Contract between the public side (European Commission) and the private side (ECSO ASBL) has been signed at the European Parliament

Jul 5, 2016, Strasbourg

On July 5, 2016, contract between the public side (European Commission) and the private side (ECSO ASBL) has been signed at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, to stimulate the cybersecurity industry in Europe on strategic research and innovation.

The European Commission today signed the contract for a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO) ASBL for a strategic alliance in cybersecurity. The EU will invest €450 million in this partnership under its research and innovation (R&I) programme H2020. In return, each euro of public funding is expected to trigger additional investments of three or more Euro by the cybersecurity market players represented by ECSO. In total, this partnership on cybersecurity is expected to raise around €1.8 billion of investment by 2020 and with this, develop innovative and trusted cybersecurity solutions, products and services in Europe.

ECSO will work directly with the European Commission to improve Europe's industrial policy on cybersecurity, focusing on innovation and following a strategic R&I roadmap. This PPP will help build trust among Member States, industrial actors and end-users, by fostering bottom up cooperation on strategic R&I and building a strong, harmonised and competitive cybersecurity market in Europe across various sectors such as energy, transport, health and finance.

The signature ceremony hosted by Vice President for Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip and Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Gunther Oettinger, gathered high-level ECSO member representatives of 48 public and private organisations from 14 different countries. The signature was preceded by a short exchange of views between Commissioner Oettinger and participants.

Commissioner Gunther Oettinger signed the contract of the PPP on cybersecurity together with Luigi Rebuffi, CEO of the European Organisation for Security (EOS) and interim Chairman of ECSO.

Commissioner Oettinger said that "Europe needs high quality, affordable and interoperable cybersecurity products and services. There is a major opportunity for our cybersecurity industry to compete in a fast-growing global market. We call on Member States and all cybersecurity bodies to strengthen cooperation and pool their knowledge, information and expertise to increase Europe's cyber resilience. The milestone partnership on cybersecurity signed today with the industry is a major step".

Luigi Rebuffi said that "Signing this contractual partnership with the European Commission represents a pivotal step in public-private cooperation for the advancement of cybersecurity R&I and the growth of a competitive cybersecurity and ICT industry in Europe. ECSO is a fast growing organisation which has received, as of today, more than 120 membership applications. This shows the strong commitment from all cybersecurity players to develop a sustainable market in Europe ensuring digital autonomy and contributing to the goals of the Digital Single Market".

Background

The PPPs are based on roadmaps for research and innovation activities which are the result of an open consultation process, and which have been positively evaluated by the European Commission with the help of independent experts. The PPP on cybersecurity will build on the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) in the area of secure information and communication technologies (ICT), developed by the NIS Platform and published in September 2015. In 20 January, 2016 a preparation workshop for the "Contractual Public-Private Partnership" between the European Commission, Member States and the cybersecurity industry took place in Brussels. The workshop aimed to brainstorm on the concept of a PPP. As the result of the workshop 5 working groups of industry representatives were formed led by EOS, CNR, ACN, Guardtime representing the Estonian ICT Association and TELETRUST to create ECSO. ECSO was legally established on 13 June 2016 as a fully self-financed non-for-profit association (ASBL) under Belgian law with the aim of representing the private sector in the contractual PPP. ECSO is a pan-European organisation which members include large companies, SMEs, start-ups, research centers, academia, users and operators, associations, clusters and national, regional and local public administrations of Member States, EEA/EFTA countries and H2020 associated countries. ECSO will support all types of initiatives or projects that aim to develop, promote, encourage cybersecurity in Europe, and in particular to foster and protect the growth of the European Digital Single Market.

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