New and Emerging Technologies

The subject of Investigating the Nexus Between New and Emerging Technologies and Major Sporting Event Protection was debated at an on-line conference organized on 22 November by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), in cooperation with International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)’s Project Stadia.

The event was attended by law enforcement officers, policymakers, practitioners, international and regional organizations, the private sector, academic researchers and civil society As emphasized by the organizers its aim was to promote coordination and coherence to identify new and emerging technologies which may be responsibly leveraged by Member States as an innovative tool for protecting vulnerable targets on the occasion of major sporting events. Therefore, the meeting served as a platform for around 200 participants from all over the world to debate about safety during sport events, as well as, support cooperation between governments and technology companies. We are proud that Safe Stadium project, presented at panel “Countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes against major sporting events” supported the debate.

Safe Stadium at Security Research Event

Safe Stadium project has been invited to Security Research Event (SRE) organized by the European Commission with the support of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU in Brussels on 24 and 25 October 2023.
This event is an annual initiative focused on connecting industry, policy makers and knowledge institutions working in the area in security.  This year over 50 European project/initiatives have been presented. The event was accompanied by panelist discussion focusing on future of security research, cascading effects of crises, disaster preparedness and resilience or society digitalization and threats and opportunities that are associated with this phenomenon. Michał Bijak, Safe Stadium project coordinator, was invited to a panel focusing on cascading effects of crises.

Safe Stadium at Council of Europe

On 18th October Safe Stadium project have been presented at Committee on Safety and Security at Sports Events (T-S4) at the Council of Europe Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and other Sports Events.

The meeting aim was to discuss between representatives of convention signatory countries how to increase safety and security of sport events as well as how to combat hate speech in sport and promote gender equality in sport.

The project Safe Stadium presented outcomes of the research phase which showcase that stadium are quite well prepared to traditional threats, however CBRN component is missing both in awareness and preparedness. Further project solution have been presented.

During the meeting T-S4 Committee and Safe Stadium project members jointly agreed to work together on annex to The Convention focusing on CBRN threats.

Pilot training at MŠK Žilina

International Security and Emergency Management Institute (ISEMI) and MSK Zilina in cooperation with MAKIS and University of Lodz carried out training for stewards of MSK Zilina on Saturday on 21st of October 2023 at the MSK Zilina football stadium. This training event was organized as part of WP 8 Training and piloting of the CBRN protection system with the main aim to enhance stewards capabilities also in area of CBRN and their first response to CBRN incidents based on the procedures and training materials prepared in WP4 and WP6. Next training and exercise will be organized in March 2023 in Lodz. Later we prepare more detail evaluation of training based on Feedback forms.


Fire Service exercises at Lech Poznań

On Friday 29.09.2023 Poznań City Headquarters of the Fire Service conducted at Lech Poznań Stadium exercises focusing on CBRNE threats.

The first part of the event focused  on theoretical aspects: types and summary of CBRN incidents, real-case scenarios, critical infrastructure safety and protection as well as management of (CBRN) threats at mass events. During the morning session also Safe Stadium, NEST and HoloZcan projects were presented by University of Lodz.
The second part of the event focused on exercises consisting of three scenarios:
  • – spraying chemical agents form a drone on fans of one of the stadium sectors,
  • – hanging of unidentified and suspicious object of the stadium roof structure,
  • – planting a suspicious object under the seats at one of the sectors.


The Safe Stadium – the decisive phase

In March and April next year, in Lodz and in Madrid, two large-scale pilot exercises will be organized to summarize the Safe Stadium Project. Last Wednesday, the Municipal Sports and Recreation Arena in Lodz organized a meeting devoted to the Lodz event, which will be held at Władysław Król Stadium.

Lodz Regional Police Team (Exercise Leader) presented the concept of pilot exercises. These will be the so-called exercises harmonizing the Police and non-police entities – project partners, as well as other public services and institutions performing tasks in the field of public safety. On behalf of the Police, the exercises will be attended by representatives of the organizational units of the Provincial Police Headquarters in Lodz and the Police Headquarters in Lodz, as well as the Police Prevention Unit and the Independent Counter-Terrorist Subdivision of the Police. The University of Lodz and the Provincial Police Headquarters will take care of the presence of several hundred helpers. An important role in the exercise will be played by Łódzki Klub Sportowy , for which the security of sports events is an absolute priority.

In order to ensure greater realism, the exercise will start with a football match (one of the foreign teams is associated with an institution that is part of the project consortium, but it will be a surprise).

The aim of the exercise will be checking the procedures and technical solutions developed for sport facilities i.e.: stewards, information services, security and order services, monitoring service, announcer, security manager. Their cooperation with the services in the event of a terrorist attack using CBRN agents will be tested.

Planning of Madrid Large Scale Exercise is planned for upcoming months.

Demonstration event movie

We invite you to see video relation form the Joint Demonstration event held at National Stadium in Warsaw on 17th May 2023. The aim of the event was to test and validate results of the Safe Stadium project and two H2020 projects HoloZcan and NEST.

More information about the event can be found here.

Get to know Safe Stadium project – part 1

What is the Safe Stadium project about? Why was the project written? What is the project trying to achieve? To answer this and other question the Project consortium will conduct several interviews with team members. We start with the Michal Bijak, PhD, DSc, prof. UL – project’s author and coordinator.
What does the term CBRN mean and how the Safe Stadium project approach this threats?
CBRN is an abbreviation for chemical, biological and radiation/nuclear threats. These are unconventional threats, formerly mainly associated with military weapons of mass destruction. However, in recent years increased awareness of the possibility of their use in terrorist attacks, has caused that they are now considered also in term of internal security. The Safe Stadium project,  created as a response to these types of threats, focuses at developing a system for preventing, recognizing and limiting the effects of the possible use of CBRN agents at sports facilities. One of the project’s main goals is also to establish cooperation between institutions representing various sectors important in building a comprehensive security system, i.e. the research and development sector (e.g. University of Lodz), the implementation/technology sector (e.g. Dynamic Safety Corporation), end users (MAKiS, Real Madrid, Lech Poznan), security sector and law enforcement agencies (Polish Police, Spanish Police, SERIS).
Where did the idea for this project come from? Do such threats really exist? What type of CBRN threats is currently the most probable and are we ready for it?
CBRN agents have been a serious threat for many years. Even in antient times biological agents were used for war purposes. In recent years, the awareness and propaganda in terrorist groups regarding the use of CBRN agents has been increasing. Therefore, we decided to deal with the topic of counteracting this kind of threats. Due to theirs specific properties, each CBRN agent causes a real threat and can be used to harm the population. For years, services and international initiatives have been trying to prepare themselves for potential  CBRN threats – with our project we try to support this initiative.
Today we are talking a lot about different financial challenges – can event organizers, sports clubs, facility operators afford to implement project solutions?
Increasing CBRN security is a series of solutions that include special procedures and, of course, hardware recommendations or the so-called ‘security by design’. The implementation of procedural changes or staff training does not require any financial outlay, and significantly improves the safety of the facility. Purchase of ICT solution or detection equipment does require some financial investment. However, within the project we invite sport facilities to first analyse potential threats that their object may be facing. This for example could identification of nearby plant (dealing with certain types of chemicals) or train station through which a cargo shipment is being transported. Based on this analysis a targeted solution can be considered.
Shouldn’t the central authorities, the police, etc., be responsible for creating the procedures?
Shouldn’t such procedures be drafted and implemented by government agencies like law enforcement agencies?
The police and other services conduct their activities based on their internal laws and regulations. Police units from European Union cooperate with each other when international matches are organized to improve fans safety. They also cooperate with each other through international bodies (e.g.: European Group of Policing Football and National Football Information Points) and propose legislative solution. We believe that our project could support this twofold: (1) through development of ready to use procedures for sport facilities and (2) through suggestion of legislative solution that could be implemented at European level.  The second will be developed in cooperation with law enforcement and EU agencies.
Let’s also remember that it is an organizer that is responsible for safety at the facility, and for this reason, as part of the project, we focus on the end-users, but we also try to adapt the project results to the procedures followed by the services responding at the event site.
The Safe Stadium project is developed in partnership with institutions from other countries, including Germany, Spain and Italy. Does it mean that CBRN threats should be considered globally? Can we build a more effective civil protection system thanks to international cooperation?
All security threats should be considered in a global perspective. The flow of information, transfer of good practices, the use of the existing and developed solutions cause that international initiatives always facilitate the creation of high-quality project results.
Let’s also remember that terrorist also benefit form the free flow of information. If we want to be one step ahead of them, we have to work and think globally.
What is particularly important in building a civil protection system, including mass events, against such threats?
First of all, the awareness that such threats may occur and what consequences they may bring.

Sport4Cancer conference

Few weeks ago our Project was presented during the Sport4Cancer scientific workshop (San Javier, Spain and online). The focus of the workshop was the relationship between cancer and physical activity.

The project SAFE STADIUM was briefly presented including reflections on the fact that procedures have to take into consideration spectators with different needs including disability. Moreover (as suggested by the organizers), many times the dream of the ill cancer patient, is the possibility to participate in their ‘hero’s sport game which might make them part of special needs group.

The congress has been co-funded by the European Union and has the support of the Seneca Foundation – Science and Technology Agency of the Region of Murcia through a grant from the Subprogram to support the Exchange of Highly Specialized Knowledge of the Region of Murcia.

Demonstration event at National Stadium in Warsaw

Three European projects SAFE STADIUM, HoloZcan and NEST joined forces and organized a complex demonstration event at PGE National Stadium in Warsaw on May 17, 2023. The event focused on the latest technological solutions and procedures for protecting public spaces in the context of CBRN terrorist attacks. The event was based on complementary focus of each of three projects. The HoloZcan project is developing a novel AI-supported technology solution for the detection of biological threats, while the NEST project is using multiple sensor systems to detect CBRN agents. The SAFE-STADIUM project focuses on the CBRN protection procedures of sport facilities.


In accordance with the established scenario, during an improvised football match with the participation of the public, a van was driven onto the pitch, from which terrorists in possession of a dangerous substance ran out. After spraying an unknown chemical agent, the attackers and several other people were killed. The situation required the immediate removal of spectators from the stadium and the implementation of rescue and identification operations and decontamination. In the course of the ongoing operations, it turned out that among the people leaving the facility, there was another terrorist who had released an agent of a biological nature. This complex scenario allowed to test technological solution developed by HoloZcan and NEST project, as well as, procedure developed within Safe Stadium. It also gave an opportunity for police and fire fighter forces to practise cooperation during improvised terrorist attack. 


All three project are financed by European Union: SAFE STADIUM (agreement 101034226 – SAFE STADIUM) by Internal security Funds – police, NEST (agreement 101018596 – NEST) and HoloZcan (agreement 101021723 — HoloZcan) by H2020 programme.

fot. Bartosz Kałużny (CKiPR UŁ)