Security research within Horizon Europe: Funding for innovation in the field of civil security

From 2021 to 2027, Horizon Europe provides crucial impetus for research and innovation in Europe. Researchers in the field of civil security are invited to contribute by building research consortia that span Europe and bring new approaches and solutions to the areas of fighting crime and terrorism, protection of critical infrastructures, border management and for strengthening disaster resilience of European societies.

Europäische Sicherheitsforschung

Horizon Europe has just started off. Civil security research can be found within Cluster 3 of the Pillar named “Global Challenges and EU Industrial Competitiveness”. It contributes to the implementation of the Security Union Strategy that was reformulated in 2020 and highlights EU security research as “a key instrument to drive technology and knowledge in support of security solutions“. Annual calls contribute to the following objectives:
  • Better protect the EU and its citizens against Crime and Terrorism
  • Effective management of EU external borders
  • Protected infrastructure
  • Increased Cybersecurity
  • Disaster-Resilient Society for Europe
  • Strengthened Security Research and Innovation
A characteristic element of European security research is a strong focus on practical applications. The program addresses the entire innovation chain, from academic research to industry and practitioners.

Looking back: Security research as part of the EU’s research frameworks programmes

Civil security research was made a funding priority in its own right for the first time in the EU’s 7th research framework programme. Between 2007 and 2013, the EU provided a total of 1.4 billion euro in research funding in the field of security. The “Security” area of the 7th research framework programme was remained an independent field of action under “Horizon 2020” in the form of the “Secure societies” challenge. Between 2014 and 2020, the European Union provided a total of 1.7 billion euro in funding for European security research.

Project proposals within Horizon Europe need to take earlier projects funded under the European security research programme into account. Information on all projects can be found on the website of the EU’s Community Research and Development Information Service.

Advice and support

The Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) provides support to interested practitioners, companies and research institutions in Germany through the National Contact Point (NCP) Security and the “German applicants fit for Europe” scheme. We provide extensive information on our German language web page. For international institutions, we offer information on how to find a German partner for your consortium. Please feel free to contact us if you have a specific question. You might also be interested in participating in our annual workshop series in Brussels dedicated to trends, political developments and future challenges for European security research. If you are looking for your national Security NCP or any other sources of information, please consult these links.