The European Union Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems within the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA) has awarded a framework contract for the delivery of a new shared biometric correspondence system (sBMS) to the consortium led by IDEMIA and Sopra Steria. By 2022, sBMS will be one of the largest biometric systems in the world, integrating a database including fingerprints and portraits of more than 400 million third-country nationals. Based on European biometric technologies, this new system will first meet the identification needs of the new European entry / exit system (EES), a central element in protecting European borders.
The contract was awarded following a competitive tender (LISA / 2019 / RP / 05 EES BMS and sBMS) launched by eu-LISA. The contract can be extended for four years for a total of six years.
The Schengen area, a displacement zone in which 26 European countries have abolished their internal borders, is essential for the free movement of people. The use of the latest biometric technologies ensures effective protection of the external borders. This shared biometric matching system, aimed at combating illegal immigration and cross-border crime, will become one of the most important biometric systems in the world when it integrates all existing and future biometric databases in the European Union .
In addition to its contribution to the Smart Borders initiative and the framework for the interoperability of EU information systems, the sBMS will be useful for the future entry / exit system (EES), but also for many others. European systems already in service, including the Schengen Information System (SIS), the Visa Information System (VIS), Eurodac (European database of asylum seekers’ fingerprints) and the future ECRIS-TCN ( European criminal record information system for third-country nationals).
The companies in the consortium have already supported the European Union for more than 15 years in the management of other large-scale essential IT systems, including VIS, SIS and Eurodac. They collaborate regularly with the national and local administrations of the Member States of the European Union and with partners from the private sector, in order to promote the movement of people at air, land and sea borders.
“We thank eu-LISA for renewing its confidence in us. As a partner who contributed to the Smart Borders initiative from its launch by the European Commission and thanks to its global understanding of current European systems, IDEMIA is delighted to be able to participate in this major project. Alongside its partners, the Group will deploy cutting-edge biometric technologies and proudly pledge to contribute to one of the most demanding large-scale biometric databases in the world in terms of precision and speed, serving a safer Europe, ”said Philippe Barreau, IDEMIA Executive Vice-President in charge of identity and public security activities.
“As the European leader in digital transformation and internal security, Sopra Steria is proud to continue its long-standing partnership with eu-LISA by contributing to the establishment of an essential and central piece, not only for the future input / output system but also for the other central systems. I am convinced that this consortium provides the best solution and service offer to support eu-LISA in achieving its challenges and to provide the future shared biometric system with high added value for its users ”. Laurent Giovachini, Deputy Managing Director of Sopra Steria.