Security, the focus of Horizon Europe Cluster 3

Security, the focus of Horizon Europe Cluster 3

Here is an overview of the areas covered by Horizon Europe’s Cluster 3

Horizon Europe has a somewhat complex structure: Europe’s largest innovation support programme structures its work in three pillars: excellent science, global challenges and competitiveness of European industry/clusters, and Innovative Europe.

In this article we want to focus on the second pillar, that of clusters, and more specifically on one of its six legs: cluster 3 ‘Civil security for society’.

This cluster responds to the challenges arising from threats to civil security, whether caused by natural or man-made disasters.

The cluster 3 calls in 2023

The Cluster 3 ‘Civil Security for Society’ calls offer research and innovation funding opportunities to SMEs, research institutions, universities, industries, civil society organisations and other security stakeholders. The 2023 grants have a budget of €186.6 million and can be found on Kaila. They will address interesting topics with the aim of creating quality partnerships and consortia to foster European cooperation:

· Fight against crime and terrorism.

· Border management.

· Resilient infrastructures

· Enhancing cyber security.

· Disaster resilient society.

· Supporting security research and innovation.

Cybersecurity on the rise

In a distinctly digital age, cybersecurity is a growing concern and the EU has developed regulations to strengthen it. The most important of these is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which sets strict standards for the protection of personal data and establishes significant fines for non-compliance.

On the other hand, collaboration and cooperation between EU member states on cybersecurity has increased. Agencies and bodies, such as the European Union Cybersecurity Agency (ENISA), have been established to promote the exchange of information and best practices.

Cyber threats continue to evolve and pose significant challenges in the EU. These threats include malware attacks, phishing, ransomware, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, among others. In addition, critical infrastructures and strategic sectors are frequent targets of attacks, and the deployment of 5G technology poses additional challenges in terms of cybersecurity.

There is also a growing awareness of the importance of cybersecurity education, training and awareness in the EU. And in this European Year of Skills 2023, cybersecurity training is one of the key themes.