Why? How to make Europe a safer place to live in? Today’s security threats are fast-evolving, complex, and often cross-border in nature. For this reason, such threats can only be dealt with effectively by means of a collective response through a genuine and efficient Security Union in Europe.
EU security research is one of the building blocks of the Security Union. It enables innovation in technologies and knowledge that is crucial for developing capabilities to address today's security challenges, to anticipating tomorrow's threats and contributing to a more competitive European security industry.
How? The Commission has decided initiate to a series of actions which will enhance the competitiveness of the European security industry and contribute to meeting the aims of the European security policy.
- Support achievement of the Security Union through funding Security Research
- Reduce the gap between research and market
- Raise awareness
- Contribute to the international reflection on developing affordable and innovative technology for security practitioners and first responders
- Overcome the fragmentation of the EU security markets for security technologies
- Promote the societal acceptance of security technologies
- Since 2007, EU research funding has specifically targeted security needs. In the 2014 to 2020 period, the Horizon 2020 programme is allocating some 2 billion euro to security research. This is about 50% of all public financing for civil security research in the EU.
- EU-funded security research (PDF) has enabled the development of concrete security solutions. Recent projects have demonstrated the direct link between research and the implementation and development of policy: in border security and supply chain management, in Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear risks, in the handling of electronic evidence, and in the area of maritime surveillance. These types of research contribute to a European security industry that is at the leading edge of technological developments.
- Looking for funding for Security Research? Find more on the Horizon 2020 programme dedicated to Secure societies – Protecting the freedom and security of Europe and its citizens
- More success stories on EU-funded security research projects
- Discover our projects
How to translate research results into solutions that will effectively make Europe a safer place to be?
- By using novel funding schemes, such as Pre-Commercial Procurement in Horizon 2020; For more information, please consult the report on the EC funded Innovation Procurement projects in the security field;
- With a Community of Users (CoU), for Secure, Safe, Resillient Societies, facilitating and promoting interaction between practitioners, academia, policy-makers and industry. Its aims are
- ensuring that research programming take into account the needs of practitioners' ,
- identifying the most promising tools and methods, derived from research projects, that could be adopted by practitioners,
- facilitating policy development and implementation, supporting the competitiveness of EU industry by ensuring that the expertise of practitioners is made available to policy makers
- developing new initiatives with synergies across the EU and beyond.
Interested? Join the next CoU meeting!
- The European Commission aims to highlight the role of security research in fostering the implementation of EU Policies and addressing crucial societal challenges. The Security Research Event (SRE) is the annual meeting where industry, governments and knowledge institutions come together to discuss the state of play and current challenges for security research in Europe, and where EU funded security-related projects are displayed in a large exhibition area.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Security Research Event / Innovation Forum (SRE/IF 2020), which was supposed to take place on 25 - 26 November 2020 in Bonn, Germany, was cancelled.
4. Contribute to the international reflection on developing affordable and innovative technology for security practitioners and first responders
- Developing capabilities for the Security Union is not feasible unless we contribute to building a stronger and more competitive EU security industry, not only at EU level, but also worldwide. To this end, in 2017 the European Commission joined the International Forum to Advance First Responder Innovation (IFAFRI). IFAFRI's goal is to assist First Responders across the globe in conducting their missions more safely and efficiently by expanding the development of affordable, innovative technology.
The objective for the Commission is to ensure the coherence of EU security research in the field of First Responders at international level.
- Through the harmonisation of standards and of certification procedures;
- and by engaging with the industry.
Without the involvement, commitment and investment of the EU’s security technology and industrial base, innovative solutions would remain trapped in endless cycles of research and would never be deployed on the field.
Therefore, the consolidation of a single EU security market that increases the competitiveness of the industrial base is a primary objective.
This consolidation would not only guarantee the security of supply for strategic technologies, but also safeguard, when required, the strategic autonomy of the EU for technologies, services and systems that are critical to ensuring the protection of EU citizens.
- Security as societal value is a guiding principle throughout all EU-funded research activities and these must be in compliance with the provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (PDF). Gender aspects and Social Sciences and Humanities must always be taken into consideration.
- When dealing with the development of new security technologies, it is recommended that actions consider the concepts of "privacy by design", "data protection by design", "privacy by default", and "data protection by default".
- Obligatory ethical screening and reviews/audits are reinforced by the requirement to fill in the 'Societal Impact Table' as part of the submissions process. The table checks whether the proposed security research meets the needs of and benefits society without having a negative impact.
Law (Adopted legislation and communications)
- Terms of reference between DG HOME and eu-LISA for secure and efficient IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice
- Regulation establishing Horizon 2020 (PDF)
- Commission Decision on the implementation of the Preparatory Action on Enhancement of the European industrial potential in the field of security research (PDF)
- Security Industrial Policy - Action Plan for an innovative and competitive Security Industry
Guidance, reports and studies
- Assessment report on the performance of the EC funded Innovation Procurement projects in the security field
- Interim evaluation of the activities covered by the secure societies challenge under Horizon 2020 (PDF)
- Mapping EU policies and FP7 research for enhancing partnerships in H2020 (PDF)
- Policy background for customs risk management: Practitioners' Guidance Document (PDF)
- Report of the H2020 Protection and Security Advisory Group (PASAG) (PDF)
- H2020 Secure Societies Advisory Group Strategic Recommendations for Secure Societies Theme in Horizon 2020 (PDF)
- Ex-post evaluation of the FP7 security research actions (PDF)
- Study on the development of statistical data on the European security technological and industrial base (PDF)
- Study on Civil Security R&D in major third countries (PDF)