Thursday, 28th February, 2019, BRUSSELS – Lero, the Irish Software SFI Research Centre, has been selected to participate in a €15m European Commission cybersecurity research project.  Lero researchers Dr Liliana Pasquale of UCD and Professor Bashar Nuseibeh of University of Limerick will head the Irish team for the CyberSec4Europe 42-month project which was launched in Brussels today (28th February).

"Cybersecurity has become one of the key challenges of our time,” commented Professor Bashar Nuseibeh, Lero researcher at UL. “The EU wishes to ensure that it retains and develops essential capacities to secure its digital economy, infrastructures, society and democracy. This Horizon 2020 initiative will establish and operate a pilot for a Cybersecurity Competence Network and develop and implement a common cybersecurity research and innovation roadmap.”

This development will give researchers based in Ireland the chance to be part for the first time in a major international research programme in cybersecurity,” added Dr Liliana Pasquale, Lero researcher at UCD. “It will help to place Ireland as one of the leading EU countries in cybersecurity research.”

She added, “The EU has recognised that cybersecurity research, competences and investments are spread across Europe with too little alignment. There is an urgent need to step up investment in technological advancements that could make the Digital Single Market more cybersecure and overcome the fragmentation of EU research capacities.”

CyberSec4Europe will align and interconnect a vast pool of research excellence in existing centres and research facilities, bringing together cybersecurity expertise in an interdisciplinary manner while developing a governance model for the future European Cybersecurity Competence Network. The 43 consortium partners will consolidate and reinforce cooperation and synergies between the research and industrial communities, including SMEs. The project will strengthen the research and innovation competence and cybersecurity capacities of member states to meet the increasing number of cybersecurity challenges in the future.

The project has identified key demonstration cases in different industrial domains, including finance, healthcare, transportation and smart cities. These address prominent research areas in both the public and private sectors that correspond closely with real-world issues, cyber threats and security problems. Another important outcome will be the development of a cybersecurity skills framework model to be used as a reference by education providers, employers and citizens.

Lead Co-ordinator, Professor Dr. Kai Rannenberg, Goethe University Frankfurt, says: “On behalf of the CyberSec4Europe consortium of partners, we are extremely grateful to the European Commission for this opportunity to explore one of the most exciting initiatives in the area of multi-disciplinary, cross-sector cybersecurity research and innovation in Europe. We are very excited to be at the forefront of efforts to address the challenges in developing a common European approach to cybersecurity while protecting core European values such as privacy and the rights of smaller market players such as consumers and SMEs."

The CyberSec4Europe contract starts with immediate effect and will last until July 2022 at a total cost of 15 MEUR.