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11.04.2024
The main goal of the R-GRID project is to create an artificial intelligence tool to protect power grid systems.

The project addresses one of the priorities for cooperation identified in 2023 by the NATO-Ukraine Joint Working Group on Scientific and Environmental Cooperation, which aims to provide solutions to Ukraine’s current and upcoming needs. The project consortium consists of: the Polish Association for National Security, the Ukrainian Institute for the Future, IDEAS NCBR and Laurea University of Applied Sciences from Finland.

The international dimension of security

‘Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has raised awareness of threats to Europe’s energy security and prompted a risk analysis to identify weak points in the electricity system. In the R-GRID project, we will build tools to identify critical elements of the power grid and to increase their resilience and stability,’ says Maciej Kluczyński, president of the Polish Association for National Security, who serves as NATO country Project Director.

‘Russian attacks on Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure caused serious damage, resulting in power supply interruptions and non-typical modes of power system operation. Renovation crews are making continuous efforts to restore network functionality while facing a lack of rare equipment. Therefore, the synchronization of the Ukrainian electricity system with the systems of European countries significantly contributed to its stabilization. However, the power systems still need additional solutions to be better resilient against different kinds of attacks,’ says Dr Andrian Prokip, director of the Energy Program at the Ukrainian Institute for the Future, Partner country Project Director.

Protection against failures and blackouts

‘Modern energy systems are susceptible to various forms of attacks. The task of the R-GRID simulator will be to support strategic decision making regarding the identification of critical components of the power grid and modelling improvements to energy infrastructure elements,’ explains dr Tomasz Michalak, leader of the “AI for security” research team at IDEAS NCBR, co-director of the R-GRID project.

‘In April 2024, it has been a year since Finland gained NATO member status. Finland shares a long border with Russia. Finland has two underwater energy connections with Estonia, whose power system, like that of Lithuania and Latvia, is closely linked to the Russian system. The war in Ukraine shows us that energy infrastructure is one of the main targets of Russian attacks. Therefore, I believe that the R-GRID project will contribute to improving the energy security of NATO allied countries and partner states,’ emphasizes dr Päivi Mattila, director of the Security Research Program at Laurea University of Applied Sciences, co-director of the R-GRID project.

R-GRID will use artificial intelligence to prevent power outages in key sectors or a complete blackout. Simulations generated by R-GRID are intended to help identify critical network elements and increase the resilience of energy systems − considering both traditional and renewable energy sources at various levels of technological advancement.

The R-GRID project is implemented by an international consortium managed by:

  • Maciej Kluczyński, NATO country Project Director, Polish Association for National Security,
  • Dr Andrian Prokip, Partner country Project Director, Ukrainian Institute for the Future,
  • Dr Tomasz Michalak, co-director, IDEAS NCBR Sp. z o. o.,
  • Dr Päivi Mattila, co-director, Laurea University of Applied Sciences.

The project is planned to last 2 years and will open the way to the implementation and use of R-GRID in practice.

About the Polish Association for National Security

The Polish Association for National Security is an interdisciplinary scientific organisation. Building the state’s resilience against threats to national security and the international position of the Republic of Poland is our goal. We are currently participating in European projects, like EU-Hybnet, EU-CIP, or IMPRESS. We cooperate with, among others, EU Protective Security Advisors, implementing joint projects to raise the awareness of critical infrastructure operators regarding threats.

About the Ukrainian Institute for the Future

The Ukrainian Institute for the Future is an independent think tank based in Kyiv that analyses Ukrainian foreign and internal policies, prepares scenarios, and forecasts for the country’s developments.

About IDEAS NCBR

IDEAS NCBR sp. z o. o. is a research and development center operating in the field of artificial intelligence, established by the National Center for Research and Development. Our mission is to support the development of this technology in Poland by creating a platform connecting the academic and business environments. We are building the largest space in Poland friendly to conducting innovative, world-class research. We educate a new generation of scientists focused on the practical application of developed algorithms and their subsequent commercialization in industry, finance, medicine and other branches of the economy.

About Laurea University of Applied Sciences

Laurea University of Applied Sciences is one of the biggest and most popular higher education institutions in Finland with 7800 students. Laurea has six campuses, all located in the Helsinki metropolitan region. Laurea has been recognized in official evaluations as a high-quality education provider and a top performer in Finland’s education field. Laurea’s Security Research Program delivers high-level research for future needs in the context of the internal and external security nexus. Laurea has a strong track record in EU funded security projects, and Laurea’s research interests and expertise cover various fields, such as critical infrastructure protection, hybrid threats, maritime and border security, crises management, emergency first response and civil protection, cyber security, crime prevention, as well as in arctic security. Laurea is actively involved in several international and national networks operating in the field of safety and security, such as FISC, EOS, ECSO, ESDC, PSCEurope and UArcti.

About the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme

The NATO SPS Programme promotes dialogue and practical cooperation between NATO nations and Partner countries based on scientific research, technological innovation and knowledge exchange. The SPS Programme offers funding, expert advice and support to tailor-made, civil security-relevant activities. SPS activities are guided by a set of Allied-approved key priorities that address emerging security challenges. SPS supports four types of activities: research and development Multi-Year Projects (MYP), Advanced Research Workshops (ARW), Advanced Training Courses (ATC), and Advanced Study Institutes (ASI). Its activities bring together academics, experts and officials from NATO and partner countries who jointly lead research and knowledge exchange activities. Opportunities for cooperation are announced as calls for proposals on the SPS website.

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R-GRID: Artificial intelligence for the security of power grids – supported by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme