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“Increased Cybersecurity” in Horizon Europe

Natalia García-Barberena

Natalia García-Barberena

Senior Consultant and cybersecurity expert

Nowadays, the level of security enjoyed by European citizens is one of the highest in the world. However, recent years have highlighted Europe’s vulnerability in a context of increasing globalisation, in which society is facing new security threats and challenges that continue to grow at an alarming rate in scale and sophistication.

Concretely, Europe is in the midst of a digital transformation. In our daily life we use a wide variety of digital technologies, for working, travel, communicate, paying using e-commerce, social media interactions etc. These technologies generate a great amount of data which if is not correctly used and protected can be a threat for all of us.

That is why the digital transformation requires improving cybersecurity substantially, so as to ensure the protection of the increasing number of connected devices and the safe operation of network and information systems, including the ones used in power grids, drinking water supply and distribution services, vehicles and transport systems, hospitals and the overall health system, finances, public institutions, factories, and homes. There is a need in Europe of strengthening the data protection and freedom of citizens creating an effective cyber protection.

Given the current situation the European Commission proposed the creation of a security area that would promote the consolidation of secure European societies, with the aim of facing a context of growing interdependencies and global threats, and strengthening freedom and justice, both foundations of the EU.

In this way, the Secure Societies program emerged in 2004 through the PASR (Preparatory Action on the enhancement of the European industrial potential in the field of Security research) evolving in the different programs: FP7, Horizon 2020 and now Horizon Europe, the European Commission programme for the next 7 years.

Cybersecurity keys in Horizon Europe

More specifically, a destination of Cluster 3 – Civil Security for Societies is dedicated to “Increased Cybersecurity” with different topics under it to contribute to the achievement of the following impacts:

  • Strengthened EU cybersecurity capacities and European Union sovereignty in digital technologies
  • More resilient digital infrastructures, systems and processes
  • Increased software, hardware and supply chain security
  • Secured disruptive technologies
  • Smart and quantifiable security assurance and certification shared across the EU
  • Reinforced awareness and a common cyber security management and culture

For the next two years there is a total budget of 134 million €, 67,50 for 2021 and 67,30 for 2022. The calls for this year will be launched on next 30th Jun 2021 and will remain opened until 21st Oct 2021. The following table summarize the 4 calls for this period and the corresponding funds available:


Besides Cluster 3, several other funding opportunities strictly related to cybersecurity are available either within other Horizon Europe clusters and pillars, or in other major programs, such as Digital Europe, EIT Digital, etc. If you are interested in applying to some of these opportunities,

ZABALA can support you with experts in this domain.

Some practical tips.

  • It is very important to know in detail the target topic, paying special attention to the challenges that arise, the needs of society, users and relevant entities and the expected impact.
  • Active involvement of end-users who in several calls are part of the eligibility conditions and which can often be difficult to achieve. This involvement is of great importance both for the definition of the project and for its implementation as it improves the market exploitability of project results as well as the impact of the action at a broader level, while effectively contributing to EU policies’ implementation.
  • Multidisciplinary proposals. Trying to integrate the research and technological development carried out during the project with different areas such as research in politics and human and social sciences.

Finally, if you need support for your proposal preparation, get the support of professionals who not only understand your project but also know how to fit it into the requirements of the call to optimize the chances of getting the necessary funding.

From ZABALA we put ourselves at your disposal.


Expert person

Natalia García-Barberena
Natalia García-Barberena

Pamplona Office

Senior Consultant and cybersecurity expert

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