AHEAD – Towards Sustainable Foresight Capabilities for Increased Civil Security

In a world of accelerating technology, foresight is key.
Police and civil protection forces must harness AI, Big Data, VR, and more to predict threats and build a safer future.

The rise of disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality has presented unique challenges for organizations responsible for public safety and protecting citizens from new forms of crime, including law enforcement and other civil security professionals.
Facing the crucial task of maintaining safe societies, these organizations must proactively address future challenges posed by technological advancements. AHEAD, a project led by Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) will take a comprehensive approach when designing and implementing a sustainable framework for anticipating future civil security needs. This approach will consider both major future trends and specific local contexts (legal, ethical, social, and economic).

By conducting iterative forecasting exercises focused on the five key areas outlined by Horizon Europe Cluster 3 (combating crime and terrorism, border management, resilient infrastructure, enhanced cybersecurity, and disaster-resilient societies), the framework will be tailored to the specific needs of various civil security professionals. This will ultimately lead to the creation of « evidence-based » capability roadmaps.
These roadmaps will translate the insights gained from the forecasting process into concrete action plans to support decision-makers at both the European and national levels when developing strategies and policies related to civil security.

Expected Results

Expected Results 1


Map civil security stakeholders' multidisciplinary expertise



Review existing foresight frameworks and methods, and develop an evidence-based methodology for civil security foresight exercises



Create a methodology to collaboratively identify and prioritize security-relevant topics for foresight analysis



Conduct foresight exercises and produce diverse findings like reports, roadmaps, and scenario sets



Prepare a final report assessing the exercises and proposing a sustainable technology foresight approach, including a proof of concept

Expected Results 6


Develop a sustainability plan to extend the project's impact beyond its duration and support future EU security initiatives



Design and test a holistic foresight framework, combining megatrends and contextual elements, ensuring sound and acceptable law enforcement responses to new technological challenges.


Produce foresight-informed and « evidence-based » roadmaps anticipating internal security forces’ capability needs and enabling an action plan for doctrine, investment, training, etc.


Start date

1 September 2023


30 months


  • 10 Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs)
  • 2 Research Centres
  • 1 SME


French Ministry of Interior

Approach & Methodology

With a strong component of internal security forces, AHEAD aims to be a project at the service of these forces, delivering concrete results that can be directly applied to their activities. The roadmaps generated by the the project will translate the foresight process’ outcomes into concrete courses of actions to support decision- and policy-makers at EU and national levels when deciding on strategies and policy actions in the field of civil security, including the programming of security research and innovation investments.

Articulation of work


The work includes 5 cycles of multidisciplinary expert workshops.

Those target themes are the 5 security operational destinations as identified by the European Commission :

  • Fight against Crime and Terrorism
  • Border Management
  • Enhanced Cybersecurity
  • Disaster Resilient Society
  • Infrastructures

in order to consolidate a prospecting methodology specifi cally designed for civil security forces then generate capability roadmaps.

Ambitions & Keys outputs

Enhancement of a forward-looking culture in civil security and contribution to the European Commission‘s Foresight Agenda to embed in a more systematic way strategic foresight into policy-making.

Delivery of a prospective methodology tested and adapted to the field of civil security

Production of a user‘s guide to help put the AHEAD methodology into practice

Capability roadmaps translating foresight outcomes into action plans in 5 security topics

Creation of a European community of experts in foresight in the field of security




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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme under grant agreement No. 101121338

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