Capacity Building is a continuous process of developing and strengthening human and institutional resources, involving ongoing cooperation and coordination with a broad set of stakeholders. It includes measures to identify and develop needed capacities and the development of new capabilities including technological tools and, human competencies, as well as organisational and procedural changes.
Research and Innovation is thus an essential part of the capacity building process. It has the capacity to generate new products, processes, methods and services that are more efficient and effective.
Frontex is tasked to proactively monitor and contribute to research and innovation activities relevant for border control and to keep the European Parliament, Member States and the European Commission informed of new developments – including advanced technology - in the field of border management.
The agency strives to become the leading source of balanced assistance to the European Commission and Member States in relation to the long-term EU Research Framework Programmes that are relevant to border security. In doing so, Frontex functions as a link connecting the research (and development) community with the end users and policy makers involved in border management issues so as to ensure that the needs and challenges faced daily at the EU borders are duly taken into account.
The agency plays a key role in analysing existing and future capacity needs and feeding them into the planning and implementation of the EU Research Programmes as well as development of new capabilities.
Development of capabilities starts with harmonisation of practices, processes, and requirements. For this reason Frontex drives the process of harmonisation and development of best practices in border management. The agency also serves as a technical advisor and support to Member States and the European Commission as well as other stakeholders. It also facilitates information exchange by organising demonstrations, pilot projects, workshops and conferences.
The agency has grouped its activities in the area of research and innovation into four multi-annual projects:
- Harmonisation of the EU Border Control Capacities;
- Assessment of Technologies;
- Development and Technical Assistance.