September 12, 2007 12:13 PM PDT

EC funds counterterrorism tech research

The European Commission will commit $212.16 million to research on counterterrorism technologies.

The funding was granted in response to a call from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme, a research program that seeks to develop technologies and knowledge to mitigate threats including terrorism, organized crime and natural disasters.

The grants will cover 44 research projects, including the development of automatic surveillance systems for water distribution systems. Funding will also be allocated for the development of a European ballistic database, which will analyze and store firearms information and allow sharing of information among European police forces, the Commission said in a statement.

Money will also be given to projects studying surveillance of maritime areas, software-defined radio, crisis-management support systems, security checkpoints, video detection of abnormal behaviors in crowds and land border protection. A portion of the funding will also be given to human science topics, such as the perception of security.

The organizations coordinating the development of the projects will acquire contracts with the Commission. More than 400 companies, universities and public bodies are involved, including organizations from European Union member states, the United States, Norway, Turkey and Israel.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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