Responding to the Global Security Challenge

Yesterday I was in Brussels, speaking at the Western Europe regional final of the Global Security Challenge. For anyone that takes an interest in new security technologies, this is a must-see initiative, highlighting and supporting the very best of today’s emerging products.

I was highly impressed by the quality of the finalists. In fact it was hard for the judges to pick winners as there were so many impressive products on display. Each finalist demonstrated a unique capability, reflecting a potential step change in the state of the art. These technologies included a scanning device that detects explosives in bottles; a sophisticated facial recognition and search system; an innovative solution for fingerprinting electronic devices; a new approach to document leakage prevention; a more effective non-lethal weapon; and a range of high-strength, lightweight materials that can better protect people and buildings from close-range explosive blasts.

These products reflect the emergence of security technology as a game-changing catalyst, one that has a real impact on everyday business and law enforcement. I came away with a much high level of optimism that behind the scenes there is a rich pipeline of new science awaiting commercial exploitation. Creating new solutions is perhaps not so difficult as we sometimes imagine. The real challenge is to implement slicker development and procurement cycles that can get these technologies out of the research labs and into actual use.