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R-GRID supported by the NATO: Artificial intelligence for the security of power grids

R-GRID project is to create an artificial intelligence tool to protect power grid systems. The project addresses one of the priorities for cooperation identified in 2023 by the NATO-Ukraine Joint Working Group on Scientific and Environmental Cooperation, which aims to provide solutions to Ukraine’s current and upcoming needs. Laurea is part of the consortium with the Polish Association for National Security, the Ukrainian Institute for the Future and IDEAS NCBR.

The international dimension of security

− Russia's aggression against Ukraine has raised awareness of threats to Europe's energy security and prompted a risk analysis to identify weak points in the electricity system. In the R-GRID project, we will build tools to identify critical elements of the power grid and to increase their resilience and stability, says Maciej Kluczyński, president of the Polish Association for National Security, who serves as NATO country Project Director.

− Russian attacks on Ukraine's electricity infrastructure caused serious damage, resulting in power supply interruptions and non-typical modes of power system operation. Renovation crews are making continuous efforts to restore network functionality while facing a lack of rare equipment. Therefore, the synchronization of the Ukrainian electricity system with the systems of European countries significantly contributed to its stabilization. However, the power systems still need additional solutions to be better resilient against different kinds of attacks, says Dr Andrian Prokip, director of the Energy Program at the Ukrainian Institute for the Future, Partner country Project Director.

Protection against failures and blackouts

− Modern energy systems are susceptible to various forms of attacks. The task of the R-GRID simulator will be to support strategic decision making regarding the identification of critical components of the power grid and modelling improvements to energy infrastructure elements, explains dr Tomasz Michalak, leader of the "AI for security" research team at IDEAS NCBR, co-director of the R-GRID project.

"The war in Ukraine shows us that energy infrastructure is one of the main targets of Russian attacks."

− In April 2024, it will have been a year since Finland gained NATO member status. Finland shares a long border with Russia. Finland has two underwater energy connections with Estonia, whose power system, like that of Lithuania and Latvia, is closely linked to the Russian system. The war in Ukraine shows us that energy infrastructure is one of the main targets of Russian attacks. Therefore, I believe that the R-GRID project will contribute to improving the energy security of NATO allied countries and partner states, emphasizes dr Päivi Mattila, director of the Security Research Program at Laurea University of Applied Sciences, co-director of the R-GRID project.

R-GRID will use artificial intelligence to prevent power outages in key sectors or a complete blackout. Simulations generated by R-GRID are intended to help identify critical network elements and increase the resilience of energy systems − considering both traditional and renewable energy sources at various levels of technological advancement.

The R-GRID project is implemented by an international consortium managed by

- Maciej Kluczyński, NATO country Project Director, Polish Association for National Security
- Dr Andrian Prokip, Partner country Project Director, Ukrainian Institute for the Future
- Dr Tomasz Michalak, co-director, IDEAS NCBR Sp. z o. o.
- Dr Päivi Mattila, co-director, Laurea University of Applied Sciences

The project is planned to last 2 years and will open the way to the implementation and use of R-GRID in practice.

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