Experimentation is the key activity of DRIVER. Starting with smaller thematic experimentations in the key project areas (Civil Society Resilience, Strengthened Responders, Training and Learning), the DRIVER solutions will be challenged in increasingly complex experimentation set-ups.

The set of DRIVER solutions varies from modern tools for crisis communication like mobile crowdtasking applications to methods and procedures on resilience assessment, Common Operational Picture (COP) generation, and advanced approaches to training and learning solutions.

All of the experiments in the project are of course working towards the same goal: to improve selected topics in crisis management and to demonstrate progress made by FP7 projects and legacy systems in recent years. The objective is to solve any capability gaps identified by practitioners and researchers in the crisis management domain.

The overall concept behind the project is that the integration of a number of different solutions into one operational system will will result in even greater progress than if a particular solution is used in isolation. The smaller experiments at the start of the process are designed to test single solutions, or a small subset of solutions, to evaluate their potential and validate their operational benefits. This work is supported by experienced practitioners and experts.

Figure: Experiment organisation

As many of the solutions are innovative and have never been used in a real operation, both the solution providers and the potential practitioners and other beneficiaries have a great opportunity to learn about their potential use in real crisis situations. In addition, knowledge of experimentation design and set-up and of the best ways to establish successful cooperation between solution providers and practitioners is another benefit, gained particularly from the smaller experiments.

This knowledge is fed back into the project and is utilised for the design of the more complex, integrated experiments. These larger experiments have been structured into two experimentation campaigns, namely the Joint Experiments that feed again into the design of the Final Demonstration, which is the culmination of the project in 2018. The ultimate goal is to deliver Joint Experiments that cover solutions from all of the DRIVER dimensions and that can provide tangible benefits to Crisis Management professionals through the evolving solutions and generation of knowledge.

Top left picture © JRC