NEXES App Challenge At The UNESCO’s Open Educational Resources Congress

The NEXES Consortium will be hosting the Closing Event of the NEXES App Challenge on September 20th 2017, at the Cankarjev Dom, Culture and Congress Centre in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The NEXES RIA designed and created open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that implement core system functions and are capability-oriented, thus facilitating creative application developers to benefit from the NEXES basis to build atop their own 112 emergency Apps, which will already follow the principles of the NEXES pan-European 112 emergency app standard. The intention of the NEXES App Challenge is thus to validate the friendliness and use of the NEXES App APIs from the perspective of application developers who wish to utilise them to incorporate emergency communication capabilities in their newly designed emergency applications.

The Event signals the end of the Second Edition of the NEXES App Challenge, complementing the activities unfolding since March 2017 to disseminate the NEXES App API, to discuss the relevance of a pan-European standard for emergency Apps and to support third-party software developers to showcase their emergency Apps before an audience of emergency service experts.
The NEXES App Challenge Event is a satellite event to the OER Congress 2017, co-organised by UNESCO and the Slovenian Government (http://www.oercongress.org/) and it represents a best practice in Open Educational Resources (OER) initiatives worldwide. OER encourage the making of quality and affordable educational resources widely available, namely through enabling ICT assets.

The NEXES Consortium acknowledges the relevance of OER to provide more equal access to knowledge and educational opportunities and created the NEXES App Challenge to encourage the creation, development and dissemination of innovative emergency Apps that help build and enhance a rich NEXES App ecosystem, contributing to generate awareness on the European standardisation effort to harmonise emergency Apps.

As a part of the OER Congress, the NEXES App Challenge will be streamed, so you can participate remotely.
In alternative, if you wish to join us at the Closing Event of the NEXES App Challenge in Slovenia, please email us at coordinator@nexes.eu.

Welcome to the Fourth Edition of the NEXES Newsletter!

The NEXES Research and Innovation Action is now entering its final year and NEXES partners are preparing impact generation activities for next generation emergency services with the NEXES end-user community.

In this edition of the NEXES Newsletter, we summarise the key moments of the NEXES Iteration One Campaigns of Demonstration, a period marked by the deployment of the first versions of the NEXES System and Apps, presenting a selected set of new functions and capabilities showcased and validated by end-users in several exercises and the NEXES Pilot in Slovenia. NEXES Iteration One has enabled key stakeholders to better understand NEXES’s added value and key improvements for both citizens and emergency services across Europe and beyond.

The formal Intermediate Review of the NEXES RIA took place over two days in mid-January in Rome and signalled high expectations moving forward.
NEXES successfully reached the objectives set for Milestone 4 – End Iteration One: Evaluation of Campaigns of Demonstration NEXES Iteration One and Start of Integration Activities for NEXES Iteration Two.

The groundwork undertaken during NEXES Iteration One is consolidated and thoroughly validated in the implemented Campaign of Demonstration. System refinements and the incorporation of more advanced capabilities are now underway.

In addition, NEXES is stepping up its outreach effort, aiming to get its message across to key stakeholders, including policy-makers in Europe, and the wider community: the NEXES Iteration One demonstration activities successfully engaged the user community, ranging from emergency service professionals to citizens, including those experiencing disability and special needs, and the first edition of the NEXES App Challenge called to the software developers community, fostering the build-up of a rich NEXES-based emergency Apps ecosystem.

Momentum is gathering as the Action reaches its final stage. It is therefore with great expectations that we look forward to the upcoming challenge of advocating the early adoption of next generation capabilities by emergency services across Europe.

We wish you a pleasant read and kindly invite you to continue to follow the NEXES (r)evolution at http://nexes.eu.

Marco Manso
NEXES Coordinator

To access the NEXES Newsletter No. 4, click here.

NEXES Hosts Interactive Session with Italian Emergency Services

NEXES Partners Received at the Italian Ministry of Interior To Discuss Novel Capabilities for Emergency Response

The NEXES partner Vigili del Fuoco (CNVVF) hosted a three-day NEXES Workshop to discuss the novel capabilities for emergency response, focusing on the interoperability amongst emergency services and the exchange of emergency-related information for more efficient response operations and in the international coordination mechanisms to deal with disasters and large-scale emergency situations.

The Workshop participants shared their experience and knowledge on interoperability and international coordination efforts and discussed recommendations on how to integrate relevant requirements and expectations into the NEXES innovations. The implementation of the Common Alerting Protocol and the revitalisation of early warning and public alert systems within the NEXES RIA were addressed and an improved approach on interoperability and international coordination was determined to be subject of a small-scale showcase in the final NEXES Pilot activity.

The NEXES Workshop also offered an opportunity for participants to visit the headquarters of the Italian Fire and Rescue Service in Rome and the National Fire Corps’ PSAP Level 2 centre and to learn more about the National Fire Brigade organisation, the firefighting rescue resources and the pressing challenges to respond to thousands of interventions per day. Participants experienced a set of emergency call-taking simulation at the Centre’s facility and were acquainted with the emergency management systems relevant for CNVVF’s activities. The visits proved to be quite impressive and helped to frame the scope of the discussions on interoperability amongst emergency services and their reflection in NEXES.

NEXES Reaches Milestone 4 and Starts Iteration Two Activities

The End of Iteration One Brings Forth New Capabilities for Next Generation Emergency Services

The NEXES Consortium announces today that the NEXES Research and Innovation Action successfully attained Milestone 4, marking the end of Iteration One and the beginning of the development and integration activities to build NEXES Iteration Two, with the delivery of new advanced capabilities in the NEXES System and Apps. The advanced version of NEXES will be demonstrated and validated by the NEXES end-user community across a set of exercises and two pilots (in Romania and Turkey) that will enable NEXES stakeholders to better understand NEXES’s added value, key improvements and overall impact on society.

The NEXES partners consider that all the objectives set forth for Milestone 4 were met and that the NEXES RIA gathered all the conditions to evolve towards Milestone 5. A detailed evaluation of the NEXES Campaigns of Demonstration for Iteration One was conducted, highlighting the positive assessment issued by the NEXES’s end-users community and relevant stakeholders upon the presentation of the NEXES novel propositions concerning total conversation, enhanced location information, exchange of additional user information (namely health information) and roaming capabilities. It has been duly demonstrated that the integration of Internet-enabled functionality in emergency systems does contribute to a better situational awareness of emergency operators and responders and promotes an adequate, efficient and effective emergency response.

“We are happy to have reached this important milestone with the support of numerous NEXES stakeholders.”, said Marco Manso, Director of Innovation of RINICOM and NEXES Coordinator. “It gives us a secure basis for continuing the expansion of advanced capabilities in our NEXES System and Apps for the benefit of emergency services and society as a whole. The positive end-user feedback we have received for the past months, as the NEXES Campaigns of Demonstration unfold, is an incentive for us to focus even more strongly on the interests of our stakeholders and partners.”.

Spotlights on NEXES App Challenge

The First Edition of the NEXES App Challenge Is Wrapped in Success

The NEXES Consortium has successfully concluded the first edition of the NEXES App Challenge, an interactive showcase for next generation 112 Apps. The moment was signalled with an international workshop organised by the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems of the National Technical University of Athens on May 30th 2017.

 

 

Held from March to May 2017, the first edition of the NEXES App Challenge addressed application developers and their innovative ideas for a next generation emergency App that changes how citizens deal with emergency situations. Promoting the openness of the NEXES solution, the App Challenge initiative offered the NEXES App API and the NEXES Testbed with a set of next generation functionalities to boost participants’ development timelines and facilitate the development effort. Specifically, the NEXES App API includes accessibility features for emergency services, implementing a Total Conversation model that combines audio, real-time text, images, and video as well as user data exchange capabilities to serve all citizens.

The 1st Edition of the NEXES App Challenge was successfully completed with the submission of emergency Apps by eight different teams/companies. These unique Apps were presented by their own creators in the closing Open Workshop Day, where participants shared their experience and knowledge with the NEXES partners, representatives of the Greek Center for Security Studies (KEMEA) and the Greek General Secretariat for Civil Protection as well as with members of the Hellenic Police, the Hellenic Fire Corps and the Hellenic Coast Guard.

 

 

 

NEXES App Challenge – First Edition

From March to May 2017, the NEXES partners launched the first edition of the NEXES App Challenge, a creative and interactive showcase for next generation emergency Apps, developed by innovators from all over Europe.

Promoting the openness of NEXES, the NEXES App Challenge disseminated the recently released NEXES App API and the NEXES Testbed, offering a set of next generation functionalities capable of boosting the development timelines for emergency Apps. More specifically, the NEXES App API already delivers full accessibility features to emergency services, implementing a Total Conversation model that combines audio, real-time text, images and video to serve all citizens, including those experiencing disability and having special needs. Similarly, the NEXES Testbed assisted software developers when performing functional tests of their emergency Apps to verify the next generation capabilities. Interested developers were invited to follow the website dedicated to the  NEXES App Challenge (http://nexesappchallenge.eu) and download the NEXES App API and step-up their Apps’ development cycles and to use the open NEXES Testbed to validate their Apps’ next generation capabilities.

During the 1st Edition of the NEXES App Challenge, the website had 187 visitors, who performed 61 downloads of the NEXES App API and managed to bring forth 8 submissions of next generation emergency Apps for the Challenge. These emergency Apps were:

Flayre 112 Emergency Service – Flayre App is an emergency contact platform that uses the reliability and robustness of smartphone technology to communicate critical location information via basic GSM mobile connectivity. Flayre is currently offered as a standalone App operating on Android with users in over 40 countries. The most attractive element of the Flayre service is the ‘Remote Wake’ feature which allows any permitted contact to activate a user’s location remotely, by sending them an SMS with the keyword ‘Flayre’. This in turn activates the Flayre App on the Flayre user’s phone and sends the location information by SMS to the concerned party. The Flayre App has a \’remote wake\’ service provision, meaning that it can be remotely activated by a concerned party so to send its latest location data over existing GSM connectivity and not a data network. Given the reliability of the service, it is often beneficial for users in the developing world where there is no internet access accessible.
(Contact Information: Eleanor Hayes, Business Development Representative, Eleanor@flayreapp.com,+35 3 8778 22 593).

 

LocAware – An application which monitors the location of the mobile device on which it runs and dispatches an emergency call if the mobile device -and thus, its user moves far from a predefined area. Moreover, wearable devices like smart watches are utilized in order to detect cases where the user neglects the mobile device and moves without it. The application could prove particularly useful for users with mental conditions – like dementia – or disabilities and children of small age. The application is based on the NEXES Mini App provided. The functionality of GPS monitoring and notification will be added upon. (Contact Information: Kleoniki Markou, niki.markou11@gmail.com). 

 

MDA Emergency App – A dedicated App which facilitates the management of the whole cycle of the mission in the management of a pre-hospital call, to be used by the different responders, providing real time information and allowing information sharing with the hospitals for time dependent pathologies. The system is already operative. 10’000 MDA staff and volunteers use the App on a daily basis.
(Contact Information: Chaim Rafalowski, Disaster Management and Research Coordinator, haimr@mdas.org.il, +97 2363 0 0205).

 

Pedius – Pedius is a  communication system that allows Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals to make phone calls using speech recognition and synthesis technologies. Being an Italian startup, it has been evolved to have 15000 registered users in 10 countries. With Pedius App, deaf users can place a call in case of emergency to communicate the type of emergency and the position, all the information will be pronounced by an artificial voice.
(Contact Information: Lorenzo Di Ciaccio, CEO, lorenzo@pedius.org, +393282617504, Gabriele Serpi, Evangelist gabrieleserpi@gmail.com).

 

pe-SOS Emergency Call App for Smartphones with pe-SOS alert button – pe-SOS can provide help in situations, when the smartphone user is unable to reach or to handle the smartphone in case of acute emergency situations and danger (security and health problems). pe-SOS alert button novel product can activate an emergency call with the smartphone up to 20 meters far from and we are working in integration of medical data in cooperation with a German provider. Also we are working on SIP-technology based applications for a worldwide public alert system for information transmission to serve GPS tracking position of alert senders.
(Contact Information: Reinhard Mairhofer, General Manager, ticom Internetservices GmbH, r.mairhofer@ti-com.at, +43 (0) 5332 71787 11).

 

Smart Help App – An operational, secure, privacy by designed solution that is in active use within 2 official emergency call centres in Norway since 2014 has been submitted by Smart Help. The system consists of three separate scalable parts:

  • The free public SmartHelp-application (downloadable from Appstore and Playstore);
  • The Command and control system (demonstrated in above video);
  • The Secure encryption infrastructure that automatically sets up end-to-end encryption of information sharing.

The system is scalable, and based on where you are, automatically connects to the correct emergency call centre and initiate a call to the correct emergency phone number. The encryption is ultra-light weight, based on block chain and designed for expansion into IoT devices. It has been in active use in real emergencies since 2014.
(Contact Information: Fredrik Øvergård, Chief Executive Officer, fredrik@smarthelp.no / fredrik@radvice.no, +47 97 73 27 08).

 

TNO 112 Concept App TNO is an independent research organization in The Netherlands. TNO’s idea explores the possibilities of a national 112 app.  Conducting several experiments for the Dutch government, TNO 112 Concept App mainly focuses on a simplistic user interface, sharing the user’s location and enabling usage of text and video communication.
(Contact Information: Gerben Broenink, Cyber Security Specialist, gerben.broenink@tno.nl, +31 6 2350 4042; Johan van der Geest, Software Architect, johan.vandergeest@tno.nl, +31 6 4696 6190).

 

Zachránka EMS App – Aplikace Záchranka, z.ú. is a non-profit organisation engaged in the development, implementation and distribution of the Zachránka EMS app and its software in the Czech Republic. Providing the emergency medical services with accurate information can be done easily through the EMS mobile phone App. This App uses all available services like GPS, A-GPS or WPS to confirm the user’s position, which is sent directly to the emergency services as an accompanying data package or a simple text message to the emergency call. The EMS App was tested and developed in cooperation with the emergency medical services and provides the most accurate information about the caller’s position. Through the App, emergency medical services can reach the patient in a far shorter period of time, thereby increasing the patient’s overall chances of survival. Plus, it contains an interactive First Aid guide with CPR, an intuitive user manual and a user profile where users can add important info such as any serious medical conditions or allergies that their emergency first aid responder should know about.
(Contact Information: Filip Malenak, fmalenak@medicalit.eu, +42 0 7375 78 365).

 

Most of these unique Apps and ideas were presented by their own creators in the closing Open Workshop Day, held in Athens on May 30th 2017, at the premises of the Institute of Communications and Computer Systems (ICCS), the NEXES partner organising the App Challenge’s First Edition. During the Workshop, the participants had the chance to present their innovations and share and exchange experience and knowledge with NEXES partners, representatives of the Greek Center for Security Studies (KEMEA) and the Greek General Secretariat for Civil Protection, as well as with end-users from the Hellenic Police, the Hellenic Fire Corps and the Hellenic Coast Guard. Presentations from NEXES technical teams framed the discussions about the next generation emergency Apps, the NEXES developments for a first-ever reference implementation of a next generation emergency service and the challenges for current PSAP systems to migrate to an all-IP landscape.

Aside from fostering cross-fertilisation activities between the NEXES RIA and the software developers’ community, encouraging the App software developers to use and exploit the NEXES open APIs and the Testbed. Moreover, the first edition of the NEXES App Challenge clearly revealed this initiative’s relevance to encourage the creation of innovative emergency Apps and help build and enhance a rich NEXES App ecosystem, contributing to generate awareness on European research and innovation efforts in general, as well as on the European standardisation effort to harmonise emergency Apps, in particular.

The 2nd edition of the NEXES App Challenge is about to start and will last till September 2017. Its closing will be marked by a second dedicated workshop that is scheduled to be held on 20th of September in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Participants will have one more opportunity to test their emergency Apps with the open NEXES Testbed, showcase the latest Apps developed in the field of 112 App ecosystem and exchange experiences and knowledge with the European 112 experts.

Be ready to get on board!

For more information, important dates and submissions’ details, we invite you to visit NEXES App Challenge official site at: http://nexesappchallenge.eu/.

NEXES Enhances the Knowledge Base to Support Disaster Risk Management

NEXES Innovations Contribute to the Newest Publication of the EC Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre

The NEXES Consortium reveals that the innovations brought live by the NEXES Action on risk communication in disasters and emergencies have been addressed in the latest publication of the EC’s Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre (DRMKC) titled Science for Disaster Risk Management 2017 – Knowing Better and Loosing Less, published on May 2017.

NEXES partners Police University College of Finland (POLAMK) and AIMTECH Ltd are co-authors of the publication’s chapter dedicated to Good practices and innovation in risk communication, highlighting examples of best practice developed from research and practitioner work that reinforce the citizens’ participation and empowerment, namely through new technologies such as social media and emergency Apps. The newest DRMKC publication summarises the state of relevant science on disaster risk management from a European perspective and caters for the need to translate the wealth of available science into language understandable by policy makers, practitioners and scientists from other disciplines.

“It is the NEXES partners’ ambition to make a solid contribution to the enhancement of the science-policy dialogue at the national and European levels.”, said Mr. Marco Manso, the Director of Innovation at RINICOM UK and Coordinator of the NEXES RIA. “Our token to the document now published by the EC’s Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre is a clear step forward to act on such ambition and make available the NEXES innovations that support new communication dynamics between emergency services and citizens and the overall improvement of risk awareness to reduce losses.”

NEXES Contributes to Inclusive Disaster Management

NEXES Results Shared with the European Disability Forum and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

The European Union of the Deaf (EUD) was invited by the European Disability Forum (EDF) to present the NEXES experience and results at the Workshop on Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction, organised by EDF in cooperation with the Christian Blind Mission (CBM) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), in Brussels, Belgium, on May 17th 2017.

Participants to the Workshop shared their experiences in inclusive disaster risk reduction in Europe and discussed recommendations and future actions to be taken so as to bring the perspectives of disabled people’s organisations in Europe to the work on inclusive disaster risk reduction (DRR), helping to implement the Sendai Framework for Action in Europe. A range of rich experiences showed that good practice in the field of inclusive DRR in Europe are emerging and, amongst those, a special highlight was made by EUD presenting NEXES and its innovative proposition to create accessible and inclusive emergency services, including public alert systems.

NEXES’s participation at the EDF’s Workshop provided the opportunity to disseminate the NEXES’s achievements with respect to accessibility and inclusiveness to an audience that represents a relevant stakeholder to the NEXES Action and performs a key role in the process of building awareness on NEXES’s societal impact at the European policy-making realm.