Horizon Europe: €1.6 billion of R&D Funding Available for Civil Security Projects

9th Jul 2021
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33% of UK organizations have lost customers after a data breach. Natural disasters kill around 60,000 people per year. So far this year, there have been 28,200 illegal border crossings across the whole of Europe. And, with 40% of European criminal networks engaged in drug trafficking, organised crime rates have never been higher.

After reading those statistics, it’s no wonder that Horizon Europe (formally known as Horizon 2020), is investing €1.6 billion in the research, development and innovation of Europe’s civil security for society.

Horizon Europe: What it is & how it works   

Horizon Europe is the largest transnational research and innovation programme that will run until 2027. With a total budget of €95.5 billion, Horizon Europe’s primary objective is to encourage companies across the whole of Europe to embark on innovative projects that aim to resolve common global challenges and also boost the European Union’s prosperity.

The Horizon Europe framework

The Horizon Europe programme has a similar framework to Horizon 2020. It has three pillars of focus, each supported by one horizontal action:

  • Pillar 1: Open Science
  • Pillar 2: Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness
  • Pillar 3: Open Innovation
  • Horizontal action: Sharing Excellence and Reforming and Enhancing the European and R&I System

Each of the three pillars has individual incentive programmes designed to encourage innovation. Under pillar 2: “Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness” there are six incentive programmes, called clusters:

  • Cluster 1: Health
  • Cluster 2: Culture, Creativity & Inclusive Society
  • Cluster 3: Civil Security for Society
  • Cluster 4: Digital, Industry & Space
  • Cluster 5: Climate, Energy & Mobility
  • Cluster 6: Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture & Environment

As you can see, “Civil Security for Society” falls under the cluster 3 incentive programme. It has its own budget of €1.6 billion to fund innovative projects that respond to some of Europe’s biggest threats to the security of its society. These include things like cybercrime, natural and man-made disasters.

This cluster responds to the challenges arising from persistent security threats, including cybercrime, as well as natural and man-made disasters.” – European Commission  

Let’s find out more…

Why is Horizon Europe prioritising innovation in civil security for society? 

As we established earlier, data security breaches, border control, natural disasters and the nature of criminal activity is becoming more and more complex and unpredictable. Therefore, investment into the research and development of innovative ideas, products, services and technologies that contribute to the safety and security of citizens across Europe and the UK is crucial.

What is cluster 3: “Civil security for society” & how does it work?

Cluster 3 will focus on activities in support of the implementation of policy priorities relating to security, including cybersecurity, and disaster risk management.” – Global Research

The main objective for cluster 3 funding is to support activity relating to security, disaster risk management, societal resilience and man-made and natural disasters.

To achieve this, there are six ‘destinations’ (ie. Goals), which offer companies opportunities to receive funding for developing new technologies, methodologies, products, processes and services:

Destination 1: Improved management of EU air and land borders.
Horizon Europe welcomes projects that develop strong capabilities for checks at internal and external borders and, therefore, reduce the illegal movement of people and goods across them. 

Destination 2: Better protection of citizens from violent attacks in public spaces.
This destination calls for research projects that can prevent, prepare for and respond to crime in public areas, whilst preserving the open nature of these public spaces.

Destination 3: Improved protection of European infrastructure and vital societal functions. Destination 3 aims to protect the infrastructures and networks within industries such as healthcare, law enforcement, energy, mobility, public services, financial services, communication and logistics from cyber and physical threats.

Destination 4: Improved maritime security.
The aim of destination 4 is to encourage projects that will improve maritime surveillance and capability. This is to try and prevent both man-made and natural disasters and also minimise security challenges such as trafficking, piracy, terrorist attacks and cyber threats.

Destination 5. Effective means to fight crime and terrorism.
Horizon Europe are looking for innovative projects that enhance investigation capabilities and contribute to preventing criminal acts such as cybercrime.

Destination 6: Better cybersecurity and a secure online environment.
This destination is looking for projects that can increase cybersecurity across Europe and create a secure online environment for citizens, public bodies and companies.

Who can apply for cluster 3 funding   
The UK will ‘associate’ to Horizon Europe. This means that any UK company or any public body that works in academia, industry or research can apply for this funding on the same terms and conditions as EU-based applicants.

These companies or public bodies might include:

  • Universities and research institutes that focus on cybersecurity, security, Artificial Intelligence, social sciences and humanities
  • SMEs in the fields of cybersecurity, security and Artificial Intelligence
  • Law enforcement agencies, border and customs authorities, crisis management security authorities and civil protection authorities
  • Emergency services, hospitals and medical centres

How to apply for cluster 3 funding

From 30th June 2021, Horizon Europe will start publishing a series of calls for proposals, grouped by the six destinations above.

To apply to one, candidates must create and submit a detailed proposal outlining the proposed project and the expected impact it will have on civil security for society. Some calls for proposals may require a pre-proposal note to explain the concept before a full proposal is required.  

Once the proposal is submitted, it’s then evaluated by industry specialists against a strict set of criteria which can last up to five months.

Hire R&D proposal specialists to secure cluster 3 funding

Applying for any type of government-backed funding is extremely competitive. To stand the best chance of securing cluster 3 finance from Horizon Europe, consider hiring grant writing specialists to help you submit the best possible proposal.

Like grant writing specialists Myriad Associates, for instance. Myriad Associates have been responding to calls for proposals, like this, for over a decade. And, with a 70% success rate, it’s clear that the team knows exactly what Horizon Europe is looking for and how to submit a winning proposal.

Give the team a call today on 0207 118 6045 or drop us a message to see if we can help you secure the funding you need from Horizon Europe.

This article was brought to you by Tax Cloud

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