WG4: Support to SMEs , coordination with countries and regions

Misson & Objectives

The working group focuses on the following issues:

1. Support the development of SMEs, start-ups and high growth companies, to help them to create more market transparency and to reach out far beyond their traditional home markets which are usually nationally or regionally limited in order to partner in R&D international project and access to European market.

2. Develop coordinated activities between Regions, Clusters (both business oriented and triple helix) and local bodies (e.g. smart cities) for accelerating the commercialisation and scaling up of the interregional innovation projects


1. Support to SMEs: ECSO SME Hub (under development) – Registry and EU Cybersecurity Label (marketing)
Provide SMEs with higher visibility to reach out far beyond their traditional home markets and investment opportunities

2. Access to Market and Finance: matchmaking SMEs – EU Investors (6 Investor Days since 2017 with participation of almost 180 European SMEs and 60 EU investors: Training session for start-ups, Pitch sessions, > 400 B2B meetings between start-ups and investors. Several deals closed).
Investment opportunities for European SMEs also to retain them in Europe

3. Network of Regions and their competence centres for smart specialisation cooperation in cybersecurity:

    • EU Pilot projects for exchange of best practices across regions (INTERREG) and for inter-regional acceleration “Cyber Valleys” programme: boosting local SMEs supporting 20 scaleups/year with 4 business services (training and mentoring - go to market, consulting on SME management issues, communication - networking, access to funding).

IMPACT: To facilitate the emergence of European champions

  • ECSO network of more than 30 regional, national and international entities as strategic communication partners to support SME’s growth: mapping of mature regional ecosystems specialised in cybersecurity including 465 organisation (click for a demo)

IMPACT: Link local, regional and national communities ... towards cooperation across regions and competence centres (also DIHs)


The working group chairs are Annie Audic (Conseil Régional Brétagne) and Sebastiano Toffaletti (DIGITAL SME) and Juha Remes (FISC)

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

  • SWG4.1: SMEs, startups and high growth companies - Chair: iTrust
  • SWG4.2: Coordination of national and regional activities - Chair: Conseil Régional Brétagne
  • SWG4.3: Support to Central and Eastern European Countries - Chair: RHEA SA


ECSO – an Advisory Partner to the Interreg Europe CYBER project  

Interreg Europe CYBER is a 5 years project aiming to boost the competitiveness of European cybersecurity SMEs and to create synergies among the European cybersecurity valleys. To achieve the goals, a series of interregional events are organized to connect stakeholders from European regions, to share the best policy practices and to address common challenges. As an Advisory Partner, ECSO will provide guidance on the implementation of a multi-layered approach to structure competitive ecosystems. 

CYBER recognize interregional cooperation as key to identifying solutions and moving towards a more integrated cybersecurity market. The kick-off meeting of the project took place on 3-4 July 2018 in Rennes, France and was hosted by Bretagne Development Innovation (BDI), the Leading Partner of the project.

More information about the project can be found via the link: https://www.interregeurope.eu/cyber 


  • 6/2017, WG4 MEMBERS - Position paper (download file)
  • 2/2019, ECSO - Working Group 4: Mission, Objectives, Activities, Achievements (download file)
  • 4/2019, WG4 - ECSO Position Paper: The role of the regions in strengthening the European Union’s cyber security (download file)
  • 4/2019, WG4 - 'Connecting European Cyber Valleys' - map of the European cyber security ecosystems (download file)
  • 5/2019, WG4, WG2 - ECSO Cybersecurity Business Matchmaking Events Across Europe 2017-2019 (download file)


ECSO Secretariat: wg4_secretariat@ecs-org.eu