A project to increase the chances of finding (and rescuing) survivors of natural disasters. With EU funding, Rescuecell involves a consortium of eight hi-tech companies, specialised in the development of innovative technologies based on mobile device, smartphone and tablet platforms. Using a new-generation tool it will be possible to locate, precisely and accurately, survivors ofearthquakes, floods, avalanches and people trapped in collapsed buildings, by guiding SAR teams and sniffer dogs to the exact point in which the person lies, thereby increasing their chances of survival.
The tool, which is light, easily transportable and cost-effective, does not require specialist knowledge to use it and can be transported quickly to the affected area. By the end of 2015, the consortium of SMEs will present a prototype to the market, but tests carried out so far are encouraging. Rescuecell is a research project funded with a budget of 1.4 million euros: through its funding programme the European Commission has provided 1.1 million euros to co-finance the project, which also aims to reduce the high costs of SAR missions in the wake of natural disasters. For example, since 1900, avalanches have killed 1,201 people in Europe and injured 13,199 with a cost of 775 million euros of damage. From 1998 to 2009 alone earthquakes took18,864 lives and caused over 29,000 million euros of damage in Europe.