Territorial footprint

Shuttle project: 'scientific high-throughput and unified toolkit for trace analysis in europe

The analysis of microtraces collected at crime scenes currently suffers from several limitations. It is time consuming work and the lack of a central database for European forensic laboratories makes it difficult to use the data in cross-border investigations and foreign courts.

A toolkit to facilitate microtrace analysis

The aim of the SHUTTLE project is to develop a toolkit to facilitate the analysis of microtraces collected at crime scenes.

In addition to the aim of providing a powerful and versatile toolkit to resolve the major problems associated with microtrace analysis, the SHUTTLE toolkit will improve the exchange of information and collaboration between different forensic laboratories to combat international crime. It will also help strengthen medico-legal collaboration between countries.

The ‘Pre-Commercial Procurement’ (PCP) approach

The toolkit will be developed through a ‘Pre-Commercial Procurement’ (PCP) instrument. This will enable the public entities involved in the SHUTTLE project to invite private sector entities, and in particular manufacturers, to bid to supply the research and development (R&D) services necessary to develop the toolkit.

The official call for tenders will be published shortly. All solution suppliers are invited to participate. The suppliers with the best tenders will be awarded a contract to design and possibly develop a prototype for the next steps in the tender.

The SHUTTLE concept

The SHUTTLE toolkit will offer:

  • Tape of sufficient quality for microscopic analysis
  • An automated microscope that will form the eyes of the SHUTTLE toolkit in order to acquire high quality images of the traces that have been recovered
  • Algorithms for image processing that will form the brain of the SHUTTLE toolkit to more precisely classify the traces identified.
  • A database and search algorithms that will form the memory of the SHUTTLE toolkit to facilitate the future analysis and comparison of data.

Role of the French Ministry of the Interior

The Forensic Research Institute of the French Gendamerie (IRCGN – Institut de Recherche Criminelle de la Gendarmerie Nationale) under the French Ministry of the Interior is the project coordinator. As mandated by the Ministry of the Interior, CIVIPOL will be in charge of the project’s financial and administrative management.

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 project under contract No. 786913.


schéma boîte à outils schéma boîte à outils

The project in figures


Total budget for the project






  • 01 May 2018

    Start of the project

  • 30 January 2019

    Project information day

  • 20 March 2019

    SHUTTLE Webinar

  • 30 April 2022

    End of the project

Photo de Laboratoire. Copyright PJGN Photo de Laboratoire. Copyright PJGN

About the project

Person in charge of steering


Project status

In progress

Funding type

European Union

Contract type