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.

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News

25/09/2015 - 13:58

On 25 September, the Commission launched an online survey to gather opinions from stakeholders on the impact of the simplification measures introduced in Horizon 2020, and to ask for new ideas on future simplification. Read more

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

07/10/2015 - 19:41

Do you trust the police? Do you think the police trust you? The public’s relations with Europe’s boys and girls in blue can be rocky, particularly for members of minorities. EU-funded research has looked into the power of restorative justice to foster constructive attitudes and defuse conflicts. Read more

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

Publications

13/10/2015 - 18:53

This monitoring and evaluation report assesses in a thorough and detailed manner how the different SSH disciplines have been integrated into the projects funded in 2014 under the Societal Challenges and the Industrial Leadership priorities. Read more

25/09/2015 - 17:40

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s biggest ever programme for research and innovation, and it has got off to an excellent start. This brochure presents information on the first 100 calls for proposals that closed by 1 December 2014. Read more

24/09/2015 - 20:03

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever. Almost €80 billion of funding is available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private and national public investment that this money will attract. This publication presents the full set of Key Performance and Cross-Cutting Issues Indicators for Horizon 2020, including those for the European Institute of Technology and EURATOM. Read more

Press Release

13/10/2015 - 18:51

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation said: "Research and innovation are the engines of Europe's progress and vital to addressing today's new pressing challenges like immigration, climate change, clean energy and healthy societies. Over the next two years, €16 billion from Horizon 2020 will support Europe's top scientific efforts, making the difference to citizens' lives." Read more

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