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Horizon Europe: Civil Security for Society €1.6 billion funding available

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I am pleased to announce the availability to UK innovators, working in academia, industry, research organisations and public bodies, a €1.6 billion funding opportunity through the EU Commission’s Horizon Europe Civil Security for Society Work Programme.

Image © European Commission

Horizon Europe is the EU’s latest research and innovation programme and will run from 2021 - 2027 with an overall budget of at least €95.5 billion.

The UK will ‘associate’ to Horizon Europe, which means that UK entities can participate and apply for funding on the same terms and conditions as EU-based applicants.

Security and societal challenges

With security challenges rapidly evolving, and the nature of criminal activity becoming more and more complex security research has never been as important and vital as it is today.  Through new technologies and knowledge, it is possible to move from a reactive to a proactive response to criminality.  The Civil Security for Society Work Programme offers opportunities for such research and innovation and to contribute to the safety and security of citizens and communities.

Security for Society – The ‘destinations’ in cluster 3

Within the Civil Security for Society Work  Programme there are 6 destinations offering a diverse range of opportunities for those interested in developing new technologies, methodologies, products, processes and services.  These destinations are:

  1. Better protect the EU and its citizens against crime and terrorism

Expected Impact: “Crime and terrorism are more effectively tackled, while respecting fundamental rights, … thanks to more powerful prevention, preparedness and response, a better understanding of related human, societal and technological aspects, and the development of cutting-edge capabilities for police authorities … including measures against cybercrime.”

  1. Effective management of EU external borders

Expected Impact: Legitimate passengers and shipments travel more easily into the EU, while illicit trades, trafficking, piracy, terrorist and other criminal acts are prevented, due to improved air, land and sea border management and maritime security including better knowledge on social factors.

  1. Resilient infrastructure

Expected Impact: … resilience and autonomy of physical and digital infrastructures are enhanced and vital societal functions are ensured, thanks to more powerful prevention, preparedness and response, a better understanding of related human, societal and technological aspects, and the development of cutting-edge capabilities for… infrastructure operators…

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Image: ©Getty Images
  1. Increased cybersecurity

Expected impact: “Increased cybersecurity and a more secure online environment by developing and using effectively EU and Member States’ capabilities in digital technologies supporting protection of data and networks aspiring to technological sovereignty in this field, while respecting privacy and other fundamental rights; this should contribute to secure services, processes and products, as well as to robust digital infrastructures capable to resist and counter cyber-attacks and hybrid threats.

  1. Disaster-resilient society for Europe

Expected Impact: Losses from natural, accidental and man-made disasters are reduced through enhanced disaster risk reduction based on preventive actions, better societal preparedness, and resilience and improved disaster risk management in a systemic way.

  1. Strengthened security research and innovation

 In addition, a number of cross-cutting R&I actions will support all of the above expected impacts:

    • generate knowledge and value in cross-cutting matters in order to avoid sector specific bias and to break silos that impede the proliferation of common security solutions;
    • strengthen key pillars of the research and innovation cycle to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of its contribution to the development of security capabilities;
    • support innovation uptake and go-to-market strategies with the aim of paving the way towards an increased industrialisation, commercialisation, adoption and deployment of successful outcomes of security research, thus contributing to reinforce the competitiveness of EU security industry and safeguard the security of supply of EU products in key security areas.”
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Image: ©Getty Images

Integration of Social Science and Humanities

The inclusion of Social Science and Humanities is one of the important factors of the research to be undertaken within Civil Security for Society.  Through this initiative the EU Commission aims to ensure that citizens and communities are fully engaged, and human factors and societal impact is considered.  This will ensure public trust and confidence in new security technologies is optimised and project results are further enhanced.  So, if you are a Social Scientist who is interested in getting involved in security research, take a look at the Civil Security for Society Work Programme, or email me, Zale Johnson, at:

Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration!

As in many of the clusters, the Civil Security for Society cluster provides the opportunity for international collaboration and cooperation including the sharing of knowledge, experience, expertise and mutual learning.  Within each of the 6 destinations, there are specific requirements for different communities of practitioners to come together to address challenges and identify solutions as a community.

Bringing together end-users, academia, industry, research organisations, and public bodies not only makes for a more holistic consortium and improves the quality of project deliverables but offers individuals the chance to build new working relationships with their peers Europe and beyond.  Take a look at the Civil Security for Society Work Programme and see where you can make a difference.

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Image: ©Getty Images

Here to help

As the UK’s National Contact Point and Innovation Lead – Security, I am here to provide practical help and advice, and I work closely with my NCP Colleagues to ensure that the service we offer is second to none. You can find the contact details of each member of the team here.  We can answer questions about any aspect of Horizon Europe funding, including:

  • Navigating funding opportunities and choosing where to apply
  • Finding partners (for most Horizon Europe Health projects you would apply as part of an international consortium of organisations from at least 3 different countries)
  • Proposal preparation and the application process
  • Admin and finance questions

If you are new to European funding, our introductory webinar on Horizon Europe Civil Security for Society and the overview of the whole of Horizon Europe available on the KTN website may be useful.

For more information on the Civil Security for Society Work Programme please get in touch with me at:

Blogs in the Horizon Europe series:

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