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Security Improvements, through Research, Technology and Innovation (SIRIO)

Security Improvements, through Research, Technology and Innovation (SIRIO)

What is SIRIO?

UNICRI is developing the Knowledge Center “Security Improvements through Research, Technology and Innovation" (SIRIO) in Geneva. The Center is engaging industry and research institutions (both public and private) as well as governmental and inter-governmental entities to analyse and promote knowledge and technology solutions to address emerging security risks. The main thematic areas considered by SIRIO are: supply chain security, critical infrastructures, cyber-space, the management of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) material as well as the potential security risks related to Big Data analytics, biotechnology and nano-technology, and artificial intelligence. The Center is, in particular, dedicated to:

1) Identifying and analysing emerging and future security risks;
2) Mapping technology innovations to match security needs;
3) Raise awareness and inform policy-makers about emerging risks and innovative solutions, while promoting results of SIRIO’s activity.

What methodology? The three-step process

SIRIO will engage partners through a process that incorporates three steps:

1) Analysis and identification of emerging security risks in the identified thematic areas: UNICRI, together with national experts, develops and compiles risk scenarios, based on existing cases and literature to be discussed in thematic workshops. The risk scenarios will describe:

  • Narrative of the incident (what happened/may happen, what target/s etc.);
  • Causes of the incident;
  • Consequence and impact of the incident (casualties, costs, damage); and
  • Likelihood of occurrence (probability).

Prepared risks scenarios and related documentation are discussed and assessed during the workshops by a variety of experts. In particular, participants are asked to consider a number of particular aspects related to the occurrence of each risk scenario, such as: its technological feasibility over time, its required capabilities (i.e. skills, knowledge, resources, equipment, etc.); and its practicability from a perpetrator's point of view. Participants will have to provide inputs related to different possible time-frames: short term (within the next five years), medium term (between five and 20 years) and long term (more than 20 years).

The main conclusions of the workshops are incorporated into a restricted Report on Future Risk Scenarios.

2) Mapping of technology solutions: once the scenarios are validated, SIRIO organizes a second type of workshops with security experts, industry, academia and international organizations to discuss how technology can concretely contribute with solutions to mitigate risks related to the scenarios.

During these workshops participants discuss how existing or future technology solutions can match the future risk scenarios identified during the first type of workshops. Thanks to this discussion, and the input of selected experts, it is possible for SIRIO to map and identify technologies solutions with a high potential to mitigate risks for each validated scenario. The results of this phase allow to complete the Report on Future Risk Scenarios, by indicating specific security solutions matching security needs.

3) Promotion of results: SIRIO organizes briefings at the United Nations Palais des Nations in Geneva to inform its partners as well as the UN Member States about future risk scenarios and technology solutions. The idea is not to predict the future, but to reflect on how different risk factors can interact in the future, what needs to be understood and done, and how technology solutions can support the development and implementation of long-term strategies. Validated risk scenarios and related technology solutions will be presented during these briefings.

What topics?

SIRIO will initially focus on the following topics:

  • Supply chain security;
  • Protection of critical infrastructures;
  • Cybersecurity;
  • Blockchain technologies;
  • Big Data Analytics;
  • Biotechnology and nano-technology; and
  • Artificial Intelligence and robotics.
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