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Research centre

Communication and Computing Research Centre

2009 - 2014

Information Technology and Interactions


The Athena Project is an innovative EU funded project pioneering smarter communications for critical incidents.

The Athena Project aims to develop technical applications or ‘apps’ for smart phones and mobile digital media devices, which will capture real-time information from the public during crisis situations. It is co-ordinated by West Yorkshire Police and will be delivered by a consortium of international partners.

The public are often the first to arrive at the scene of an incident and are well placed to relay vital information during those early stages. While this live intelligence is increasingly captured on mobile phones in particular, it has yet to be fully exploited for its advantages in incident management.

Athena seeks to make the public part of the crisis team and will explore the use of mobile applications as a means of sharing information and advice between the authorities and the public. As well as using their mobile devices to communicate what is happening around them, the public will be able to assist crisis managers by informing the operational response of the emergency services.

West Yorkshire Police is the first UK police service to coordinate the delivery of a European Commission security research project of this scope and scale. The €5 million, multi-agency project, is supported by the Office of Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) and the Royal United Services institute (RUSI). It brings together partners from law enforcement, Government, academia and the private sector; including Sheffield Hallam University, Harvard University, SAS Software and Blackberry.

For further information please visit the Athena website.

Researchers involved

Dr Simon Andrews - Reader in Computer Science

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