21 December 2017
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A "non-paper" that was produced by the Commission services to "stimulate the discussion" at the November 2017 Security Research Conference in Tallinn examines the support offered by the EU for the research, development and deployment of security technologies, and sets out future investments and activities that the EU may undertake "to better ensure the impact of security research activities".
European Commission services: Towards a Stronger Security Union: Current state of play and future trends in EU Security Research (November 2017, pdf)
The paper calls for continuing the security research theme within the EU's next research programme. In the current programme, Horizon 2020, security research has a budget of €1.7 billion between 2014 and 2020.
The authors say there is a need to ensure that "synergies with complementary programmes" are further explored (possibly including with the proposed military research programme) and that "best practices and processes" are identified to "overcome the gap between research and market," also known as the failure to produce viable products.
As noted by the paper, while EU-funded research overall "represents between 8-10% of total public funding for research":
"The situation is very different in the area of civil security research, where EU-funded research represents 50% of overall public funding in the EU. The majority of the EU Member States depend entirely on EU security research as only seven Member States (AT, DE, FI, FR, NL, SE, UK) have national security research programmes."
The paper advocates for private sector investment being "leveraged as much as possible" in connection with public research funding, possibly "through the use of the guarantees offered under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)."
There will also be further attempts to use EU funds implemented at national level (such as the Internal Security Fund and the European Structural and Development Funds) to "further develop and/or procure tools enabled by EU-funded research," aiming to create a closed, EU-funded loop between supply and demand.
Other activities foreseen include the development of a European Cybersecurity Research and Competence Centre, the establishment of a European Innovation Partnership on Security (EIP), the creation of a 'RegioStars' award on security and the establishment of a "dedicated security Knowledge and Innovation Community" (KIC).
Further detail is included in the "non-paper", which also sets out activities that are currently being promoted and financed by the EU: European Commission services: Towards a Stronger Security Union: Current state of play and future trends in EU Security Research (November 2017, pdf)
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