Finnova Foundation

Third event of the European SETOFF project at Finnova’s headquarters in Brussels


● The aim of the day was to inform and raise awareness about the results of the project so far.
● A total of 10 speakers participated in the session explaining the initiative and analysing the results obtained.

28/06/2023, Brussels. Last Thursday 22 June from 09:00 to 11:30 (CEST), the third event of the European Union’s Erasmus+ funded SETOFF project, which aims to improve the training of both public and private security personnel in risk management, took place.
Under the title “Challenges in crisis and disaster management”, the event was organised around three panels of experts in which the project was presented and the results obtained were analysed. The third panel was attended by regional authorities and security technicians. The aim of the event organised by Finnova was to inform and raise awareness of the results obtained since the project was launched.
Juan Manuel Revuelta, CEO of Finnova, opened the first panel by talking about the risks and challenges posed by climate change, such as the recent fires in Canada or the fires in the Iberian Peninsula last year. Faced with this problem, Revuelta stressed the importance of the investment being made by the EU through the LIFE and Erasmus + programmes, direct funding programmes that are in addition to other tools such as the Next Generation funds. All this investment “must be made from a practical rather than a theoretical point of view when dealing with natural disasters”, and for this reason, this initiative includes more activity-oriented training.
Patricia Tejada, European project manager at Finnova, was in charge of developing the basis of the SETOFF project, a collaboration between 8 entities from four countries (Greece, Belgium, North Macedonia and Spain) financed by the Erasmus + programme. The aim of this project is to provide quality training to public and private security teams, in order to increase the preparation of professionals. To this end, the initiative is spearheaded by simulation training for the trained professionals, an e-training in which the professionals put themselves in dangerous situations in order to improve their real-life procedures.
Juan Viesca, director of European funds at Finnova, briefly explained the different parts that make up the EU budget (Multiannual Financial Framework and NextGeneration) and that are the cornerstone of the recovery process of the old continent from the crisis caused by the pandemic. Security-related projects have several ways of obtaining financial support, and Viesca analysed the different ways of accessing funds: direct funding from the European Commission, funding via structural funds (ERDF, ESF, IPA, etc.) and loan funding.

The second panel of experts included the interventions of Elroy Arancibia and Laura Velasco, European project managers at Finnova, who explained the e-learning platform and the results so far of the simulations carried out in previous events. Arancibia defined the platform as “an innovative online training plan based on a proven and successfully applied simulation model”, which has a practical and a theoretical module focused on crisis management (fires, floods, epidemics, etc.). Velasco analysed the results of previous trainings, held in March 2023 in Kavala (Greece) and June 2023 in Thessaloniki (Greece). Overall, reactions to the functioning of the online platform have been positive, as it is working well and the content is being updated.
The last panel was composed of different regional authorities and security experts. Ana Vallés, policy officer at the European Organisation for Cybersecurity, focused her presentation on the importance of bringing cybersecurity to the educational agenda, the increasing digitalisation of the business world and the lack of specialised workers in the sector. The next speaker was Frank Escudero, CEO of InkuA, who, along the lines of cybersecurity, offered several tips on how to avoid online scams. Stephane Soriano, councillor for European funds in the Benaguasil town council, explained the importance of these online trainings to instruct local security forces and Civil Protection agents.

Agustín Quesada, head of European projects at Finnova, spoke about Firepoctep, a Spanish-Portuguese Interreg project that aims to improve fire prevention. It is a plan focused on adaptation to climate change, through the prevention of cross-border sites exposed to large fires. Finnova, as part of the project, has managed training and awareness-raising activities for the rural population. The last presentation was given by Lola Bordás, Lola Bordás, the CILIFO project specialist at Finnova, explained the CILIFO- Firefighting Open Innovation Lab- accelerator and the achievements such as the EPPA awards. If you were unable to follow the event or would like to hear more information about any of the presentations, you can click on this link to listen to a recording of the event. LINK:
The SETOFF Project (Smart Education and Training Programme for Central and Local Government Servants: Embracing Vulnerability as our Greatest Strength and Innovative Risk Management Tools) aims to improve the preparedness and occupational safety of civil protection and private sector security and safety personnel for future crises and emergencies by developing an innovative online training curriculum based on a proven and successfully implemented simulation model combined with the latest scientific knowledge. and comprehensive needs analysis. The SET-OFF consortium consists of 8 partners from 4 countries: universities and training organisations with expertise in civil protection issues, municipalities and non-profit research organisations, as well as technical consultancy service companies from Greece, Macedonia, Belgium and Spain. In addition, eleven Associated Partners recognise the need and potential of this project to enable structured knowledge exchange and facilitate collaboration between practitioners, civil society and stakeholders in the field of disaster management through the proposed online platform and express their interest in supporting and their intention to actively participate in SETOFF.
About Finnova
Finnova is a Spanish-Belgian non-profit foundation based in Brussels and Spain, working for the promotion and development of innovation and entrepreneurship in the EU. Finnova’s experience in leading communication and dissemination activities for European projects is combined with a strong proven track record in business creation and entrepreneurship support programmes, such as accelerators, incubators and events, as well as its commitment to training and employability of young people.

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