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Frontex Seeks Industry Assistance with Maritime Surveillance and Return/Reintegration

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, is inviting industry to present innovations in border security.

Frontex and national authorities are increasingly relying on airborne surveillance to better monitor what is happening at Europe’s maritime borders. To keep abreast of developments in technology, Frontex will hold virtual Thematic Industry Days on 26-27 January to explore and assess innovative solutions in this field.

The agency says it is looking for “state of the art products and services available on the market, as well as innovations able to cover multiple and complex operational scenarios”. Technologies must also be cost-effective and operationally efficient.

The main categories of interest are:

  • un/manned airborne platforms (RPAS, aerostats, aircraft or combined) able to carry out maritime surveillance, search and rescue);
  • maritime surveillance sensors: electro-optics, radar sensors, AIS and mobile phone detection equipment;
  • command and control software able to integrate sensors and data from multiple assets; 
  • data fusion and analytics from land, airborne, sensors and third party data sources; and
  • beyond line-of-sight encrypted wideband communications.

Interested industry representatives are invited to apply by completing the application form.

Applications are open until Monday, January 11. All received applications will undergo a process of evaluation based on their relevance and novelty. Clear and comprehensive solutions tailored for the needs of the European border and coast guard community are of paramount importance.

The outcome of the evaluation process will be announced by January 15.

The presentations and subsequent discussions will be held via the Cisco Webex platform.

Each presenter will have approximately 40 minutes (which includes 30 minutes to present the solution and 10 minutes for participants’ questions and answers).

In addition, on 2-3 February, Frontex will hold virtual thematic industry days to explore solutions for delivering return and reintegration assistance to non-EU nationals returning to their countries of origin.

As part of its expanded mandate in the field of post-arrival/post-return assistance, the agency is currently developing Joint Reintegration Services (JRS). Frontex will offer assistance to nationals of non-EU countries after voluntary and non-voluntary return. This includes people with different profiles and backgrounds, also those in a vulnerable situation.

Consequently, Frontex is inviting organizations that are active in delivering return and reintegration programs in non-EU countries to present their activities.

These programs should cover various aspects of return and reintegration activities ranging from, inter alia, counselling, referral to reintegration assistance on the ground, access to livelihood projects, vocational education and training.

The thematic industry days will focus on:

1)    Return and reintegration counselling

  • Providing adequate and relevant information on the local situation and reintegration opportunities and co-designing a reintegration plan.
  • Virtual discussions with a return counsellor and/or the non-EU country national
  • Arrangements for vulnerable persons (i.e. assistance with airport logistics, onward transportation, or temporary accommodation).

2)    Post-arrival assistance

  • Assistance with airport pick-up or reception at airport
  • Assistance with onward domestic travel
  • Provision of temporary housing
  • Appropriate medical care upon arrival

3)    Post-arrival reintegration counselling

  • Reintegration counselling leads to the development of an individual reintegration plan which includes an overview of the needs and aspirations of the person concerned, lists the planned expenses and describes the support, referral and counselling that is required throughout the process.

4)    Implementation and follow-up of the reintegration plan

  • Regular contact with the person concerned until the moment the reintegration is finalized and financially processed. These regular contact moments encourage a smooth cooperation and pro-activeness during the reintegration process.
  • Assistance in the use of the reintegration package.
  • Referral to other organizations or service solutions, depending on local possibilities, the network of local reintegration partners and the needs of the persons concerned.

Interested organizations are invited to apply by completing an online form. Applications are open until Wednesday January 6. All applications received will be evaluated based on their relevance for Frontex, clarity and comprehensiveness. The outcome of the evaluation will be announced by January 19.

As with the maritime surveillance event, the discussions will be held via Cisco Webex and each selected organization will have approximately 40 minutes to present (10 minutes questions and answers included).

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