PEERS launches CSTAC

A new CBRN and Standardisation Cluster of EU-funded research and innovation projects

From its early stages, we understood that one of the largest challenges for the PEERS project was likely to be effectively and comprehensively engaging with the large range of diverse stakeholders holding an interest in standardisation in this complex area of CBRN.

One of the project partners, the Resilience Advisors Network, manage the project-funded “Crisis Management Innovation Network Europe” (CMINE), which was felt to potentially be a useful vehicle to achieving this.

As part of creation of a stakeholder group to engage in PEERS demonstrators (i.e., tests and trials of its new ecosystem and processes), we realised that it would be of considerable help to have a “club” to which we could invite researchers, practitioners and policy makers involved in the same subject area. The Horizon Disaster Resilient Society (DRS) group of projects seemed to be the ideal starting point, so moves were made to create what is now becoming known as the CBRN and Standardisation Cluster of projects, or CSTAC, for short.

Discussions with DG HOME and colleagues at the European Research and Executive Agency were promising, and it became clear that the creation of such a Cluster could deliver benefits beyond those needed for PEERS: shared dissemination, a forum for discussion around innovation, and the provision of a pool of expertise were just some of the benefits that started to emerge.

After many exploratory emails and several presentations at the CERIS ‘State of DRS’ events, the idea of PEERS creating a new Cluster started to gain credibility and support.

The new Cluster held its kick-off meeting in parallel to the RISE Security & Defence event in Rhodes at the end of May 2023. Coordinators, technical and dissemination leads from 12 projects attended and developed the proposal to form the group and to work together on a range of initiatives going forward.

The support of DG HOME was much appreciated and the willingness for us all to work together to identify opportunities to collaborate on a range of initiatives over the coming months was refreshing.

The projects making this initial commitment include:


  • E-NOTICE – Development of a European Network Of CBRN Training Centers
  • EuroBioTox – The establishment of validated procedures for the detection and identification of biological toxins
  • HolozCan – Deep Learning Powered Holographic Microscopy for Biothreat Detection on Field
  • INCLUDING – Developing a Federation to provide a common framework to standardize access to CBRN facilities
  • NEST – Detection of multiple threats amongst which CBRN threats or pandemic viruses are present
  • PANDEM-2 – Preparing Europe for future pandemics through innovations in training capacity building
  • PROACTIVE – Testing common approaches between European safety and security practitioners, in particular Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and CBRNe First Responders
  • VERTIgO – Taking an integrated approach to conflicts and disaster relief by virtualization and simulation of CBRN defence training
  • VR4CBRN – Creating Virtual Reality Simulations of NATO CBRN procedures to be used in CBRN Training Courses


  • PEERS – Making CBRN Standards relevant to first responders using worked examples
  • STRATEGY – Ensuring first responders’ safety and empowering their operational capacity through standardisation
  • VALKYRIES – Harmonization and Pre-Standardization of Equipment, Training and Tactical Coordinated procedures for First Aid Vehicles

PEERS has been delighted to be the catalyst for this initiative, and we now look forward to CMINE maintaining and growing the Cluster as we move into the more substantive stages of our work.

Know more about CSTAC