European Commission invests €450m in cyber security

05 July 2016 |


The European Commission has launched a public-private partnership on cyber security that is expected to trigger €1.8 billion of investment by 2020.

The European Commission today launched a public-private partnership on cyber security that is expected to trigger €1.8 billion of investment by 2020. This is part of a series of new initiatives to better equip Europe against cyber-attacks and to strengthen the competitiveness of its cyber security sector.

Today's action plan includes the launch of the first European public-private partnership on cyber security.

 The EU will invest €450 million in this partnership, under its research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. Cybersecurity market players, represented by the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO), are expected to invest three times more. 

This partnership will also include members of national, regional and local public administrations, research centres and academia. The aim of the partnership is to foster cooperation at early stages of the research and innovation process and to build cyber security solutions for various sectors, such as energy, health, transport, and finance. Commissioner Oettinger today signs the partnership with the ECSO in Strasbourg

According to a recent survey, at least 80% of European companies have experienced at least one cybersecurity incident over the last year, and the number of security incidents across all industries worldwide rose by 38% in 2015.

This level of attack, claims the Commission, is damaging European companies of all sizes and threatens to undermine trust in the digital economy. As part of its Digital Single Market strategy, the Commission wants to reinforce cooperation across borders and among all actors and sectors active in cybersecurity to help develop innovative and secure technologies, products and services throughout the EU.

Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: "Without trust and security, there can be no Digital Single Market. Europe has to be ready to tackle cyber threats that are increasingly sophisticated and do not recognise borders. Today, we are proposing concrete measures to strengthen Europe's resilience against such attacks and secure the capacity needed for building and expanding our digital economy."

The Commission also sets out different measures to tackle the fragmentation of the EU cyber security market. Currently, an ICT company might need to undergo different certification processes to sell its products and services in the several Member States. The Commission will, therefore, look into a possible European certification framework for ICT security products.

The Commission wants to ease access to finance for smaller businesses working in the field of cyber security and will explore different options under the EU investment plan.