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.”.

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 Announces A Highly Successful Pilot in Slovenia

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

The NEXES Consortium announces today that it has conducted a highly successful Pilot in Slovenia, marking the end of the project’s Iteration One and demonstrating the first reference implementation of an end-to-end next generation emergency service.

Before an audience of representatives from the Slovenian public authorities, safety organisations and civil society, the NEXES Pilot in Slovenia demonstrated the use of the pan-European NEXES 112 App and the support ecosystem that provides data call capability and device data exchange in various and rich forms between citizens and emergency services, extending the traditional voice and SMS capabilities. Participants interacted with the NEXES System and highlighted the benefits and challenges of the enhanced location information, combining location data from mobile terminals and mobile network, of the video calls and chat messaging functionalities and of the exchange of enriched caller information, including the personal data, video and photographs the caller is willing to share.

The NEXES Pilot in Slovenia resulted in interesting observations and statements, with the open discussion conducted the following morning with the participants to be lively thought-provoking and inspiring. The NEXES Pilot served an opportunity to exchange opinions and views on the state of emergency services, the involvement of the public in emergency situations, the promising new technologies and the status of regulation on emergency communications and personal data access and exchange. It highlighted gaps in technology, information deficiencies and regulations amongst the different emergency response organisations and showed good practices and future trends to be followed.

“By empowering citizens and emergency services with Internet-enabled technologies and digital skills, NEXES is giving them a way to bolster the citizens’ involvement in the process and generate a better situational awareness for emergency operators to create a faster and more effective emergency response.”, said Mr. Marco Manso, the Director of Innovation at RINICOM UK and Coordinator of the NEXES RIA. “Key NEXES Pilot outcomes are increased knowledge for the end-user community, shift in the citizens’ and emergency services’ awareness on how to contribute to society’s improved safety and security, with responsibility and attention to privacy concerns. The users participating in the Pilot showed a positive attitude towards the change announced by NEXES. With the success of its first project iteration, NEXES partners are confident they will attain the reach and impact envisaged for NEXES.”.

NEXES Showcases Innovations for Emergency Services

NEXES Presents New Accessibility and Location Capabilities for Next Generation Emergency Services

The NEXES Consortium announces today that it successfully performed the first showcase of NEXES innovations for next generation emergency services. Featuring the NEXES PSAP System and NEXES Apps for citizens, the NEXES Showcase covered relevant capabilities on rich communications, enhanced location and the exchange of caller information clearly highlighting how NEXES empowers a new dynamic between emergency services and citizens, namely those experiencing deafness or hearing impairment.

The NEXES partners showcased how callers in distress use the NEXES App to reach emergency services using different communication channels (voice, real-time text and video) and share additional user information, such as language preference, location and health information, all of relevance to elicit the most adequate emergency response. It was also possible to see how emergency services’ benefit from integrating these new communication technologies into PSAP systems and receiving additional added-value information to develop better awareness of the emergency situation and determine a more effective and efficient response. The NEXES showcase also explored how next generation IP-based communications networks handle current emergency calls.

“NEXES has been able to maintain a high-level of innovation and sophistication as we drive on to disrupt the market of emergency services”, said Marco Manso, Director of Innovation of RINICOM and NEXES Coordinator. “With the consolidation of results at the infrastructure, system and applications levels, NEXES is now perfectly balanced to start a new phase of experimentation that will build NEXES Iteration One, that is the first implementation ever of an end-to-end next generation emergency service. All NEXES partners are enthusiastic to embark in this new adventure and shed a new light on the transition to emergency services capable of providing true solutions for citizens in distress.”

NEXES Hits A New Milestone: It’s Integration Time!

The NEXES Testbed Promises Exciting New Discoveries for Next Generation Emergency Services

The NEXES Consortium announces today that the Third Milestone of the NEXES Research and Innovation Action has been successfully reached. NEXES is starting the integration activities that will enable the testing and validation of the new functions and capabilities brought by the NEXES components, through a long and ambitious campaigns of demonstration, comprising a broad spectrum of exercises, pilots and showcases.

At the Milestone 3 Meeting held in November 7th 2016, the NEXES partners unanimously agreed that the present status of the NEXES RIA provides all the required ingredients to move forward with the NEXES integration activities, thus sealing the attainment of Milestone 3. In this context, the NEXES Consortium has completed the design and implementation of the NEXES Core System and of the NEXES App Application Programming Interface (API), which stand as cornerstones of NEXES as a new paradigm of emergency services unveils. Whilst NEXES partners completed the adaptations required by public communications networks to support advanced total conversation, location and information exchange capabilities, also the NEXES Gateways ensured that interoperability with legacy systems is not overlooked, thus facilitating a paced adoption of the next generation functionalities. Furthermore, the NEXES App API is key for the development of the NEXES App for citizens and for First Responders, enabling a wide variety of emergency calling methods, as well as the ability to provide a host of ancillary data to support citizens in distress and emergency services. Applying the applicable NEXES system requirements for emergency Apps and the NEXES Pan-European Specification for Emergency Apps (PESEA), the NEXES App API is also instrumental for the NEXES partners’ intent of building a rich NEXES-based emergency App ecosystem, capable of delivering more and better functionalities for citizens and emergency services and of promoting a wider NEXES impact.

“NEXES has been able to maintain a high-level of innovation and sophistication as we drive on to disrupt the market of emergency services”, said Marco Manso, Director of Innovation of RINICOM and NEXES Coordinator. “With the consolidation of results at the infrastructure, system and applications levels, NEXES is now perfectly balanced to start a new phase of experimentation that will build NEXES Iteration One, that is the first implementation ever of an end-to-end next generation emergency service. All NEXES partners are enthusiastic to embark in this new adventure and shed a new light on the transition to emergency services capable of providing true solutions for citizens in distress.”

NEXES Welcomes New Advisors

The NEXES Workshop on Accessibility Raises Global Interest in Accessible Emergency Services

The NEXES Consortium announces that Mr. Wouter Bolier, representing Dovenschap, the Dutch Association for the Deaf, and Mrs. Sherrie Beaver, the Project Officer for the National Australian Sign Language (Auslan) Communication for Emergencies have expressed their interest in NEXES’s results towards introducing accessibility features in emergency services.

Mrs. Beaver is currently managing a project in Australia that aims to improve communication between emergency services and the deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing citizens who rely on Auslan during the preparatory, response and recovery stages of natural hazard emergencies. The findings of this project are valuable for NEXES’s development of accessibility features and their integration in next generation emergency services.

Mr. Bolier is now participating in the Dutch government study, headed by TNO, to discuss shortcomings of the national total conversation system implemented in 2015. NEXES was invited to contribute to this study, by presenting its expertise in the design and implementation of Total Conversation capabilities. The NEXES partner OMNITOR, represented by Mr. Gunnar Hellström, will be the designated NEXES’s specialist in Total Conversation processes, standards and tools, and a fruitful outcome is expected from this cooperation.

Marco Manso, Director of Innovation of RINICOM UK and Coordinator of NEXES, said, “We welcome the new advisors to the NEXES end-users community, which is expanding throughout the world. We believe that the cooperation model implemented in the NEXES End-Users Advisory Board is a strong value proposition for highly-qualified advisors seeking to explore the real opportunities offered by the next generation emergency services and these new advisors do embody it fully. The cooperation with the Australian project brings an external perspective to a common problem that is to improve communications between the disabled community and the emergency services. And the timing for the new Dutch government initiative is rather interesting, since it coincided with the NEXES Workshop on Accessibility. NEXES will be assisting them to review the status of their national total conversation system and propose improvement measures that make universal, democratic and accessible emergency services a reality.”.

NEXES Invited to the European Regulatory Authorities Meeting

NEXES Innovations are Key to European Regulation Effort on Emergency Communications

The NEXES Consortium announces the invitation by the President of the Working Group Numbering and Networks (WG NaN) to participate at their 13th Meeting of Project Team Emergency Services (PT ES), a discussion group dealing with the many aspects relevant for the modernisation of emergency services, including the adoption of IP, multimedia and location improvement.

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This invitation follows the presentation the NEXES Consortium has made on December last at the DG CONNECT’s “Advanced Numbering Systems for Communications Services in the Digital Single Market” Workshop. At this meeting, European policy-makers and telecommunications operators became aware of NEXES’s advances in the integration of new IP-enabled technologies in emergency services and the impact on routing, prioritisation, bandwidth and quality of service aspects.

At the PT ES Meeting, the NEXES Coordinator Marco Manso presented the latest developments of the Action, whereas the NEXES Location and Pan-European Mobile Emergency Application (PEMEA) expert Bertrand Casse focused his address on the definition of the pan-European standard for emergency Apps and the improvements on emergency calls’ location. The expert audience, including representatives from the European Commission and regulatory bodies across Europe, was highly interested in NEXES’s evolution and insisted on a continuous interaction between NEXES and the PT ES members, who were then invited to join the NEXES End-users Advisory Board.

“NEXES has trailed a solid path towards the integration of IP-technologies for the modernisation of emergency services. We expect that the synergies with the PT ES group will help the effort to create a new regulatory framework for emergency communications”, said Marco Manso, Director of Innovation at RINICOM UK and NEXES Coordinator.

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NEXES Attains Its Second Milestone !

The NEXES Testing Regime and Validation Framework Sets New Advances Towards Next Generation Emergency Services

The NEXES Consortium announces the attainment of the Second Milestone in their research and innovation effort: the establishment of the NEXES Testing Regime and Validation Framework brings NEXES a step closer to making next generation emergency services a reality.

At the Milestone 2 Meeting held in May 20th 2016, the NEXES partners unanimously agreed that the present status of NEXES warrants the reach of Milestone 2, as the Consortium defines the first iteration of the NEXES open Testing Regime and Validation Framework, considering the end-to-end communication between citizens and emergency services. The NEXES Testing Regime and Validation Framework aims to empower the assessment of the value and benefits of next generation emergency services as they embrace total conversation, enhanced location and improved interoperability capabilities. The NEXES partners also acknowledged that this successful evaluation of the NEXES effort has been possible because of the work performed during the last year, creating the user requirements for the next generation emergency services, defining the pan-European standard for emergency Apps and drafting the initial NEXES Exercise plan.

“The NEXES Consortium is proud of its leadership role in the development of next generation emergency services. NEXES, a reference implementation of next generation emergency services, is valuable for first responders, emergency services and citizens,” said Marco Manso, Director of Innovation of RINICOM and NEXES Coordinator. “Our advanced Testing Regime and Validation Framework is a key component of NEXES to transform emergency services. We are gathering feedback and contributions from our end-users as we develop our solution for next generation emergency services and we truly believe that NEXES will help citizens to reach emergency services in case of need and assist the performance of emergency services.”

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International Experts Assemble at the NEXES Workshop on Accessibility

Vivid conversation on next generation emergency services in a room full of silence

The NEXES Workshop on Accessibility held on May 19th addressed the key questions and challenges associated with the design and development of accessibility features for next generation emergency services.

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Organised by the European Union of the Deaf and OMNITOR, the Workshop allowed international experts from across Europe and Turkey to understand the NEXES vision for truly universal, democratic and inclusive emergency services. The experts reviewed specific case studies where accessibility to the deaf and hard of hearing communities has been adopted and discovered the many benefits of the CAT112, the emergency App from the Catalonia Emergency Service that renders these services accessible for citizens with speech impairment and hearing disabilities by using multi-channel communication.

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Drawing on these cases, experts shared their own personal experiences witnessing the attacks in Brussels and London and earthquakes in Japan and focused on the issues of communication barriers and lack of information. They combined their expert knowledge to engage in a fictional Emergency Exercise that encouraged the vivid discussions to explore and find solutions to issues currently challenging accessibility in emergency services in Europe and beyond.

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The NEXES Workshop on Accessibility is part of the overall dissemination and engagement process towards the adoption of next generation emergency services that make accessibility a top priority. Work and results from the meeting will feed into the NEXES RIA development process and future implementation of the NEXES System and Apps.

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NEXES Produces A First Scientific Paper

The Paper Addresses the Role of IoT in Emergency Services

The NEXES RIA produced a first scientific paper dedicated to the application of the Internet of Things (IoT), telematics and smart devices as part of the technological array that improve emergency situational awareness for citizens and emergency services. The paper was subject to an independent peer-review process and accepted for presentation at the 1st International Workshop on Interoperability, Integration and Interconnection of Internet of Things Systems (I4T 2016), jointly held with the 1st IEEE International Conference on Internet-of-Things Design and Implementation (IOTDI), from April 4th to 6th 2016, in Berlin.

Following a year of intense research and innovation effort, Rinicom, Teamnet, the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems and the Innovation Team of the West Yorkshire Police approached the Conference’s thematic by describing two emergency use cases where smart environments, enabled by telematics and smart devices, enhance the levels of situational awareness for both citizens and emergency services, empowering both to act with increased effectiveness, safely and in security. The paper also addresses several scientific challenges to the satisfaction of pressing user requirements on emergency management.

Before a large scientifically-oriented audience, NEXES’s advances in the introduction of telematics and smart devices in emergency services were broadly discussed, so that the participation at the I4T 2016 became the first contribution to the NEXES Consortium’s effort to communicate the scientific innovation results of NEXES, share the acquired novel knowledge and engage with the scientific community, as part of an integrated communication strategy.

To read the paper, please go to the OpenAIRE community at  https://zenodo.org/record/154656.

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