210 million to strengthen cybersecurity and digital capabilities

210 million to strengthen cybersecurity and digital capabilities
210 million to strengthen cybersecurity and digital capabilities

As part of its commitment to promote digital resilience and technological innovation, the European Commission launched on Thursday 4 July calls for proposals totalling over €210 million. This funding, from the “Digital Europe” programme, aims to strengthen cybersecurity and develop digital skills across the European Union.

Approved on 16 March 2021 by the Council of the EU, the Digital Europe programme aims to boost digital transformation by funding the deployment of cutting-edge technologies in crucial areas such as AI, High Performance Computing (HPC), cybersecurity and by developing digital skills. This programme, the first in the EU to focus on bringing digital technology to businesses and citizens, has a budget of €7.5 billion over 7 years (2021-2027). Its primary objective was to accelerate the post-COVID economic recovery by digitally transforming European society and economy, with a particular focus on small and medium-sized enterprises. This crisis, as well as Russia’s war against Ukraine, has demonstrated the importance for Europe not to depend on systems and solutions from other regions of the world.

Its implementation is carried out through multiannual work programmes. Calls for proposals are open to companies, organisations and public administrations from EU Member States and EFTA/EEA countries.

102.8 million euros to increase cybersecurity

In response to the rise in cyber threats and the need to protect critical infrastructure, the Commission has allocated substantial funds to support various cybersecurity projects:

  • Protection of large industrial installations and critical infrastructures : €35 million is earmarked for projects to secure large industrial facilities and critical infrastructure against cyberattacks. These funds will strengthen the resilience of critical systems and ensure their proper functioning in the event of a cyber threat;
  • Cybersecurity Operations Centers : To further develop and expand cybersecurity incident monitoring and response capabilities, €12.8 million will be invested in cybersecurity operations centres, both national and cross-border. These centres play a crucial role in coordinating and responding quickly to cyber incidents;
  • Cybersecurity technologies and tools : A €35 million envelope is earmarked for the deployment of cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies and tools. This investment aims to promote the adoption of innovative solutions and strengthen digital defences within the EU;
  • Cybersecurity legislation and strategies : To support Member States in implementing EU legislation and developing effective national cybersecurity strategies, €20 million will be allocated. This effort aims to harmonise and strengthen cybersecurity regulatory frameworks across the Union.

The deadline to submit applications for these cybersecurity-related funding opportunities is January 21, 2025.

108 million euros to develop digital skills

Recognising the importance of digital skills for Europe’s economic future, the Commission is also investing heavily in the development of advanced skills and digital infrastructure.

  • Advanced digital skills : With an investment of €55 million, the Commission will support the design and implementation of higher education programmes in key areas of digital technologies. These funds aim to address skills gaps and prepare future professionals for digital challenges;
  • Multinational projects : To facilitate the deployment of digital projects across Europe, €25 million will be invested in activities carried out by multinational consortia. These projects will contribute to creating a robust and interconnected European digital infrastructure;
  • Local digital twins : An additional €20 million will be dedicated to the development of European local digital twins, virtual replicas of local communities. These tools will enable better management and optimization of local resources through digital technologies;
  • European Digital Media Observatories : In order to combat disinformation and strengthen the reliability of online information, €8 million will be invested in European Digital Media Observatories. These funds will finance the work of independent regional hubs tasked with analysing and countering disinformation in digital media.

Applications for this funding must be submitted by 21 November 2024. Further calls for proposals are planned after the adoption of the Digital Europe Work Programme 2025-2027.

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