One of the priorities of the Academy is to encourage the staff participate in externally funded development and development cooperation projects. The volume of externally funded projects has significantly increased since 2016.
Academy’s ambitious projects have received international acknowledgment – in 2012, Estonian Quality Agency declared the Academy’s efforts to establish virtual reality learning environments in the area of crisis management the best innovation project in the public sector. Later same year, the Academy won the Nordic and Baltic countries’ innovation competition “Innovation of Innovations 2012”.
When looking at the current extensive externally founded development projects, the most significant are the following ones:
- Project TARGET – Training for Augmented Reality Generalised Environment (Horizon 2020), which has 17 partners from 8 countries. The aim of the project is to consolidate the best speciality and technology related expertise, which helps to establish modern augmented and virtual learning environments that focus on 6 security-related topics: the detection of CBRN-threats and the alleviation of their consequences, sudden attack on a road with heavy traffic (explosive device), mass disorder and attack at a critical infrastructure, hostage situation, police tactics and the spontaneous and dynamic use of a firearm in a presence of a developing threat. The results shall be used upon conducting respective learning activities at the EASS, and therefore the implemented teaching methodologies are enhanced with innovative technologies.
- Project Driver+ – Driving innovation in Crises Management for European Resilience (EFP7). The project focuses on the establishment of a methodology that would help detect and implement suitable technological solutions in pan-European crisis management. As a result of the project, there will be a new test platform (test-bed). The new platform could be defined as a physical and/or virtual environment in which the public sector, industries and academic institutions could mutually develop, test or introduce new developments, incl. products, services, processes and/or aspects related to the development of an organisation. There are almost 40 partners in the project (research and educational institutions, agencies and the private sector). The results of the project are directly meant to support the innovation processes in the public sector and linked to a Master’s level course (Innovation Management) and an EASS’s continuing education training course (TechnoLogic).
- Project ROBORDER – autonomous swarm of heterogeneous Robots for BORDER surveillance (Horizon 2020). The aim is to develop fully functional autonomic monitoring systems incorporating both mobile communication devices, unmanned robots, incl. aerial, water surface, underwater and ground vehicles (UAV1, USV, UUV and UGV). The solution is planned to be capable of functioning both as standalone and in swarms, that is, it is planned to be interoperable. The project is topical since currently the Estonian eastern border and its technological capabilities are being developed. The solutions will also help use the practice border of the EASS, but also to achieve the capability of the test polygon’s border guard related technology. There are 19 project partners from 8 countries.