Applying resilience thinking in the design of innovative systems for border checks –a review of recent research

Laura Salmela (Corresponding author), Sirra Toivonen, Kirsi Aaltola, Santtu Lehtinen

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference AbstractScientificpeer-review


    Before the ascent of the global corona epidemic, travel volumes at EU’s external borders were forecast to grow extensively and reach almost 900 million annual border crossings by 2025. Besides facilitating cross border mobility, the objective of EU’s research and innovation actions and projects in border security has been to provide law enforcement authorities with new tools and measures to combat emerging security threats, like morphing attacks. Evolving risks, threats and demands for increased operational performance challenge the capabilities and capacities of border authorities to manage novel situations securely and efficiently. A long-standing approach to meet the arising performance and functionality requirements has been the development of biometrics-based border checks systems. However, the flexibility of these systems in responding to new pressures has received lesser attention. This paper explores how resilience thinking manifests in the research and development of border checks systems. The paper focuses on the initial stages of systems engineering and analyses how the attributes of resilience (resistance, resilience, adaptability, transformability) are acknowledged in the user requirements elicitation phase of the design process. Participation and engagement of key end-users in system definition and development has been a major emphasis in border security research projects throughout Horizon 2020 and across preceding R&I framework programmes. First, the paper contextualizes border checks systems as part of critical infrastructure and addresses their critical functionalities from the perspective of societal resilience. Next, the paper reviews openly accessible outputs of relevant EU projects and analyses how resilience is conceptually conveyed in the specified set of user requirements. Finally, the paper draws conclusions on the role of user requirements elicitation in supporting the development of resilient systems that are better prepared for, recover and adapt to new operational conditions and enjoy high acceptance among law enforcement practitioners in EU member states in different contexts. Acknowledgements: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 833704.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2020
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    Event6th Society for Risk Analysis Europe Nordic Chapter Conference: Risk Analysis: From Perception to Prediction - Virtual, Kaunas, Lithuania
    Duration: 5 Nov 20206 Nov 2020
    Conference number: 6


    Conference6th Society for Risk Analysis Europe Nordic Chapter Conference
    Abbreviated titleSRA-E Nordic
    Internet address


    • Horizon 2020


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