providers and two South Korean partners.

The PathoCERT project will strengthen the coordination capability of first responders in handling waterborne pathogen contamination events. It will do so by increasing their capabilities and situational awareness, thus allowing faster control and mitigation of emergency situations and their negative impacts. At the same time, the project will assess how local communities can be supported to best anticipate, cope, and recover from these emergencies.

The CSCP together with the project partners will set up six Communities of Practice – in Cyprus, Greece, Spain, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, and South Korea – to research upon local stakeholders’ requirements and citizens’ needs as well as to investigate and increase the acceptance level about the use of novel technologies and processes.

The PathoCERT project is funded by the European Union as part of the Horizon 2020 framework.

For further information, please reach out to Francesca Grossi.