Europeans to develop pan-European risk management solution

Published 18 July 2006

A major oil spill off the shore of Spain four years ago proved that lack of coordination and cooperation among European nations in meeting disasters only worsened the disaster; 16 European companies are trying to do something about it

Here is an example of something they do in Europe and which U.S. crisis managers may want to emulate. In 2002 the Prestige oil tanker sank off the Spanish coast, polluting hundreds of miles of shoreline and creating one of Europe’s worst environmental disasters. The damage might well have been mitigated by a pan-European risk management solution, but none existed at the time. To correct this situation, one is being developed now through the WIN project which is funded by the Brussels, Belgium-based Information Society Technologies (IST) organization. The project is using what happened during the Prestige oil spill as one scenario with which to test the integrated risk management solution it is developing to help prevent, contain, and respond to similar catastrophes in the future.

There are sixteen partners involved in the project under the coordination of Alcatel Alenia Space in France, and the initiative aims to overcome the coordination and interoperability problems that have hampered efficient cross-organizational and cross-country risk management in the past. The unified, open, and multilingual platform aims to overcome interoperability issues between the risk management systems employed by different local, regional, and national authorities as well as private stakeholders. It links disparate systems and processes together to deliver complete, accurate and up-to-date information tailored to the roles of different actors in what the partners believe will be an important part of the future European Spatial Data Infrastructure (ESDI).