On the 27th of January 2022, the Kick-off Meeting (KoM) of the EU-funded project DrugDetect took place. Representatives from the Consortium participated in the meeting, which was carried out in virtual mode. During the KoM, the partners discussed the planned activities and made decisions about actions to be taken in the near future as part of the project.
DrugDetect is an Innovation Procurement (PPI) project, which has been co-funded by the COSME programme of the European Union under Grant Agreement No 101036225. The project will last for 36 months (1st January 2022 – 31st December 2024).
The major aim of the project is to procure an innovative solution for the automatic detection of a large range of drugs in correctional institutions and prisons, that is available 24/7, does not cause delays in internal processes, does not require/requires minimal human intervention, and is GDPR compliant.
DrugDetect is addressing a need that is widely shared by prisons throughout Europe and in this context the project has gathered a representative, geographically balanced consortium of 4 public buyers (KEMEA, DJI, DG-EPI, ESMIR) from 4 European countries (Greece, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain) with together an average inmates population of 40.000.
Based on the EU Agenda and Action Plan on Drugs (2021-2025), disruption of the channels that supply drugs and as a result, their precise and accurate detection before they have been smuggled inside prisons or before they have been used by inmates are crucial prerequisites for keeping prison personnel and inmates safe in any prison. The misuse of drugs in prisons, in addition to the direct damage it causes to the inmate, creates both security risks because of bullying, violence, self-harm, debt, and health risks due to illness and overdose and generally establishes the prison environment, with inherent risks to those working in and visiting. It also severely hampers efforts to rehabilitate inmates, following release from prison, due to the physical and psychological damage caused by drug abuse (see the EU Action Plan on drugs 2017-2020 and the EU Drug Strategy 2013-2020).
In this regard, the Buyers of the project will put themselves at all-time in the driving seat of the innovation process and will act as launch customers for an innovative solution to tackle their stringent needs for automatic, accurate and precise drug detection in a rapidly evolving drug market.
KEMEA (GREECE), assisted by the General Secretariat of Anticrime Policy
DIENST JUSTITIELE INRICHTINGEN – (JUDICIAL ESTABLISHMENTS SERVICE) (DJI) (Netherlands), DG-EPI (Belgium), Spanish Ministry of the Interior – General Secretariat of Penitentiary Institutions (ESMIR) (Spain)