News & Events
Review of the SHOTPROS Final Conference
The international research project SHOTPROS has started in 2019 with the aim to develop an innovative virtual reality (VR) training solution and framework for European police offers. After 3 ½ years, the consortium has achieved this goal and presented the results in September 2022 in Ranst, Belgium at the project´s final conference “VR for Police: Drive the police into the future”.
The conference was hosted with the aim to present the outcomes of the project and as an official kick-off event of the VR and Police Network (VRPN) established through the course of the project. As SHOTPROS was very user-centred from the beginning, a hands-on final conference combining technology, research and end user interests was the ideal final step for this project.
Demonstration for VIP guests and press conference
A pre-event on the 13th of September 2022, hosting the final field trial of the project with the Belgium Police (after a series of 5 field trials at police facilities all over Europe in spring 2022) and a press event for media and VIPs like the Belgian Minister of Internal Affairs, marked the beginning of the final conference. The Minister even tried out the VR system and provided overwhelmingly good feedback:
“I am convinced that the SHOTPROS project will better prepare our police officers for stressful situations. Not only in our country, but also in the other European countries where this project is being rolled out in Police training. As the Belgian Minister of the Interior, I will point out the tangible results of this SHOTPROS project to my 26 colleagues in the upcoming EU security summit.”
Moreover, the present media teams broadcasted the event on 4 Belgian TV channels, 5 newspapers and several online publications.
Key notes, workshops and networking opportunities at the conference
The main conference was executed as a two-day event on 14th & 15th September 2022 full of talks and interaction amongst police representatives, policy-makers in the security context, research and technology participants from 17 European countries. Over 130 people participated in the interactive workshops and followed presentations from more than 25 speakers. In parallel to this program of knowledge and experience exchange, the participants also had the opportunity to try out the SHOTPROS VR solution, guided by an international team of SHOTPROS VR Police trainers (Belgium Police, Swedish Police, Dutch Police and the Police of North Rhineland Westphalia, Germany). This offered tangible insights into VR for participants and the project consortium received additional and final input on the technology solution.
Completion of the project and outlook
The SHOTPROS final conference was a successful highlight event at the end of 3 ½ years of project. The consortium collaboratively used this opportunity to disseminate the project results to a broader audience of stakeholders and to establish and strengthen contacts beyond the partner organisations. Thereby, a much higher impact and potential uptake of the results by European law enforcement agencies can be ensured.
This large network will be canalised in the VR and Police network (www.vrandpolice.eu) to ensure further exchange, events and potential follow-up projects after the end of SHOTPROS to raise awareness on the potential of VR as a training tool for high-risk situations.
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