Europe needs high-quality, affordable and interoperable cybersecurity products and solutions. However, the supply of ICT security products and services within the single market remains geographically very fragmented. On the one hand, this makes it difficult for European companies to compete on the national, European and global level; on the other, it reduces the choice of viable and usable technologies to protect the online activities of citizens and enterprises.
In order to deliver the EU cybersecurity strategy and the Digital Single Market strategy, in its Communication of 5 July 2016 the European Commission announced the launch of a public-private partnership on cybersecurity and additional market-oriented policy measures to boost industrial capabilities in Europe.
The contractual Public-Private Partnership (cPPP) on cybersecurity
As part of the EU cybersecurity strategy, the European Commission and the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO) signed a cPPP on 5 July 2016.
The aim of the partnership is to foster cooperation between public and private actors at early stages of the research and innovation process in order to allow people in Europe to access innovative and trustworthy European solutions (ICT products, services and software). These solutions take into consideration fundamental rights, such as the right for privacy.
It also aims to stimulate cybersecurity industry, by helping align the demand and supply sectors to allow industry to elicit future requirements from end-users, as well as sectors that are important customers of cybersecurity solutions (e.g. energy, health, transport, finance).
The cPPP will be instrumental in structuring and coordinating digital security industrial resources in Europe. It will include a wide range of actors, from innovative SMEs to producers of components and equipment, critical infrastructure operators and research institutes, brought together under the umbrella of ECSO.
The EU will invest up to €450 million in this partnership, under its research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. Cybersecurity market players are expected to invest three times more.
The first calls for proposal will be launched in the first quarter of 2017.
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Other market-oriented policy measures
In its Communication of 5 July 2016 the Commission also committed to exploring the possibility of creating a framework for cybersecurity certification of ICT products and services, complemented by a European, commercially oriented, voluntary and lightweight labelling scheme for the security of ICT products.
The Commission also suggested possible measures to scale up cybersecurity investment in Europe and support SMEs.
Cybersecurity is one of the priority areas - together with 5G, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, Data technologies - of the Commission initiative on ICT Standards, which is part of the Digitising European Industry strategy launched on 19 April 2016. The aim is to identify the essential ICT standards and present measures to accelerate their development in support of digital innovations across the economy.