The popAI project attended the Projects to Policy Seminar (PPS), an event organised in Brussels by DG HOME and REA C2 unit. The 2-day event (30 June – 1 July) invited and gathered 45 projects funded under the Secure Societies Call 2020, as well as policymakers in the European Commission (DGs HOME, ECHO, ENV, SANTE, ENER, TAXUD, etc.) and EU agencies (EUROPOL, eu-LISA, CEPOL, etc.).
Invited popAI representatives on site included Project Coordinator Dimitris Kyriazanos (NCSR Demokritos) and Dissemination WP leader Paola Fratantoni (Zanasi & Partners).
The overarching objective of the seminar is to establish two-way communication between the projects and relevant Commission services. The intention is, indeed, to support both policymakers in getting a more comprehensive and precise understanding of the newly funded research projects and to help projects understand how they can best contribute to the implementation of related policies.
The rationale behind the idea is to ensure that the outcomes and deliverables of the project can truly support the policy-making process and avoid that research remains just a policy recommendation “forgotten in a drawer”. Moreover, the seminar represents an excellent opportunity for projects to strengthen synergies, share experiences and enlarge networks.
The first day of the seminar was chiefly dedicated to discussions and panels among projects belonging to the same topic area (e.g. artificial intelligence, fighting crime and terrorism, disaster resilience, etc.) with some plenary sessions to wrap up the main findings from each group. The second day dedicated more time to dissemination and communication activities, with insights from the EC representatives and exchanges of opinions and methods, thus aiming to improve the efficacy and effectiveness of the C&D activities within security research projects.
popAI joined and contributed to discussions of high policy relevance for AI in Law Enforcement and with impact to the EU AI act together with cluster projects and EU policymakers from relevant DGs, EU-agencies and institutions.
On the side of PPS AI and Law Enforcement projects SU-AI cluster (popAI, ALIGNER and STARLIGHT) took the opportunity to hold meetings, discuss and plan joint research activities and events for the coming period. Following meetings with STARLIGHT and ALIGNER Coordinators, Nizar Touleimat (CEA) and Daniel Lückerath (Fraunhofer IAIS) respectively, the cluster discussed in dedicated side meetings with officers from DG HOME, DG CONNECT and REA Project Officers, including popAI project officer Carmen de Vicente Coll. Discussions (i) highlighted the acknowledgment from all sides and the importance of policy impact of SU-AI cluster developments; (ii) provided first details, defined scope and planning for follow up dedicated events that would improve extended awareness and social engagement as well as contribute to practical and timely output to the ongoing debate and regulatory preparations. For the latter, CERIS – the Community for European Research and Innovation for Security was discussed as an important enabling community and supportive event framework.