Technological Risk
in Real-time
Project Consortium

The project consortium includes:

  • an SME specializing in environmental information and decision support systems, model and GIS integration, and multi-media user-interface design, ESS, Austria;

  • an SME consulting group, specializing in risk assessment for the chemical process industry, SYRECO, Italy;

  • an information technology SME specializing in data communication and distributed applications, LNEC Informatica, Portugal, in collaboration with FCCN, the Portuguese National Foundation for Scientific Calculus and its supercomputing group as an associated partner;

  • a major industrial end-user, PETROGAL, Portugal, that operates a large number of chemical installations and more than 200 vehicles for the transport of hazardous goods (about 5,000 tons on the road at any point in time), with an annual mileage of about 15 million kilometers;

  • a large national research institution with considerable experience in

    high-performance, parallel computing and environmental applications, GMD, Germany;

  • and a Swiss consulting group specializing in transportation safety, with considerable experience in transportation telematics, and a large set of application projects, ASIT.

Complete contact addresses of the project partners are found in the
List of Project Participants

In addition, the active support of the Unione Industriali of Bergamo and its member industries, and in particular the enterprises located in the Ponte S. Pietro industrial area (one of the three case study areas), as well as their corresponding regulatory governmental organisations in Italy, the Public Works and Civil Protection Sector of the Regione Lombardia, has been secured. While these groups, for administrative and political reasons, are not acting as full partners, they will provide support for the case study and contribute through the project's user group. Letters of interest and support are attached to the proposal.

Color Icon Environmental Software & Services GmbH Advanced Computer Applications (Austria) was founded in 1995 as a direct continuation of the Advanced Computer Applications (ACA) project of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria. The primary mission of ESS is to bring the best available scientific knowledge to bear on environmental planning and management problems, using state-of-the-art information technology. Since 1985, ACA has worked on more than 25 projects in 14 countries, including several projects in technological and transportation risk management.

ESS is based in Gumpoldskirchen near Vienna, Austria. It maintains a large, world wide network of collaborating institutions and consultants.

For the implementation of its projects, ESS uses and develops state-of-the-art information and software technology, including wide-area Internet network applications and multi-media information systems.

ESS will take the leading role in the basic software integration, multi-media user interface, and DSS components. Building on its past experience and existing software tools, ESS will provide the generic software framework and its experience in technological risk assessment software, including discrete multi-criteria tools and expert systems technology. In addition, ESS will act as the co-ordinating partner and provide the necessary network support and coordination for the distributed development and the case studies.

Color Icon GMD-First, the German National Research Center for Information Technology, conducts research aiming at the development of innovative methods and applications. It cooperates closely with industry and users, thereby increasing the competitiveness of the German and European economies. GMD has four main research areas: System Design Technology, Communication and Cooperation Systems, Intelligent Multimedia Systems, and Parallel Computing. GMD has a staff of 1200 and a total annual budget of GMD is DM 170 million.

GMD is a member of the European Consortium of Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM), which has partners in 13 European countries, including Scandinavia and Central/Eastern Europe. Most are independent Research and Development laboratories, with strong links to local industry. ERCIM partners have generated over 100 spin-off companies

and do joint developments with SMEs. GMD can use its ERCIM partners to establish exploitation paths in those countries not directly covered by the Project partners.

The work of the proposed project will be carried out by members of the research area Simulation of the GMD Institute for Computer Architecture and Software Technology Berlin (GMD FIRST). The focus of this research area is to build simulation systems in close cooperation with end-users for problems of environmental protection. The contribution to HITERM is characterized by the development and parallelization of numerical algorithms and the parallel implementation of available environmental simulation models on HPC equipment available at GMD.

GMD, in close collaboration with ESS, will support the individual case study applications with its HPC experience and resources.

Color Icon SYRECO s.r.l was founded in 1982 with the mission of developing methodology and computer tools for nuclear and industrial risk analysis. As an engineering consulting, the firm specializes in industrial risk analysis, environmental impact assessment, emergency planning and management and software development in support of industrial planning and management for safety, reliability, availability, and control of process plants.

SYRECO will contribute with its industrial experience to the definition and design phase of the project in collaboration with the regional end users, both governmental and industrial. SYRECO will support a regional case study for the industrial area of Ponte S.Pietro (Bergamo, Italy) where a number of Seveso-class chemical plants are sited and for which a complete risk assessment was performed by SYRECO from 1987 to 1994.

Color Icon LNEC Informática SA is a young private firm, founded in 1993, largely owned by the Laboratorio Nacional de Engenheria Civil (LNEC), itself a state owned research institution. LNEC Informática bases its services on the extensive expertise of the parent groups' computer department. Its main areas of activities, relevant for this project, include database technology including distributed data bases, multi media systems, and specific customized software development projects.

LNEC Informaticá will closely cooperate with the FCCN, the Portuguese National Foundation for Scientific Calculus and its supercomputing group.

LNEC's role will focus on data management and distributed data base applications for the client/server architecture of the proposed HPCN simulation and decision support system. The focus will be on the selection and adaptation of object-oriented database techniques for the array of data types, including textual data, pictorial information and large scale satellite imagery, GIS data, observation time series, as well as multi-media data.

In addition, LNEC will support the Portuguese case study application of Petroleum products distribution and storage.

Color Icon FCCN (Foundation for the Provision of National Scientific Computing Power) is a Portuguese private non-profit organization, created in December 1986 whose founding members include:

Junta Nacional de Investigacion Cientifica e Tecnologica, JNICT (National Board for Scientific and Technological Research); Laboratorio Nacional de Engenheria Civil, LNEC (National Laboratory for Civil Engineering); Conselho de Reitores das Universidades Portuguesas, CRUP (Council of the Portuguese Universities Rectors);

The main objective of FCCN is the promotion of scientific computation infrastructures. Specifically FCCN is responsible for RCCN - the National Scientific Community Network - a data communications network and common communications services. RCCN has two main goals:

  • To provide good means for the cooperation between Universities and Industry.
  • Link the national scientific community:

    • Higher level educational institutions: Universities and Polytechnic Institutes.
    • National RTD laboratories and non-profit institutions.
    • Other organisations in joint projects.
    • National infrastructures that are specialized or unique, like super computing or special purpose nodes, test beds, libraries and databases.

For collaborative European research programmes, reliable and efficient electronic communication is one of the most important requirements. FCCN, through the RCCN project therefor is an active player in several European initiatives.

FCCN will primarily contribute to the communications side of the project; it has extensive hands on experience in setting up and running network infrastructures, and will explore the use of alternative communication strategies for the distributed client/server architecture.

Color Icon PETROGAL SA is the largest Portuguese company, in terms of turnover, that reached in 1995 around 4,000 million ECU. It employs 3,700 people and is present not only in Portugal but also in Spain and all the African Portuguese Speaking countries. It's main activities are in the petrochemical sector refining, distributing and marketing, under the brand name GALP, petrol, gas, fuel oil, aviation fuel, marine diesel, basic oils, lubricants, chemicals, asphalt and other products; it also distributes natural gas.

It owns refineries in Sines and Oporto with a capacity of 288,000 barrels a day, operates more than a dozen major storage sites throughout the country, and has an extensive network of land, marine and aviation supply outlets. PETROGAL refines and distributes petrochemical products including: petrol, gas, diesel, oils, chemicals, asphalt, sulphur,natural gas, and kerosene.

Its transport and distribution sector, Direccao de Operacoes, manages a large fleet of tankers, trailers and industrial light cars; hundreds of contracted trucks are also used daily in the distribution activities. More than 200 vehicles cover more than 15 million kilometers annually, with more than 5,000 tons of hazardous substances on the road at one time. Industrial safety and environmental protection are therefor central elements of PETROGAL's corporate philosophy.

PETROGAL will provide data and manpower to support and evaluate the Portuguese case study application of hazardous transport routing, and possibly also transportation accident analysis as well as accidents at refineries and storage plants.

Color Icon ASIT (Safety and Information Systems in Transport Ltd.) is a private company in Berne, Switzerland, with 20 employees and a turnover of 2'500 KECU. The main topic contain environmental studies, risk assessments (e.g. for the new trans-alpine railway route), traffic and logistics, transport telematics, computer service applications and geographic information systems (for example road accident database in Switzerland and Germany, controlling and monitoring systems related to the field of transport of dangerous goods, information systems for police forces, fire-fighters and military purpose.

ASIT will contribute its extensive experience in traffic telematics, based on GPS and GSM technology. The systems can be used to localize vehicles with dangerous goods and to get information about the source term in the incident case (position and type of vehicle, freight etc.). The group will also be responsible for one of the three test cases in a Swiss case study, for transport of dangerous goods on roads and railways in the Canton of Uri (part of the Gotthard alpine corridor), and will also assist the Portuguese case study with its transportation telematics experience.

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