TowArd sustainable foresigHt capabilitiEs for increAseD Civil Security

01 September 2023 → 28 February 2026
European funding: framework programme
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Sociology and social studies of science and technology
    • Criminology not elsewhere classified
foresight law enforcement technology
Other information
Project description

With the rise of potentially disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, a particular challenge has emerged for LEAs and other civil security practitioners. Tasked with fostering safe societies and protecting European citizens from new forms of criminality, they need to pre-empt technological evolutions, turning potential threats into opportunities, and anticipate the operational future of policing.

Technology foresight is one possible anticipatory process. However, pure technology watch-based approaches are not helpful for decision-making if not embedded in a qualitative assessment of threats and capabilities. Hence the need to move towards a comprehensive foresight framework which is the rationale behind AHEAD.

Standing for TowArd TecHnological ForEsight for IncreAseD Security, AHEAD is a LEA-led project which will adopt a 360-degree approach accounting for megatrends but also contextual elements (i.e. legal, ethical, societal and economic) to design and operationalise a sustainable capability-based civil security foresight framework. Tested through iterative Foresight Exercises addressing the five Destinations of the Horizon Europe Cluster 3 (Fighting crime and terrorism, Border management, Resilient infrastructure, Increased cybersecurity and Disaster-resilient society), this framework will be tailored to the needs of civil security practitioners to generate “evidence-based” capability roadmaps.

Such roadmaps will translate the foresight process’ outcomes into concrete courses of actions to support decision- and policy-makers at EU and national levels when deciding on strategies and policy actions in the field of civil security, including the programming of security research and innovation investments. By enhancing a forward-looking culture in civil security, AHEAD will contribute to the strategy put forward in the European Commission's Foresight Agenda to embed in a more systematic way strategic foresight into policy-making.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the authority can be held responsible for them.