Under the umbrella of the DAREnet project, co-organised by the Croatian Ministry of Interior, Civil Protection Directorate and RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation, on the 28th of September 2021, the Workshop entitled: „Strengthening Resilience and Capacities of Flood Protection and Response Stakeholders – Good Practices and Development“ was organised. Topics were divided in three groups: Civil protection training, procedures and methods; Information sharing/digitalization; Water governance. Panel discussions on the first day of the event were followed on the 2nd day (29 September 2021) by the field (demonstration) exercise with operational forces involved in flood response (State Civil Protection Intervention Unit, Croatian Red Cross, Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, local Voluntary Firefighters and local Emergency Service). Exercise scenario was the rupture of the embankment caused by a large water wave, and the aim was to demonstrate standard operating procedures, verify mutual cooperation and coordination of stakeholders, as well as the exchange of relevant information. Alongside with demonstration exercise, exhibition of flood defence equipment was held. 

The event was an opportunity to gather and exchange the knowledge and best practices of prone flood regions Danube and Sava River Basins as one of DAREnet’s project efforts. Beside DAREnet consortium partners in this hybrid format event, there was around 50 participants from State Administrations, Operational Civil Protection Forces, Institutes and Associations of Croatia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia.

On Friday the 17th of September was the Danube Flood Resilience Innovation Competition formally launched. This year’s competition addresses the subject of equipment and technology. Submissions can cover a wide range, from innovative technologies and equipment to the further development of existing solutions for specific areas of application not yet covered.

The three best ideas will be invited to the next DAREnet Annual Practitioner Forum (February 2022) to present themselves to a broad audience. This event is a unique opportunity for practitioners to meet, exchange and network with academia, industry, policy makers and funding authorities.

The first winner will receive support for the (further) development of the solution/idea through a tailor-made proposal/concept development workshop.

Submit your ideas at www.darenetproject.eu/innovationcompetition.

The Danube Flood Resilience Innovation Event was held successfully from 16-17 September 2021 in Budapest and Balatonföldvár, Hungary. The event was attended by approx. 40 participants from the DAREnet consortium and members of the EUSDR PA5 Disaster Management Working Group. For the first time since the start of the pandemic were the invited stakeholders from across the region able to meet each other physically, while others joined virtually. While ensuring appropriate COVID-19 related hygienic measures did the meeting allow for fruitful discussions regarding current needs, future plans and cooperation opportunities in the field flood resilience innovation in the Danube River Region. The meeting was comprised of plenary and break-out sessions, as well as the participation at the annual Firefighter Expo.

Building on joint activities of the past while paving the way for future did the event enable a closer and stronger collaboration between the two stakeholder networks. This will from now provide the framework for the planning of joint activities until the end of the DAREnet project and beyond.

Key representatives of the DAREnet project coordination team and representatives of the Budapest Firefighter Association met to discuss the ideas and possibilities to hold physical event that will strengthen the collaboration between the partners of the DAREnet project and the EUSDR PA5 DMWG members. Taking into account potential travel restrictions related to the on-going pandemic has it been decided to jointly plan for a hybrid meeting towards mid/end of September 2021 in Hungary.

After an extended period of joint activities and alignment has the decision been taken to formalise the strategic cooperation between the DAREnet project and the EUSDR PA5.

By adding the Budapest Firefighters’ Association as a beneficiary to the DAREnet project will existing ties been strengthened significantly. The cooperation is aimed to enhance flood resilience in the Danube River region by providing a platform for cooperation that facilitates discussions between relevant stakeholders to foster innovation and collaboration. Concrete steps for action will be taken during the next weeks.