About Us

Background & Motivation

The increasing importance of pan-European passenger and freight transport in terms of financial and societal impact is showcased by the adoption of the EU vision of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), which will connect and enhance trade and tourism among and between European nations, as well as neighboring countries. Such enhanced mobility will intensify border-crossings of citizens and goods, which in turn will generate a significantly increased load on customs and security procedures, calling for smarter, more effective and cost-efficient solutions for border checks.


Human trafficking, irregular crossings and contraband smuggling are major concerns for the EU, which will only intensify with the realisation of the TEN-T vision. Thus, the need for increased security, privacy and protection at EU borders becomes even more critical under such circumstances. As a response to these challenges, the EU has attempted to strengthen technological support and legal harmonisation. A series of measures have been put into place, consisting of an Entry/Exit System and modifications to the Schengen Borders Code in addition to existing border management systems. The EU has attempted to modernise its border management approach by harnessing technologies, such as Automated Border Control systems and biometrics or automatic borders lands surveillances using digital technologies, delivering tools, such as the Passenger Name Records directive (2016), the European Travel Information Authorisation System (ETIAS) system, and others.

Concept & Methodology

Overall Concept

The FLEXI-cross (Flexible and Improved Border-Crossing Experience for Passengers and Authorities) project targets the deployment and continuous validation of a toolkit of innovative border checking solutions in real operational environments. These solutions will deliver increased security and reliability of border checks for people and goods which can be enabled by innovative technologies [5G and Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Big Data and Predictive Analytics, Cloud and Edge Computing and more], aiming at enhancing and improving the border management capabilities.


The resulting flexibility and dynamicity of border check planning will offer novel capabilities such as dynamic deployment of check-points and support via mobile applications for border personnel, while guaranteeing a high level of security, privacy of personal data and protection of people’s fundamental rights. The design and architecture of the implemented solutions will be based on the analysis of the technical and service requirements of the EU border authorities (e.g., Frontex) and will offer seamless integration with existing systems and devices currently utilised by them.

FLEXI-Cross Methodology

The methodology of FLEXI-cross is structured in the following key directions

Predictive Risk Assessment
of vehicles and people based on distributed data and camera feed processing, enabling abnormal behaviour detection and providing anti-trafficking and anti-smuggling protection.

Enhanced border security through portable biometric-based checks (fingerprint, facial recognition), enabling quick and secure person verification and allowing for real-time cross-referencing with other data sources/databases.

Flexible, fast and cost-effective deployment of ad-hoc Border Check Points (BCPs),with the use of mobile/portable solutions and equipment.

Secure, private and traceable sensitive/personal data exchange based
on the FLEXI-cross blockchain, enabled data change and processing framework.

More (time and cost) efficient border checking procedures at EU borders through optimisation (flow management, active planning), based on real-time data, historical data, available resources and traffic estimations.

Increased safety and improved experience for border-personnel, based on advanced Human Machine Interfaces for immediate feedback and enhanced situational awareness via Augmented Reality (AR) devices.

The FLEXI-cross overall concept and architecture are reflected in Figure 1 below, focusing on various layers, interfacing capabilities and toolkit components of the platform.

The toolkits to be demonstrated in the FLEXI-cross project will be of a high Technological Readiness Level (TRL) ≥ 7, which will be based on assets from previous projects. Some technologies and new functionalities that will be developed in the project include new modalities for biometric-based border-checks, acceptance of no gate crossing points solutions, risk-based screening at border crossing, technologies to enhance border and external security, “zero-touch” border crossing technology for Connected and Automated mobility corridors, and more. The developed solutions will be validated in real-life operational border-crossing environments [road, rail and port borders for the use case descriptions] by the project’s end-users (police, border authorities), as well as external EU agencies (i.e., Frontex).
Concept & Methodology