New SPARTA project strengthens European competencies in cybersecurity

Institutions from 14 EU countries have come together in the recently launched EU project SPARTA to conduct research on joint strategies, technologies and competencies in cybersecurity. The project will contribute to establishing a globally leading competence center for cybersecurity based in the EU and to making Europe more independent in this field.

The growing number of cyberattacks in recent years have made it very clear how important cybersecurity has become from an economic and societal viewpoint. Not least because of the continuing digitalization of the economy, industry and society, it is absolutely vital to strengthen digital security by developing and expanding the relevant security capacities in Europe. This challenge calls for a pooling of European competencies in this field with a view to joint research and innovation goals. The SPARTA project contributes to this and aims to strengthen the strategic autonomy of the EU in IT security.

The project, which is being funded under the EU’s H2020 Program, will tackle very concrete issues, in particular in these four areas: health (1), energy, finance and transport (2), information and communication technologies and industry (3) as well as e-government and public administration (4). A roadmap that will be drawn up as part of the project aims to develop an ambitious plan for research and innovations in cybersecurity and to make a significant contribution to developing a globally leading competence network based in the EU. In addition to this, the project will develop digital applications and platforms that meet the highest security standards and can be used for training.

Dr. Michael Friedewald from Fraunhofer ISI is coordinating the activities within the project on the topic of “Responsible innovation: ethical, legal and societal aspects“ and explains the research goals as follows: “We make sure that the security solutions pursued in the project are always sound from an ethical and social viewpoint, and completely compatible with the currently valid data protection law. For example, we will be focusing on the question of how companies can collect and process user data while guaranteeing the right to the protection of personal data.“

The SPARTA consortium, which is led by CEA (the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission), brings together 44 institutions from 14 EU Member States that are active in the field of cybersecurity at the intersection of scientific research, technology development and social sciences. Together, they want to come up with a new way of thinking about research, innovation and training in European cybersecurity – from its scientific foundations right up to its industrial applications.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI analyzes the origins and impacts of innovations. We research the short- and long-term developments of innovation processes and the impacts of new technologies and services on society. On this basis, we are able to provide our clients from industry, politics and science with recommendations for action and perspectives for key decisions. Our expertise is founded on our scientific competence as well as an interdisciplinary and systemic research approach.

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