Sellers to Canada's Emergency Response Sector Identify Needs, Challenges
April 18, 2006

Ottawa, Ontario - April 18, 2006: Canadian vendors to the First Responder community - the nation's Police, Fire, and Paramedic personnel - identify the need for greater access to First Responders as a critical gap that could be bridged by the Canadian Police Research Centre (CPRC).

The report, titled Canadian Police Research Centre Research Priorities and Related Services for Canadian Industry: A Needs Analysis of Canada's First Responder Vendor Community is based upon an online needs assessment conducted in collaboration with the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance) earlier this year. Along with identifying key research priorities and advocacy needs, the assessment also resulted in the first demographic profile of this community of vendors, upon which very little was previously known.

"This was the first study of its kind among those vendors who serve the First Responder community," says report author and CATAAlliance VP Research, Kevin Wennekes. "There is no industry association or government database to readily identify these companies so the first challenge was to effectively locate and invite the appropriate respondents. In the end, 69 companies serving First Responder organizations completed the assessment and we believe this provides an accurate reflection of the needs and priorities of the vendor community at large."

The study reveals that a primary need of the vendor community is for greater access to key fire, police and military personnel in the development and field testing of their products or services. Further, the majority of respondents also identified a desire to work with the CPRC as it sets out to define technical standards for the equipment and services they, the vendors, provide. Finally, another key finding was the need for a greater awareness of the CPRC itself, which scored relatively low in recognition levels by the vendors overall.

"The assessment has provided us with some clear directions and priorities to act on," says Steve Palmer, CPRC's Executive Director. "It is encouraging to see significant levels of interest among the vendor community in working collaboratively with first responders in the development and testing of their products, and this is certainly an area where the CPRC can act as a strong facilitator and partnership builder. We also welcome the news that there appears to be a strong interest among vendors in helping us to establish product and service Standards. Again, the CPRC is well positioned to bring the users and providers together to develop Standards that will be seen as valid, a true indicator of superior quality, and recognized as such by both groups. "The low awareness levels around the CPRC and our mandate was certainly another key finding for us," continues Mr. Palmer. "With over half of the respondents being not at all familiar with our work, we clearly see the need for increased levels of promotion and advocacy regarding the services our new Centre can potentially provide the vendor community. We will certainly be following-up on the heightened interest in the CPRC that this study has generated and contacting those many companies who identified their interest in working with us."

ACTION ITEM:
The 48-page PDF "First Responder" report provides a comprehensive overview of the results using detailed charts and graphs and is available free to CATAAlliance members and media organizations. For Non-members, please contact Cathi Malette at cmalette@cata.ca.

Note also that you can now access more than thirty key advanced security documents from our Aviation Security Conference, including case studies on research and innovation, new security technologies, human factors and intelligence and the role they play in securing the aviation environment and national security generally. Key contact lists are also included in the Repository. Please verify your CATA membership status and then contact cmalette@cata.ca for your password access.

About the Canadian Police Research Centre (CPRC)

The Canadian Police Research Centre (CPRC) is a partnership among the National Research Council Canada, Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, The Canadian Professional Police Association and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It is staffed by personnel from the RCMP and the National Research Council (NRC), and is governed by an independent advisory board made up of representatives from the police community, the private sector and other first responders from across Canada.

The CPRC serves as a single, national focal point for technology research and development efforts in support of Canada's first responders By promoting innovation and cooperation between first responders, governments, industry, universities, and other research organizations, the CPRC strives to ensure that the best possible resources are made available to police and related organizations in a cost-efficient and timely manner.

You can receive the latest information on CPRC, its research projects, technology partners and business opportunities by registering for "CPRC update".(http://www.cprc.org/)