Danube Watch 1/2018 - DAREnet Danube River Region Resilience Exchange network


DAREnet Danube River Region Resilience Exchange network

Image text: DARE net Danube River Region Resilience Exchange network

A practitioner network to strengthen flood resilience in the Danube region

The Danube River Region Resilience Exchange network (DAREnet) is an EU H2020 project which began in September 2017 and is set to run until the end of August 2022. Its main objective is to support flood management practitioners across the EU Danube River region.

a group of people standing in front of flags and the UN building in Vienna

Participants include agencies ministries, universities and SMEs, all of which are active in the fields of civil protection, safety and crisis management. The total budget of the project is 3,500,000 Euro and is fully funded within the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 740750.

Six pillars
DAREnet has six pillars to support the mission’s objectives:

  • Collaborative: enabling innovation as a collective grass-root process steered by practitioners
  • Continuous: encompassing all the countries of the Danube River Region
  • Inclusive: enabling an equal dialogue between all kinds of practitioners
  • Open: integrating input from external key-stakeholders from academia and industry, as well as other flood risk regions
  • Solidarity: in the spirit of the Principle of Solidarity promoted by the ICPDR
  • Sustainable: setting a framework for continuous, long-term collaboration long after the project ends

Project partners:
Federal Agency for Technical Relief Germany, ICPDR, Red Cross Austria, International Security and Emergency Management Institute Slovakia, Hungarian Civil Protection Society Hungary, National Protection and rescue Directorate Croatia, Sector for emergency Management, MOI Serbia, APELL National Center for Disaster Management Romania, Directorate General Fire Safety and Civil Protection, MoI Bulgaria, ITTI Poland, University of Belgrade Serbia, German Aerospace Center Germany, Stad Geel Belgium, ARTTIC France

Different stakeholders from a number of disciplines, including policy, industry and research, will be approached to deepen and broaden their collaboration in the fields of research, development and innovation (RDI) related to civil protection. DAREnet’s prime objective is to build an international community of practitioners, operating in a network of civil protection organizations. Practitioners are already working together to identify and analyze relevant innovation gaps and then translate these gaps into a coherent joint innovation strategy that will improve flood resilience synergies in all riparian countries.

A key project objective is to form flood management practitioners networks in the region to advance flood resilience. This can include flood management planning at basin level with harmonized risk assessment, the extension of the coverage of the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) system to the whole Danube river basin, or the strengthening of operational cooperation and improvement of the interoperability of assets.

The project will seek to find solutions to enhance flood disaster mitigation at all levels of intervention. These include identifying key challenges and measures to be taken at both local and member state (MS) level with direct bi-/multi-lateral assistance between neighboring countries.

Another key objective for DAREnet is the creation of a regularly updated RDI Roadmap highlighting innovation opportunities to cope with new flood management challenges linked to environmental and societal changes in the Danube River Basin. The Roadmap will be the result of the systematic assessment and prioritization of promising innovations, including standardization, to enable the development of common capabilities. The RDI Roadmap will also form the basis for concrete innovation initiatives, which are practitioner-driven and “bottom-up”, thereby building a unique portfolio of joint innovation concepts for the Danube River Basin.

In order to achieve a sustainable impact, DAREnet will draw upon synergies from the modules and facilities of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM) and the regional strategies for flood prevention and risk management of the ICPDR and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR). DAREnet intends to promote the RDI Roadmap and Portfolio to political key-stakeholders at national, regional and European levels and will also develop institutional options to ensure the continuity of the DAREnet innovation process long after the project has come to an end.

a group of people standing around a helicopter The DAREnet consortium will form the backbone of a transnational, multi-disciplinary network. One organization from each MS involved in the project will act as a front-end partner (DAREnet National Contact; DNC) for its respective national network of practitioners, policy makers, researchers, academics and stakeholders from industry sectors. These DNCs will coordinate input and output in collaboration with the rest of the DAREnet consortium, to and from the correspondents in their respective national networks. Creating the environment for a more articulated and coordinated uptake of innovative solutions among practitioners from different disciplines who already often find themselves working together to deal with major crises is seen as yet another of the project’s priorities. The creation of synergies with already established European, national and sub-national networks of practitioners is intended to provide a safer, more secure environment for the people living in the Danube River Basin.

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Christian J. Illing is the Project Coordinator of the DAREnet project. He is employed at the Staff Unit at the Headquarter of the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief.