The first meeting of the European project to develop the cybersecurity community support (ECCO), which is being led by the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO), was held on the 25th January 2023. The European Commission and the ECCO members were joined by the representatives from the European Commission, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), and the Chair of the Governing Board the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre (ECCC).
The ECCO project, responding to the call for tenders CNECT-2022-OP-0033, received funding from the Digital Europe Programme (Cybersecurity WP2021-22) to support the activities necessary to develop, promote, coordinate and organize the work of the Cybersecurity Competence Community at European Level, within the scope and operations of the ECCC and National Coordination Centres Network. ECCO held its first kick-off meeting to delve deeper into ECCO’s core tasks and to present its execution and achievement strategy on Wednesday the 25th January.
Miguel Gonzalez Sancho Bodero, Interim Executive Director for European Cybersecurity Competence Center (ECCC) said : “With an evolving cyber threat landscape, the EU aims to strengthening Europe’s leadership in cybersecurity, support network and information system resilience and reliability, and increase the global competitiveness and high standards of the EU’s cybersecurity industry to retain and develop cybersecurity technological and industrial capacities. This project is part of EU’s plans to develop community and capacity building in cybersecurity research, technology, and industrial policy at EU level.”
Luigi Rebuffi, ECCO’s Project Director, added : ”Our goal at ECSO has always been to create a robust European cybersecurity ecosystem, and today’s ECCO project kick-off meeting is a significant step in that direction. We are moving closer to creating a strong, strategic, and less reliant European cybersecurity ecosystem now that we have started to promote cross-sector collaboration across Europe.”
The core tasks presented by ECCO were as follows:
• To map and analyse the European Cybersecurity Competence Community
• To stimulate collaboration within the European Cybersecurity Community
• To link the European Cybersecurity Competence Community with the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre and the National Competence Centres network
The main goals (and specific deliverables) of ECCO, with regard to the mapping and analysis of the European Cybersecurity Competence Community, will be to identify the Community’s primary stakeholders and conduct an analysis of the public and private investments made in Europe. Consequently, the goal is to improve cooperation between cybersecurity projects and initiatives, public and private, across Europe. A Market Observatory will be also established as a tool to gather information about the market and its trends contributing to an increased strategic autonomy thanks to a better understanding of market outlook and technology needs in Europe.
To encourage cooperation within the European Cybersecurity Community, ECCO will offer a variety of mechanisms that will make it easier for individuals to interact and promote cooperation both within and between the various topic-specific European cybersecurity communities. Establishing links at the national level, cooperation with NCCs and national bodies, and describing the procedures and methods for establishing cooperation within communities and beyond, are some of the sub-tasks. ECCO will also contribute to develop skills and competences for the academic and professional cybersecurity educational offer in Europe.
Lastly, ECCO will implement pertinent activities in close coordination with the ECCC and the Commission services, providing operational support to the ECCC and the Network of NCCs. The goal is to link the various tasks and provide coordination to support the work of the NCCs, the ECCC, and their deliverables. By planning thematic working groups, workshops, and events, it will make it easier for NCCs to interact and share knowledge at the European level in support of NCC and ECCC operations.
The meeting concluded with a discussion on synergies with existing initiatives of the European Commission, ENISA, the EU Agency for Cybersecurity and ECCC, the EU Cybersecurity Competence Center.
The project named ECCO (European Cybersecurity COmmunity), led by ECSO, is joined by a consortium of 13 cybersecurity stakeholders from the public and private sector and started on the 19th December, 2022, for a duration of two years. The goal of ECCO is to support activities needed to develop, promote, coordinate and organise the work of the Cybersecurity Competence Community at European Level, within the scope and operations of the ECCC and NCC Network. The project will strengthen Europe’s leadership in cybersecurity, support network and information system resilience and reliability, and increase the global competitiveness and high standards of the EU’s cybersecurity industry to retain and develop cybersecurity technological and industrial capacities.
ECCO partners are:
• UniBwM and TIS – Telecommunication Systems Institute of the Technical University of Crete for CONCORDIA;
• RHEA Group Cyber Security Services S.A for ECHO;
• University of Murcia and Goethe University Frankfurt for CYBERSEC4EUROPE;
• Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux énergies alternatives, CNR – Italian National
Research Council and Fraunhofer AISEC, for SPARTA;
• Leaders In Security, Sopra Steria, Trust-IT Services, , and Deloitte Risk Advisory as experts in specific project areas.
The European Cybersecurity Competence Centre (ECCC) aims to increase Europe’s cybersecurity capacities and competitiveness, working together with a Network of National Coordination Centres (NCCs) to build a strong cybersecurity Community.
The Centre and the Network will pool resources from the EU, its Member States, as well industry, academia and other stakeholders, to improve and strengthen technology and industrial cybersecurity capacities, enhancing EU’s open strategic autonomy.
The Centre will manage 2021-2027 EU funding from the Digital Europe and Horizon Europe Programmes, as well as contributions from Member States. In 2021-2022 the EU is investing more than €300 million in topics such as cyber threat intelligence, cybersecurity upgrades in SMEs, cyber in the health sector, cyber secured hardware and operating systems, or training and skills.
The Governing Board of the Centre is composed of representatives from the Member States (27 members), the Commission (2 members) and the European cybersecurity agency-ENISA (1 permanent observer). In February 2022, the Governing Board elected Pascal Steichen, from Luxembourg, as its Chair, and Katarzyna Prusak-Gorniak, from Poland, as its Vice-Chair. The European Commission is running the Centre until it can operate fully independently, with Miguel González Sancho currently serving as Interim Executive Director of the Centre.
For more information on the Centre, including future funding and job opportunities, follow the Centre on Twitter and on the web.
ECCC press contact: Paula Brouillard, Coordinator for Political and Crisis Communication,
E-mail address: paula.brouillard-molina(at)ec.europa.eu
Phone number: +32 460 750265
ECCO press contact: Alexandra Madsen, Events and Communications Manager, ECSO
Email address: alexandra.madsen(at)ecs-org.eu
Phone number: +32 499 716228