How the ECCC drives European digital innovation through the Digital Europe Programme and Horizon Europe
The Competence Centre’s and Network’s mission is to assist the European Union in:
Enhancing its leadership and strategic autonomy in cybersecurity by retaining and developing the Union’s research, academic, societal, technological and industrial cybersecurity capacities and capabilities necessary to enhance trust and security in the Digital Single Market, including data confidentiality, integrity and accessibility;
Strengthening the Union’s technological capacities, capabilities and skills in relation to the resilience and reliability of the infrastructure of network and information systems, encompassing critical infrastructure and widely used hardware and software in the Union; and
Elevating the global competitiveness of the Union’s cybersecurity industry, ensuring high cybersecurity standards across the Union, and transforming cybersecurity into a competitive advantage for other Union industries.
Aligned with legislative acts establishing relevant programmes, in particular the Digital Europe Programme (DEP) and Horizon Europe (HE), the Competence Centre will strategically allocate relevant Union financial resources in such a way as to contribute to the aforementioned mission.
The ECCC has an essential role in the implementation of the cybersecurity aspects of DEP, specifically under “Specific Objective 3 – Cybersecurity and Trust”, and also contributes to the implementation of HE, in particular within Pillar II “GLOBAL CHALLENGES & EUROPEAN INDUSTRIAL COMPETITIVENESS”, Cluster “Civil Security for Society”, section 3.1.3. Cybersecurity.
The financial contribution from the Union under Specific Objective 3 – Cybersecurity and Trust aims to achieve the following operational objectives:
Collaborate with Member States to support the building-up and procurement of advanced cybersecurity equipment, tools and data infrastructures, in order to achieve a high common level of cybersecurity at European level, in full compliance with data protection legislation and fundamental rights, while ensuring the strategic autonomy of the Union;
Support the building-up and best use of European knowledge, capacity and skills in cybersecurity and the sharing and mainstreaming of best practices;
Ensure a wide deployment of effective state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions across the European economy, paying special attention to public authorities and SMEs;
Reinforce capabilities within Member States and the private sector to help them comply with Directive (EU) 2016/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council (25) including through measures supporting the uptake of cybersecurity best practices;
Improve resilience against cyberattacks, contribute towards increasing risk-awareness and knowledge of cybersecurity processes, support public and private organisations in achieving basics levels of cybersecurity. This may include deploying end-to-end encryption of data and software updates;
Facilitate cooperation between the civil and defence sectors in dual-use projects, services, competences and applications in cybersecurity, as outlined in the Regulation establishing the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre and the Network of National Coordination Centres (the ‘Cybersecurity Competence Centre Regulation’).
The actions under Specific Objective 3 shall primarily be implemented through the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre and the Network of National Coordination Centres in accordance with the Cybersecurity Competence Centre Regulation’.
Pillar II “GLOBAL CHALLENGES & EUROPEAN INDUSTRIAL COMPETITIVENESS”, Cluster “Civil Security for Society”, section 3.1.3. Cybersecurity.
Malicious cyber activities not only threaten our economies, but also the very functioning of our democracies, our freedoms and our values. Cyber threats are often criminal, motivated by profit, but they can also be political and strategic. The security, freedom, democracy and prosperity of our future depend on improving our ability to protect the Union against cyber threats.
The ongoing digital transformation requires a substantial improvement in cybersecurity to ensure the protection of the numerous Internet of Things devices expected to be connected to the internet, along with the safe operation of network and information systems. These systems encompass critical infrastructure such as power grids, drinking water supply and distribution, vehicles and transport systems, hospitals, finances, public institutions, factories and homes. Europe must build resilience against cyber-attacks and create effective cyber deterrence, while making sure that data protection and the freedom of citizens are strengthened.
It is in the Union's interest to ensure that it develops and retains essential cybersecurity strategic capacities in order to secure the Digital Single Market and, in particular, the protection of critical networks and information systems and to provide key cybersecurity services. The Union must be capable of autonomously securing its digital assets and to competing in the global cybersecurity market.
Key focus areas:
Technologies across the digital value chain (from secure components and quantum-resistant cryptography to self-healing software and networks);
Technologies, methods, standards and best practices to address cybersecurity threats, anticipating future needs, and sustaining a competitive European industry, including tools for electronic identification, threat detection and cyber hygiene, as well as training and education resources;
An open collaboration for a European cybersecurity competence network and competence centre.
Visual identity requirements of the Digital Europe Programme and Horizon Europe
Project beneficiaries of DEP and HE must comply with requirements related to communication, exploitation, dissemination, and visibility of funding as stated by the relevant Call Document and Programme Model Grant Agreement, and as instructed by the granting authority.
The ECCC provides Project Coordinators with specific guidelines for project beneficiaries on communication, dissemination, exploitation, and visibility of funding for projects funded under DEP and HE.