New start for Horizon 2020 Project

Picture of oil platform
RAPID DEVELOPMENT: Researchers in the Horizon 2020 project ENHANCE share new knowledge that can contribute to improved safety in the process industry and the maritime industry. (Photo: Thomas Olsson)

New solutions for better security in industry. That is the ambition for the project USN is coordinating in the world’s largest research program – Horizon 2020.

ENHANCE is about inventing new knowledge that improves the security of employees in trades with complex technological systems. The COVID-19 pandemic put the project on pause, but a new year brings new opportunities.

In 2022, the secondments (researcher exchange) that is the core of the project is restarting. ENHANCE is financed by the world’s largest research program – Horizon2020, and is coordinated by The University of South-Eastern Norway (USN).

–ENHANCE as a consortium has continued working through the pandemic, which nonetheless has delayed the progress of the project. We have been given considerable support from our contacts in the EU Commission, and are now close to presenting a new timeline for the project, says Professor Salman Nazir, project manager for ENHANCE.

New training methods 

Rapid technological development has led to more complex systems in the process and maritime industries. To maintain and improve security, employees must achieve the skills needed to handle the systems efficiently.

ENHANCE researchers will develop new training and evaluation methods on how people and technology interact in demanding situations.

– All scientific findings indicate that humans are involved in a large share of accidents, and we wish to find solutions and answers to what causes these errors. Further, we will investigate how to enable operators to avoid accidents through new training methods, Nazir explains.

Few months after being granted full university status in 2018, USN was invited by the EU Commission to coordinate its first Horizon2020 project. Nazir and his consortium succeeded in their third application attempt, in fierce competition with other European applicants.

The project kicked off in 2019, and things were going well until the pandemic put an abrupt stop to the activities.

– Fortunately, all partners are still onboard, and that signals that the faith and commitment to the project is intact, Nazir maintains.

Collaboration and knowledge-sharing 

Salman Nazir is also heading the USN Centre for Excellence in Maritime Simulator Training and Assessment (COAST) – research on simulator training in maritime sciences. And he is globally well-known for his expertise in maritime security.

An important aspect of the ENHANCE project is the collaboration between industry and reciprocal knowledge-sharing. Eleven partners from Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Pakistan, China and Malaysia work together in this project. Across borders, researchers share new knowledge, thus enabling them to get closer to their goals in the project.

The project has collected a number of engineers, psychologists and human factor specialists to create good technological solutions. – ENHANCE gives opportunities both for industry partners and young researchers from around the globe, Nazir states.

Horizon 2020 and its successor as of 2021, Horizon Europe, is very central for Norwegian research environments, higher education institutions, industry and public services to solve global challenges.

The European framework programme for research and innovation has a total budget of approximately € 95,5 million, in which about 50% is earmarked for financing large collaboration projects.



This project has received funding from the EU's research and innovation funding program Horizon 2020 under Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 823904. 


Project name: Enhancing Human Performance in Complex Socio-Technical Systems: Developing and Implementing New Training and Assessment Solutions for Improved Safety (ENHANCE).

Despription: ENHANCE is about improving the safety of employees in industries that use complex technological systems (maritime industry and process industry).

Collaborative partners: 

The University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) (Leader)

Liverpool John Moores University (UK)

Politecnico Di Milano (Italy)

RUHR Universitatet Bochum (Germany)

Kongsberg Digital AS (Norway)

Kongsberg Maritime AS (Norway)

RWE Power AG (Gemrany)

Institute of Technology PETRONAS SDN BHD (Malaysia)

National University of Sciences & Technology Pakistan (Pakistan)

Wuhan University of Technology (China)