The security BODEGA project, promoted by Z&P and its European partners under the coordination of VTT, was funded by the European Commission under the H2020 Programme with Grand Agreement no. 653676.

BODEGA (BOrDErGuArd – Proactive Enhancement of Human Performance in Border Control) is a research project funded by the EC Horizon 2020 programme. It aims to gain a deeper understanding of the psychological factors that determine human behaviour of both travellers and border control operators during control operations at the frontiers. The project consortium includes: ministries, law enforcement authorities, large industrial groups and innovative small-medium enterprises.

In an increasingly globalised world, every single day more and more people cross the borders that separate different countries. A topic which is receiving an increasing degree of attention relates to making the control procedures more efficient from a security point of view as well as smoother for the travellers.

The BODEGA project pursues to innovate the approach to border control operations by:

  • Studying those psychological factors potentially detrimental for the operators’ performance. Particularly important are the cognitive biases, “cognitive shortcuts” which could unconsciously influence the decision making process;
  • Gaining a better understanding of the human physical reactions triggered by psychological causes, possibly highlighting a state of stress or discomfort;
  • Developing image processing algorithms, implemented in video-surveillance systems, in order to promptly identify the appearance of suspicious reactions in travellers waiting for being controlled.

The project developed ad hoc training programmes for border control operators, aiming at mitigating the impact of cognitive biases on their decision making process as well as improving their ability in spotting unsavoury behaviours exhibited by travellers. The creation of an intelligent video surveillance system, able to automatically identify suspicious behaviours, helped in the desired border control performance improvement, by supporting the operators in keeping wide and crowded areas efficiently monitored at all times.

The BODEGA project developed methods, guidelines, tools and recommendations which will benefit both border control operators and travellers. The work was carried out in accordance with the European laws on privacy and fundamental rights, also taking into account the related ethical issues. The outcome of the BODEGA project contributed to the implementation of the European “Smart Borders” initiative.


BODEGA Project Partners


Project funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020