International Conference on Biometrics for Borders (ICBB 2021)


On 30 November 2021 Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, will hold its third International Conference on Biometrics for Borders (ICBB 2021).

The thematic focus of the ICBB 2021 will be biometric interoperability in the context of European Union’s external border management and include topics related to border security and specific border control technologies.

Participants will include project managers and border guard authorities responsible for border management and for the implementation of border management information systems in the European Union, EU policy-makers and agencies, targeted non-EU countries, and researchers and industry with a demonstrated interest in the topic of the interoperability. The goal is to create a platform for dialogue for decision-makers, the research community, and other practitioners.

The programme of the ICBB 2021 will focus on technical, conceptual, and operational interoperability issues in the context of the management of external borders of the European Union.

Main topics will include:

  • challenges faced by Member States related to the implementation of interoperability regulations at the borders;
  • discussions on the development of national processes and identification of operational scenarios;
  • relevant technologies and infrastructures (including demonstrations of technical equipment);
  • discussions concerning technical equipment and Member States’ needs in terms of its performance;
  • common understanding and interpretation of biometric evidence not only by IT systems and databases, but also by end-users (e.g. border guards) that may access information and services;
  • development of guidelines, standards and baseline minimum requirements for new technical solutions to be used at border crossing points; and the development of relevant training for border guards;
  • legal, privacy, and human rights aspects of cross-border biometric interoperability and data sharing;
  • application of artificial intelligence (AI) to support decision-making.

The conference will take place in Warsaw, Poland. However, due to health concerns and restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, physical participation will be limited to speakers, panelists, and Member State authorities. Speakers will also include industry representatives selected based on the relevance of the technology in relation to the conference thematic focus (biometric interoperability) and application considering operational requirements raised by Member State authorities.

Online industry exhibition

To meet national border management authorities’ needs for innovative interoperable technologies, a part of the conference will be dedicated to an online industry exhibition demonstrating needs and solutions adopted to achieve interoperability. Between 23 November and 3 December, selected industry representatives will be given the opportunity to showcase their new and existing technical solutions in a series of online presentations and discussions focusing on interoperability standards and conceptual models. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international travel and border control, interoperability of touchless technologies and solutions focusing on seamless travel, cross-border mobile contact tracing apps and vaccination certificates will also be considered.

For more information on the scope of the online industry exhibition and on how to apply please read our invitation to industry.

Call for short papers

The ICBB conference will also feature a dedicated session on research contributions related to biometric interoperability and border management. The objective is to include short papers summarising more advanced technologies and application scenarios currently under development by the research community that have a potential future application to support Member States in their operational activities.

For more information on the call for short papers please read the call here .


Interoperability is an important topic addressed by the Smart Borders Package in  two regulations adopted by the European Council on May 20th 2019, proposing frameworks for interoperability between EU information systems in the field of borders and visa[1], and between EU information systems in the field of police and judicial cooperation, asylum, and migration[2]. The objective of these frameworks is to support information sharing leading to a more effective collaboration, security improvements on the area of identity detection, and efficient access to information stored in multiple systems and databases. The ICBB 2021 will address interoperability from an operational and user experience perspective, also considering a future vision of biometrics and artificial intelligence due to large-scale interoperability and data sharing across international borders.

Examples of information systems, common repositories, and services for border management and security currently under development in this context include the Common Identity Repository (CIR), the Shared Biometric Matching Service (sBMS), the Multiple-Identity Detector (MID), and the European search portal (ESP).

Participation in the conference is by invitation only. Registration details will be sent only to participants who will have received a formal invitation. No fees will be charged for registration.

General requests for information can be sent to

[1] Regulation (EU) 2019/817

[2] Regulation (EU) 2019/818

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