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€84M for AI & cybersecurity in Digital Europe Programme

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Later this month, the European Commission will open a series of calls for proposals under its Digital Europe Programme, with a total budget of €84 million available. In particular, there is a specialist focus on projects supporting Security Operations Centres (SOC) with novel applications of AI and other enabling technologies.

What is the Digital Europe Programme?

The focus of the Digital Europe programme is to focus on building the strategic digital capabilities of the EU and on facilitating the wide deployment of digital technologies to be used by both citizens and businesses.

Alongside other EU programmes, Digital Europe is contributing to the deployment of high impact projects that aim to build on Europe’s strengths (AI, cyber security, 5G, HPC, etc.). This will be achieved by ensuring robust European industrial and technology coverage of key parts of the digital supply chain through public and private effort.

Why are these new funding calls being issued?

“With the magnitude of cyberthreats increasing exponentially, cybersecurity is a must-have,” said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age. “This call for supporting technologies will help the EU invest to protect us as citizens, our societies and our economy.”

“Detection speed is key to effectively respond to cyber threats,” said Thierry Breto, Commissioner for Internal Market. “That is why we want to invest in novel AI applications and other enabling technologies to strengthen our European SOC infrastructure and achieve a true European cyber shield.”

Who can apply for these calls?

Busineses, SMEs, public administrations, and other entities from EU Member States, EFTA/EEA countries, and countries associated to the Digital Europe Programme can submit a proposal.

What are the calls?

There a total of six separate calls:

  • Novel applications of AI and other enabling technologies for SOCs – Developing and deploying systems and tools for cyber security based on enabling technologies (such as AI), addressing aspects such as threat detection, vulnerability detection, threat mitigation, incident recovery through self-healing, data analysis and data sharing.
  • Tools for compliance with the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) requirements and obligations – Supporting the implementation of the proposed CRA through tools that support and, where possible, automate internal compliance procedures, including testing and specifcation drafting with a focus on European SMEs (particularly micro and small enterprises).
  • Strengthen cyber security capacities of European SMEs in line with CRA requirements and obligations – Supporting European SMEs (particularly micro and small enterprises) to strengthen their cyber security capabilities and to support the implementation of the proposed regulation on the CRA.
  • Deployment of post quantum cryptography (PQC) in systems in industrial sectors – Seamlessly integrating PQC systems, equipment, components, protocols and network technologies into existing digital security and communication networks for industrial sectors.
  • Standardisation and awareness of the European transition to PQC – Strengthening Europe’s efforts on the transition to PQC by supporting European and international standardisation activities, including a comprehensive European PQC industrial migration roadmap and raising awareness of PQC endeavours.
  • Roadmap for the transition of European public administrations to a PQC era – Proposals should foresee a leading role for national security agencies in developing a roadmap for the transition of public administrations to a PQC era, taking into account systems to be replaced, timeframe and the technical and legal aspects of this migration.

When is the application window?

The window for applications will open on Tuesday 16th January. Companies can submit proposals until 6pm (Finnish time) on Tuesday 26th March.

Where can I submit my proposal?

SMEs will be invited to submit their proposals via the European Commission’s Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal, which is also where you can find more specific information on each of the calls.

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