The VIGILANT Project was represented at a workshop in Brussels organized by CERIS – Community for European Research and Innovation for Security. Two members of the project, the Principal Investigator Brendan Spillane (University College Dublin) and the Scientific Coordinator Carolina Scarton (University of Sheffield), attended the event to gain insights into how Europol’s strengthened mandate will impact European security research, what this means for VIGILANT, to introduce the project to key stakeholders in the security research community and to build connections to other related European projects.
For years, Europol has been at the forefront of promoting the need for innovation in law enforcement across individual member states and the EU as a whole. This need for innovation was a common theme at the recent European Police Chiefs Convention (EPCC), where law enforcement officials discussed how they are increasingly operating in a digital landscape with vast amounts of information. Topics like artificial intelligence, policing the metaverse, and the spread of harmful online content were all hotly debated.
This call for innovation and adaptation to new online threats is a step in the right direction as well as the recognition thatlaw enforcement still lacks the necessary tools, a unified approach, and space for cooperation to effectively counter dangerous content and prevent it from spreading to the streets. This is where VIGILANT comes in to help police authorities facing these challenges.
To spread the word about the project and its potential benefits for law enforcement across Europe and beyond, Brendan and Carolina took advantage of the opportunity presented by the CERIS workshop and introduced VIGILANT to stakeholders from the European security community. They highlighted how the pandemic, economic crisis, and Russian aggression against Ukraine have brought about new waves of deceitful and potentially harmful online content and explained how VIGILANT will provide Police Authorities with cutting-edge identification and analysis tools, technology, and knowledge to make their fight against disinformation that leads to criminal activities easier and more effective.
With several new EU initiatives in the pipeline, the VIGILANT team looks forward to more events to introduce the project, build a strong network of stakeholders, and exchange best practices that will further improve the outcomes of the project.