In line with the establishment of the Digital Single Market, because cybersecurity needs are more and more pressing in all industries and because the societal and economic issues underlying cybersecurity are growing exponentially, Europe is facing the urgency of establishing a comprehensive cyber industry strategy that enables it to develop innovative trusted solutions to address these issues.
A contractual Public–Private Partnership (cPPP) is the instrument enabling the development of a coordinated European industry policy intended to support the growth of the competitiveness of the European cybersecurity industry and establish a certain degree of European autonomy in the field of cybersecurity. Initial discussions regarding the establishment of a contractual PPP started in 2011 and led to the launch on 20 January 2016 of constituent work prior to the signing of the agreement.
The European Cybersecurity Organisation (ECSO) was founded on 17 June 2016 by the European Organisation for Security (EOS), TeleTrusT, the Estonian ICT Association and the Alliance for Digital Trust (ACN) with a view to establishing this cPPP. This association brings together more than 50 founding members representing the European fabric of the industry, SMEs, users, research institutes and institutional representatives of Member States. On 5 July 2016, in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, the ECSO signed the PPP agreement with the European Commission in the presence of European Commissioner G. Oettinger and European Vice President A. Ansip. The objectives of the agreement are as follows:
– To support market development, employment and value creation in Europe,
– To promote the development of the cybersecurity industry in Europe by creating a cyber ecosystem on a European scale and developing skills and companies specialised in cybersecurity with a particular emphasis on SMEs, start-ups and high-growth companies,
– To accelerate innovation processes and reduce the time to market for innovative cybersecurity solutions; To develop and coordinate the placing on the market of technological solutions and cyber services in a European ecosystem,
– To encourage the adoption of trusted solutions and services in areas in which Europe is facing strong societal and economic challenges (e.g. healthcare, energy, transport, internal security, ICT, Industry 4.0, etc.),
– To bring public and private resources on board to contribute to the development and implementation of European cybersecurity policies, regulations and standards; and
– To raise awareness and demonstrate the value of cybersecurity solutions for companies (including decision-makers) and the public sector to accelerate their adoption.
Given its objectives and ambitions, the cyber cPPP is not a traditional PPP, as it is not limited to the topics of research and innovation. Even so, the ECSO will also support the development of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA), which will allow guidelines for European funding in the field of cybersecurity to be proposed to the European Commission as part of the H2020 programme with an estimated budget of more than €400 million in four years.
Thus the ECSO and the PPP are demonstrating practically the general awareness of the challenges in the field of cybersecurity that Europe is facing and allowing Europe to equip itself with the required tools to address them.
Vice President — Alliance for Digital Trust (ACN)
Global Director — Atos Cybersecurity