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ECSO publishes its input to the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe Programme

ECSO -Brussels -18 December 2020

Learn about the priorities for a SRIA and support to competitiveness

18 December 2020

Today, we are proud to publish 2 separate documents on our input to both the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe Programmes. These documents have been previously shared with the European Commission to support the definition of priorities.

ECSO Vice President and WG6 Co-Chair Fabio Martinelli underlines that "A significant cooperative effort of WG6 members has been made to identify ECSO community priorities for research and innovation in the next years to allow Europe to cope with challenges in cyber security", he added that "these priorities have been validated and exchanged with the relevant communities, including several other cPPP interested in aspects related to the digital world and critical infrastructures".

In our input document to the Horizon Europe priorities, we have identified together with our members, four main strategic areas for investment in order to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity R&I strategy in Europe to increase digital autonomy and respond to the needs of our industrial sectors, while protecting the European fundamental rights. These investments could be supported by the coming Horizon Europe Programme, from 2021 to 2027.

WG6 Co Chair, Volkmar Lotz from SAP adds that « Research and innovation are essential to face the challenges of cybersecurity in Europe  -- and setting the right priorities is key. ECSO WG6’s priorities are reflecting the views of the major European cybersecurity stakeholders in the industry and the research community, driven by consumer need and technology opportunities”. 

In our input document to the Digital Europe Programme (DEP) we have identified some strategic areas for investment in order to develop a Capability Development Plan to increase digital autonomy and respond to the needs of our industrial sectors, while protecting the European fundamental rights. 

Since our creation in 2016 and together with our members, we have been an active stakeholder at European level and have gained recognition through our initiatives for supporting the implementation of policy, technology, competitiveness and competence-building.

Annie Audic from the Brittany Region, Member of the Board of ECSO representing Regions and Co chair of WG4 on Support to SMEs and collaboration with Regions commented on the input presented to the DEP saying that “Over the last years, ECSO has developed a unique modus operandi to understand the complex dynamics of the cybersecurity market and increase the visibility of SMEs. This approach is based on the continued involvement of mature regional ecosystems in all ECSO activities: analysis of the cybersecurity value chain, training of experts and support in access-to-finance to start-ups and SMEs. The DEP programme is an opportunity for Europe to leverage on the achievement of the Cybersecurity Smart Regions (regions of the Smart Specialisation Platform) to strengthen the European ecosystem through the creation of a network of Digital Innovation Hubs specialized in cybersecurity”

Sebastiano Toffaletti from DIGITALSME, Member of the Board of ECSO representing SMEs and Co Chair of WG4 on Support to SMEs and collaboration with Regions underlined that "The SME Hub has been designed as a market support and networking tool for European Cyber SMEs. This year ECSO has launched the first service of this marketing suite: the European Cybersecurity Made in Europe and received a broad support for 13 partners. Soon we will launch the other two pillars of the Hub: the Registry and the Quadrant. Based on these marketing services, the SME Hub is intended to create more market transparency and help SMEs reach out far beyond their traditional home markets, which are usually nationally or regionally limited.   This initiative fits very well with the ambitions of the DEP programme and ECSO intend to play a key role in federating the SMEs community".

Peter Rost from secunet, co chair of WG2 on market deployment and investments also said that "Our Cybersecurity Investment platform proposal aims to reinforce and consolidate the European cybersecurity investment chain. Europe can, and must, close the growth-capital gap by bundling public and private forces in a powerful investment engine. At ECSO, we have brought financial, strategic and public investors as well as cybersecurity start-up's and regional ecosystems from all over Europe to the table. Our investment platform concept is now mature enough to be brought to life, and join the other digital single cybersecurity market-making financial instruments of the Commission like the Digital Europe Programme. Investment is not everything, but without significant later-stage investment, Europe is unlikely to see many new cybersecurity unicorns emerging that are required to reach European digital sovereignty".

Finally Csaba Virag, member of the Board of Directors and Co-Chair of WG5 on Education, skills, awareness and cyber ranges commented that “Recent SolarWinds news and the massive exposure of vulnerable systems that is shaking the stakeholders, cybersecurity professionals, politicians and even the military decision makers confirm the need for a European sovereign approach to large-scale capacity building. European Commission and the European community has decade long experience in co-creation and R&D projects under the Horizon programs, yet the effective implementation and tangible exploit of the outcome of those projects are mixed. As ECSO WG5 we focus on giving tangible value for the European community and such we highly welcome the new Horizon and DEP priorities as the need for operationally driven projects aimed at raising cyber resilience pose a constantly growing significance in our quest for achieving European digital sovereignty.”

Read the Input from ECSO to the Horizon Europe Programme 2021-2027 | Download the infographic

Read the Input from ECSO to the Digital Europe Programme 2021-2027 | Download the infographic