WG2: Market Deployment, Investments and International Collaboration WG2: Market Deployment, Investments and International Collaboration

This Working Group brings together cybersecurity market players covering the entire value chain. Together they contribute to cybersecurity market consolidation, promotion of products & services available in the EU market and investigate business opportunities with international partners.

Today this working group: 
  • Develop and maintain a view on the Cybersecurity Industry in Europe as a whole: support ECSO members to improve their market knowledge (products, suppliers, but also cyber security insurance solutions)
  • Design and facilitate innovative private and public investment capabilities: facilitate to understand the dynamics of the market and create a community of investors, brokers and supporting industries.
  • Support international trade: establish dialogue with main trade partners (US, China, Brazil and Japan) and initialising dialogue with developing countries


  • Common taxonomy based upon NIST taxonomy (already tested and validated in ECSO activities): One common language for concrete actions and visibility
  • ECSO Cybersecurity Market Radar (mapping more than 700 EU companies at national and regional level - based on the ECSO Common taxonomy for European based cybersecurity products, suppliers, service providers and consultancy offerings. IMPACT: Increased visibility of SMEs and large companies, tool for qualitative market analysis
  • Cooperation with EU Investors towards an EU Cybersecurity Investment Fund IMPACT: Increase and focus investments on EU companies/solutions
  • International cooperation: Dialogue with Japan (EU certification, Public-Private Partnership approach) and other Third Countries on a case by case basis. IMPACT: Identification of synergies and cooperation with Third Countries, promotion of EU Technology and competence at international level.

The Working Group chairs are:

  • David Ofer (iTrust),
  • Peter Rost (Secunet security networks AG)
  • Ulrich Sedeslachts (LSEC)

The working group is segmented into sub-working groups as followed:

SWG 2.1 Market knowledge - Chairs: Secunet Security Network AG and LSEC

SWG 2.2 Investments and innovative business models - Chairs: LSEC and Sonae IM/S21Sec

SWG 2.3 International cooperation, global competitiveness and support to export - Chairs: Basque Cybersecurity Centre, Detack and CINI

Cybersecurity Investment Platform (Fund of Funds)

22 September 2020 - ECSO working in conjunction with major private investors handed a letter of intent to key commissioners to signal their joint objective to create a cybersecurity investment platform worth at least  €1 billion over five years to urgently address the funding gap in the European cybersecurity sector.

ECSO has used its convening power to bring together eight major European private investors to help promote investments in European cybersecurity start-ups and SMES as well as keeping competences and strategic solutions within Europe. The cybersecurity investment platform ties in with the key ECSO mission to support European digital autonomy and more broadly with ECSO’s purpose of creating a strong, competitive European cybersecurity ecosystem.

An Ambitious Agenda
ECSO foresees the cybersecurity investment platform or ‘Fund of Funds’ being supported by a pan-European Investment Support Programme, with the Fund of Funds aiding the achievement of the following goals:

  1. Stimulating the emergence of new pan-European specialised cybersecurity funds to enable the launch of specialised European investment projects.
  2. Providing a focus on Series-A and growth stage companies to offer a level playing field for early stage companies which currently constitute the majority of investments in Europe.
  3. Creating a more specialised investment capacity to attract large international “limited partners” on the European market.
  4. Leveraging the Smart Specialisation Platform Cybersecurity Smart Regions to widen the deployment of an inter-regional acceleration programme and trigger large business-technology partnerships.
  5. Supporting the creation of the synergies in relevant R&D&I funding schemes across Europe.
Addressing the Cybersecurity Funding Deficit 
Cybersecurity represents a complex and fragmented market in Europe leading to a funding gap of over €4 billion in 2019 when compared with the USA. The lack of specialised growth capital, strategic buyers as well as international marketing and business skills is leading Europe to fall behind the US, Israel and China in this key strategic sector and European digital and cybersecurity champions are required to bridge the gap. Within this operating context, a new initiative was urgently needed to help address the funding deficit, leading to ECSO’s move to create the cybersecurity investment platform. 

Next Steps
On Friday 18th September, ECSO sent a letter co-signed by eight investment partners (listed below) to Vice Presidents Margarethe Vestager and Margarítis Schinás, as well as Commissioner Thierry Breton, calling for support and the opening of dialogue with the European institutions on this matter. With the support of the Smart Specialisation Platform “Cybersecurity Smart Regions” led by the Brittany Region, ECSO will also discuss the Fund of Funds with the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund to understand how the initiative can move forward to maximise access-to-finance for the European cybersecurity industry.

The eight European investors who signed the Letter of Intent in conjunction with ECSO are as follows:
  • Ace Management, France
  • Adara Ventures, Spain
  • KPN Ventures, The Netherlands
  • P101, Italy
  • Primomiglio, Italy
  • TIIN Capital, The Netherlands
  • Vendep Capital, Finland
Call for Participation
The Letter of Intent is now open to additional signatories and ECSO welcomes contributions to the design of the investment platform from private investors, industry and regional ecosystems. 
The Letter of Intent is available here.
Press release for download is available here