The complex, digitized society confronts us with new forms of crises. When vital organizations or companies are hit by cyber and other attacks, this can cause social disruption. TNO and its partners are working together to professionalize crisis management by applying science and technology to increase resilience to crisis situations.

Professional and effective crisis management is based on five capacities. TNO focuses on innovating and strengthening each of these capacities together with partners in the security domain and other fields.

1. Anticipate

Effective crisis management starts with looking ahead and identifying and understanding developments that may pose a threat to stability and security at an early stage. This involves analysing threats, assessing current and future risks, and developing scenarios. TNO is a member of the National Network of Safety and Security Analysts, a knowledge network that conducts analyses within the framework of the National Security Strategy for the Ministry of Security and Justice. TNO mainly contributes knowledge of technology, cyber developments and threats, and system risks.

2. Respond

When a crisis breaks out, a rapid and effective response is crucial. TNO provides technological solutions to facilitate information sharing and interpretation at all levels during a crisis. The faster the nature and extent of a crisis are understood, the more adequate the assessments and decision making will be, enabling a more effective response to threats. This takes place at both the regional and national level, and increasingly also internationally. With the help of AI, sensor data integration, drones, first responder technology, wearables and resource tracking, TNO provides organizations with smart command control systems with which they can respond rapidly and effectively.

3. Prepare

ICT systems can only ever play a supporting role in a crisis, because effective crisis management always comes down to people. That is why it is absolutely essential that employees are provided with continuous training to ensure they are always prepared. TNO develops training courses whereby crisis situations are simulated using technologies such as virtual reality, AI and simulation software to optimize the training programme.

4. Learn

Every crisis situation and training exercise entails lessons to be learned. These lessons can only be used to advantage if the crisis and the response are analysed in depth. This requires tools that can collect and analyse information about the management of the crisis; not only the actual response, but also the manner in which information is shared and interpreted. TNO develops scenarios and best practices for identifying and responding to crisis situations based on data analysis.

5. Cooperate

During a crisis situation, it is important for all chain partners to cooperate with each other and with the public. Sharing information provides more insight into the nature and extent of a crisis, but can also improve risk assessments and decision-making. TNO conducts research and provides recommendations to facilitate optimal cooperation. For example, we are considering how the 17 million people living in the Netherlands can contribute to the early identification of threats and how the public’s knowledge and observations can be most effectively deployed during crisis situations.

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