Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Secure societies – Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens

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This Challenge is about undertaking the research and innovation activities needed to protect our citizens, society and economy as well as our infrastructures and services, our prosperity, political stability and wellbeing.

The primary aims of the Secure Societies Challenge are:

  • to enhance the resilience of our society against natural and man-made disasters, ranging from the development of new crisis management tools to communication interoperability, and to develop novel solutions for the protection of critical infrastructure;
  • to fight crime and terrorism ranging from new forensic tools to protection against explosives;
  • to improve border security, ranging from improved maritime border protection to supply chain security and to support the Union's external security policies including through conflict prevention and peace building;
  • and to provide enhanced cyber-security, ranging from secure information sharing to new assurance models.

Securing the society against disasters is one of the central elements of the functioning of any society. There is barely any societal sector which is not to some extent concerned by disasters and related resilience and security issues.

Fighting crime and terrorism requires new technologies and capabilities for fighting and preventing crime (including cyber-crime), illegal trafficking and terrorism (including cyber-terrorism), including understanding and tackling terrorist ideas and beliefs to also avoid aviation-related threats.

The protection of the European borders requires the development of systems, equipment, tools, processes, and methods for rapid identification. This includes supply chain security in the context of the EU’s customs policy.

Furthermore, solutions will be developed to support the Union's external security policies in civilian tasks, ranging from civil protection to humanitarian relief, border management or peace-keeping and post-crisis stabilisation, including conflict prevention, peace-building and mediation.

On Digital Security, this Challenge focuses on increasing the security of current applications, services and infrastructures by integrating state-of-the-art security solutions or processes, supporting the creation of lead markets & market incentives in Europe, following an end-user driven approach, including for instance law enforcement agencies, first responders, operators of critical infrastructures, ICT service providers, ICT manufacturers, market operators and citizens.

This Challenge should bring together all security stakeholders: industry - including SMEs, research organisations, universities, as well as public authorities, non-governmental organisations and public and private organisations in the security domain. The active involvement of end-users is of high importance.

The Secure Societies Challenge will contribute to the implementation of the policy goals of the Europe 2020 strategy, the Security Industrial Policy, the Internal Security Strategy and the Cyber Security Strategy.

Newsroom

Multimedia

13/02/2014 - 11:53

In this video Paul Timmers (Director of Sustainable and Secure Society in DG Connect) speaks about the funding opportunities in ICT for societal challenges in the recently launched Horizon 2020 framework programme. This is the first video of a series of 7 each one explaining more in detail the funding opportunities for different societal challenges. Read more

13/02/2014 - 15:33

Open Government, engagement of young people, open participation, emerging technologies in the public sector, innovative mobile eGovernment, privacy, cloud of public services...

What is our vision of the societal challenge around Public Services? Which are the funding opportunities for these topics in the recently launched Horizon 2020 framework programme?

Mechthild Rohen, Head of the Public Services Unit in DG CONNECT speaks about this. Enjoy this short video.

Read more

News

18/06/2015 - 19:20

In 2016-17, over €100 million for research and innovation in the field of cultural heritage will be available under Horizon 2020, the EU's research funding programme. This increase in funding recognises cultural heritage as an investment opportunity where research and innovation can make a difference. Read more

12/02/2014 - 10:30

The H2020 Information Day 'Innovation and Public sector' was held on 10 February 2014 in Brussels. Read more

Project stories

12/08/2015 - 10:03

New technologies allow emergency services to improve their communications. By using 4G networks and open standards, personnel can share pictures and videos, and talk to other emergency workers, no matter what device they use. Read more

04/08/2015 - 19:21

Why do people break the law? Are the risks of punishment too low or sentences too lenient? These are the wrong questions, say European researchers studying criminal trends, attitudes towards crime, and the impact of technology and EU mobility on our justice system. Their work is set to have a profound impact on policymaking for “trust-based” justice in Europe. Read more

20/09/2014 - 02:00

Volcanic eruptions are notoriously difficult to predict. Ground-breaking research by EU-funded scientists on the signs of volcanic unrest aims to improve eruption forecasts. Their work on the best ways to communicate such alerts could also help save lives. Read more

Publications

01/04/2015 - 13:30

For three decades, the EU Framework Programmes have been funding breakthroughs across Europe. RTD’s Horizon Magazine looks at the people and events that have helped shape European research policy, taking you behind the scenes during the pivotal moments from the last 30 years of research funding. These articles have been brought together into a special Horizon supplement to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Framework Programmes. Read more

20/01/2014 - 01:00

Interested in Open Government, eParticipation, mobile eGovernment, cloud of public services, use of emerging technologies in public sector, etc...?

Find your way and your funding opportunities in the new programme Horizon 2020. Read the flyer!

(last update 24/3/2014) Read more

Press Release

08/04/2015 - 18:50

Researchers, businesses and innovators from Ukraine will now be able to fully participate in Horizon 2020, the European Union's research and innovation funding programme, on equal terms with EU Member States and other associated countries. Read more