As we are facing collective challenges, a more open and secure Europe requires adequate funding in which the European funds can truly make a difference. Part of EU funding is also dedicated to high-quality, affordable and interoperable cybersecurity products and solutions.. As part of the EU’s cybersecurity effort, Cyberwatching.eu is available to support all activities and actions that are beneficial to the uptake and implementation of the European Commission’s (EC) effort to make Europe more cybersecure. With this in mind, we would like to bring to your attention the following forthcoming EC open calls.
Specific Challenge: Disruptions in the operation of our countries’ critical infrastructure may result from many kinds of hazards and physical and/or cyber-attacks on installations and their interconnected systems. Recent events demonstrate the increase of combined physical and cyber-attacks due to their interdependencies. A comprehensive, yet installation-specific, approach is needed to secure existing or future, public or private, connected and interdependent installations, plants and systems. Budgetary constraints on both the public and private sectors mean that new security solutions must be more accurate, efficient and cost-effective, and possibly more automated than the ones currently available. Scope: Proposals should cover: forecast, assessment of physical and cyber risks, prevention, detection, response, and in case of failure, mitigation of consequences (including novel installation designs), and fast recovery after incidents, over the life span of the infrastructure, with a view to achieving the security and resilience of all functions performed by the installations, and of neighbouring populations and the environment.. The aim of this Call is to protect and improve the resilience of critical infrastructures and soft targets. Find out more and apply now!
In order to minimise security risks, ICT systems need to integrate state-of-the-art approaches for security and privacy management holistically and dynamically. Organisations must constantly forecast, monitor and update the security of their ICT systems, relying as appropriate on Artificial Intelligence and automation, and reducing the level of human intervention necessary. Security threats to complex ICT infrastructures, which are multi-tier and interconnected, computing architectures, can have multi-faceted and cascading effects. Addressing such threats requires organisations to collaborate and seamlessly share information related to security and privacy management. Find out more and apply now!
In order to protect the freedom, security and privacy, and ensure personal data protection of the citizens in Europe, citizens should be enabled to assess the risk involved in their digital activities and configure their own security, privacy and personal data protection settings and controls across these services. Citizens need to be fully aware that their informed consent is necessary for many situations and become capable in providing their permission/consent for allowing accessing their personal data/devices/terminals with an increased level of granularity. Additionally, there is a need for increased citizens' capacity to modulate the level and accuracy of the monitoring tools used by services (e.g. via cookies, positioning, tokens). Most Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Micro Enterprises (SMEs & MEs) lack sufficient awareness and can only allocate limited resources - both technical and human - to counter cyber risks, hence they are an easier target (e.g. of ransomware attacks) compared to large organizations. Security professionals and experts working for SMEs & MEs need to be in a constant learning process since cybersecurity is a significantly complex and fast-evolving field. Taking into account the significant economic role of SMEs & MEs in the EU, tailored research to innovation should support cybersecurity for SMEs & MEs. Find out more and apply now!
The Electrical Power and Energy System (EPES) is of key importance to the economy, as all other domains rely on the availability of electricity, hence a power outage can have a direct impact on the availability of other services (e.g. transport, finance, communication, water supply) where backup power is not available or the power restoration time goes beyond the backup autonomy. With the transition to a decentralised energy system, digital technologies are playing an increasingly important role in the EPES: they contribute in reducing the energy consumption; they enable the integration of higher shares of renewables and promote a more energy-efficient system. At the same time, with the growing use of digital devices and advanced communications and interconnected systems, the EPES is increasingly exposed to external threats, such as worms, viruses, hackers and data privacy breaches. Find out more and apply now!.
***AI and Law Enforcement*** /// Deadline: 27 August 2020
Specific Challenge: As indicated in the Coordinated Plan on Artificial Intelligence and in the Cybersecurity Joint Communication , there is a need to better understand: how AI-based systems, services and products could enhance the objectives of the security sector; how AI technologies can be protected from attacks; how to address any potential abuse of AI for malicious purposes; how to establish cybersecurity requirements for AI. From the Law Enforcement point of view, these dimensions have to be analysed in a longer term, taking into account that the potential AI benefits for Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) are threefold, i.e., through: 1) proactive policing (from reactive to anticipatory policing); 2) data analysis (e.g., connecting the dots, discovering criminal patterns and defragmenting LEA actions), and 3) identity checks (improving detection, targeting and interdiction). Find out more and apply now!
Specific Challenge: The increasing complexity of security challenges, as well as more and more frequent use of AI in multiple security domains, such as fighting against crime, including cybercrime and terrorism, cybersecurity (re-)actions, protection of public spaces and critical infrastructure, makes the security dimension of AI a matter of priority. Research is needed to assess how to benefit most from AI-based technologies in enhancing the EU’s resilience against newly emerging security threats (both “classic” and new AI supported) and in reinforcing the capacity of the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) at national and at EU level to identify and successfully counter those threats. In addition, in security research, data quality, integrity, quantity, availability, origin, storage and other related challenges are critical, especially in the EU-wide context. To this end, a complex set of coordinated developments is required, by different actors, at the legislative, technology and Law Enforcement levels. For AI made in Europe, three key principles are: "interoperability", “security by design” and “ethics by design”. Therefore, potential ethical and legal implications have to be adequately addressed so that developed AI systems are trustworthy, accountable, responsible and transparent, in accordance with existing ethical frameworks and guidelines that are compatible with the EU principles and regulations. Find out more and apply now!
Specific Challenge: The advantages of AI are numerous. However, the lack of transparency of AI technologies and tools complicates their acceptance by users and citizens. Ethical and secure-by-design algorithms are necessary to build trust in this technology, but a broader engagement of civil society on the values to be embedded in AI and the directions for future development is crucial. This fact is generally correct, and it becomes extremely important in the security domain. Social engagement has to be part of the overall effort to fortify our resilience across institutions, civil society and industry, and at all levels - local, national and European. There is a need to find ways to build a human-centred and socially driven AI, by, amongst others, fostering the engagement of citizens and improving their perception of security. Possible side effects of AI technological solutions in the domain of security need to be considered carefully, both from the point of view of citizens and from the point of view of Law Enforcement: e.g., their concerns regarding a strong dependence on machines, risks involved, how AI will affect their jobs and their organisation, or how AI will affect their decisions. Many open aspects exist that can be a source both of concern and of opportunity and should be addressed in a comprehensive and thorough manner. Finally, the legal dimension should be tackled as well – e.g., how the use of data to train algorithms is dealt with, what is allowed and under which circumstances, what is forbidden and when. Find out more and apply now!.
***Other relevant calls*** //// Deadline: 22 April 2020 CLOSED
Cloud computing is changing from a pure elastic provisioning of virtual resources (or platforms) to a transparent and adaptive hosting environment that fully realizes the “everything as a service” provisioning concept, from centralised cloud to the edge, and from network and computing infrastructure up to the application layers. The challenge is to develop comprehensive cloud solutions and testbeds combining various execution platforms for ubiquitous and seamless execution computing environments as a foundation for a complete computing continuum. This requires novel solutions for federating infrastructures, programming applications and services, and composing dynamic workflows, which are capable of reacting in real-time to unpredictable data sizes, availability, locations, and rates. This will provide application developers with greater control over network, computing and data infrastructures and services, and the end-user will benefit from seamless access to continuous service environments. Such solutions should also address security, semantic interoperability, heterogeneous data integration, organisation and linking, data protection, performance, resilience and energy-efficiency requirements to respond to the future digitisation needs of industry and the public sector. Addressing these challenges will also be part of and contribute to the technological ambitions of the Next Generation Internet (NGI). Find out more and apply now!
Specific Challenge: Software networks provide high flexibility through implementation of virtual network functions (VNFs). VNF's may be chained across several domains to create Network Applications (NetApps) tailored to the requirements of specific tenants, as demonstrated under previous 5G PPP phases. This requires open platforms that provide access to networks resources which can then be used to develop NetApps supporting requirements and developments from specific vertical sectors. Find out more and apply now!
Specific Challenge: The challenge is to go well beyond the 5G capabilities developed under 3G PPP release 16 that will become available early 2020. It also looks beyond 5G to prepare for the realisation of Smart Connectivity systems as a platform for a Next-Generation Internet, which should support a highly flexible connectivity infrastructure that can dynamically adapt to changing requirements of innovative applications whilst facilitating user data control and innovation-friendly implementation of relevant legislation. This requires a full value-chain approach towards seamless and secure end-to-end interworking with computing resources (e.g. distributed data centres, edge computing) and with a range of innovative devices. Find out more and apply now!
Specific Challenge: While robots originated in large-scale mass manufacturing, they are now spreading to more and more application areas. In these new settings, robots are often faced with new technical and non-technical challenges. The purpose of this topic is to address such issues in a modular and open way, and reduce the barriers that prevent a more widespread adoption of robots. Four Priority Areas (PAs) are targeted: healthcare, inspection and maintenance of infrastructure, agri-food, and agile production. In each of these PAs it is critical to develop appropriate autonomous capability that has impact on the efficiency of key applications in the PAs and moves beyond the current state of the art. This capability is built from core technologies and is proved and tested through pilot demonstrators that embed within real or near real environments. User needs, safety, ethical, gender, legal, societal and economic aspects should be addressed in order to raise awareness and take-up by citizens and businesses. Privacy and cybersecurity issues, including security by design and data integrity should also be addressed, where appropriate. Find out more and apply now!.
Specific Challenge: To reinforce cooperation and strategic partnerships with selected countries in Africa to support the strengthening of existing digital innovation hubs (DIHs) in Africa and to facilitate the collaboration between EU and African DIHs in order to strengthen a common EU-Africa innovation and start-up ecosystem. Find out more and apply now!.
Specific Challenge: European health and care systems face several challenges linked to the ageing of the population and an increase in the prevalence of chronic conditions. With budget constraints, the health and care systems face rising cost pressures for systems and problems of sustainability. There is a consensus that health systems need to undergo adaption if they are to adequately respond to future population health needs. New digital technologies will play a role in transforming health and care systems. In particular, artificial intelligence and robotics have the potential to transform health and care facilities across their range of functions from the clinical aspects (screening and prevention, diagnosis, treatment, surgical support) to organisational and logistical aspects (such as the management and distribution of medicines and wider supplies across the facility). Given that health facilities such as hospitals consume the major proportion of resources available to health and care budgets, efficiency gains in these facilities may support sustainability of the system as a whole. Find out more and apply now!