From the 28th to 29th April, 2014 the SPARKS kick-off meeting was held in Vienna, at the premises of AIT Austrian Institute of Technology – the project coordinator. Researchers from the nine organisations that are in the SPARKS consortium discussed a number of issues, in order to get underway the work packages in the project. The technical activities that will be carried out in these work packages are focused on a number of key areas, with respect to securing the future smart grid: smart grid security analysis, including risk assessment; security architectures and standards for smart grids; and key smart grid security technologies, including resilient control systems, the use of Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs) for smart meter (gateway) authentication; intrusion detection in SCADA systems, and the use of security analytics in smart grids. Associated with these technical aspects will is a socio-economic cost-benefit analysis, which indicates their ability to be deployed on real systems. Furthermore, European regulatory and legal requirements will be considered when developing the security solutions in the project.
The technologies that will be developed in the project will be validated using three main demonstrators: the Nimbus Microgrid; the smart grid infrastructure of SWW Wunsiedel; and the AIT SmartEST laboratory. The latter facility served as the location for the social event at the kick-off meeting, with partners being given a guided tour of the facility, in order to concretize their understanding of how it will be applied in the project.
One of the items for discussion at the meeting was the arrangements for the first SPARKS stakeholder engagement workshop, which will be held in Graz on the 20th May as part of the Austrian Smart Grids Week. The next plenary meeting for the SPARKS project will be held in September, with a joint meeting planned with SPARKS’s sister project, called SEGRID.