Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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

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.

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