29 February 2012

R&D Project Presentation: S(P)EEDKITS

S(P)EEDKITS is a large scale humanitarian R&D project to start on the 1st of March 2012 dealing with the improvement of emergency response units and tools.

Humanitarian organisations like the Red Cross have sleeping emergency response units (ERU), which start acting immediately after disaster strikes. Each ERU has a specific function, e.g. medical care, sanitation, energy provision, or water supply.

This project will provide kits that can be pre-positioned and mobilized very quickly and easily, that are modular and adaptable, low cost, high-tech in their conception but low-tech in use. These anticipated kits can literally improve the lives of millions of peoples the first hours, days and weeks after a major disaster and this for years to come.

Some specific goals:
Current equipment solutions will be scanned and bottlenecks with respect to large volumes and/or heavy weight will be identified. Then, novel materials and concepts will be developed to drastically reduce the volume and weight for transportation. Examples of targeted innovations: lightweight but durable and thermally isolating tent materials, novel concepts for energy supply (biogas), light weight textiles to store and distribute water and smart packaging of materials. Settlement kit modules will be developed that can be used for debris recuperation and re-use of damaged facilities.

The managing lead of the project is Centexbel, while the IFRC SRU will safeguard the overall quality and relevance to the practice of disaster response. Other end-users, knowledge centres, companies and universities in the consortium are the Norwegian Refugee Council, Artsen Zonder Grenzen, The Netherlands Red Cross, Waste, Practica, Sioen Industries, D’Appolonia, De Mobiele Fabriek, IBBK, Millson BV, Free University Brussels, Technical University Eindhoven and the Politecnico di Milano.

The project will start in March 2012 and will last for 4 years.

Project funded by the EC via FP7


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