According to the Austrian constitution, one of the main tasks of the Austrian Armed Forces, apart from their defense role, lies in the assistance of civil first responder forces in the wake of crises and disasters. During such episodes, the Austrian Armed Forces address the situation at hand together with the civil forces at all levels of the Austrian federal governance structure, prominently including the cooperation with the national warning centers at the federal state level. Building upon the current state of the art, the present project will utilize the latest software design methods in order to accomplish fully automatic data exchange between the military and civil command and control systems, thereby ensuring the preservation of the semantic integrity of data. Furthermore, based on its modular structure, INTERPRETER will enable generic extensibility of its interoperability functionalities, which will ensure that the system can be productively utilized for many years to come. In addition, the project will develop and evaluate an extended concept for IT-supported inclusion of the civil population in the process of crisis and disaster management and in this way address the corresponding willingness and preferences of the citizens. The assessment of the potential for efficiency improvements will thereby be performed by the legal and social sciences
partners in the INTERPRETER consortium. To this end, the project will survey the preferences both among the general population and the institutional stakeholders in order to define in detail the technical and organizational challenges to be addressed. These will subsequently serve as requirements in the definition of the technical architecture of the system. The active participation of the citizens in all phases of crisis and disaster management will furthermore also need to be aligned with the given legal framework, such that the project will provide a detailed analysis of the current legislation and, if needed, propose legal amendments or even larger adaptations therein, thereby adhering to the stringent privacy protection rules in place. The resulting INTERPRETER architecture will be implemented in the form of a proof of concept, the acceptance of which will be evaluated both with the institutional stakeholders and with representatives of the general population.
Beyond its innovative core ideas, one of the most important factors contributing to INTERPRETER’s relevance is its carefully balanced and interdisciplinary consortium of partners which endeavors to operationalize the project’s innovations within regular crisis and disaster management practice. Based on the proposed novel ideas, INTERPRETER will substantially contribute to the innovation of the present crisis and disaster management processes and thus represent an important milestone in the evolution of civil-military interoperability in Austria.
The project INTERPRETER is funded by the Austrian security research programme KIRAS of the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit).