EU Opens Applications for Cybersecurity and Digital Skills Funding

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The EU Commission has opened applications for over €210m ($227.3m) in funding for cybersecurity and digital skills programs.

The latest funding round of the Digital Europe Programme (DEP) will provide €35m ($37.8m) to projects protecting large industrial installations and critical infrastructures.

A further €35m will be used for the deployment of state-of-the-art cybersecurity technologies and tools.

Another €12.8m ($13.8m) will be invested to further establish, support and enlarge national and cross border security operation centers (SOCs). This area relates to the proposed EU Cyber Solidarity Act, which aims to develop a European Cybersecurity Alert System to improve the detection, analysis and response to cyber threats.

This system will be comprised of cross border SOCs, which will use advanced technologies such as AI to rapidly share threat intelligence with authorities throughout the EU.

Additionally, the DEP will provide member states with €20m to support the implementation of EU laws on cybersecurity and national cybersecurity strategies.

These include the updated NIS2 Directive, which aims to enhance the cybersecurity posture across critical industries, must be incorporated into national law by October 2024.

Another major piece of legislation in the region is the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA), which is expected to be formally passed into law in 2024, with affected organizations to be given 36 months to comply.  

The application deadline for all cybersecurity-related funding is January 21, 2025.

Funding for Digital Skills and Tackling Disinformation

The latest funding round for the DEP will also see €55m ($59.5m) invested for advanced digital skills, for the design and delivery of higher degree education programs in key digital technology areas.

In addition, €8m ($8.6m) will be invested in European Digital Media Observatories (EDMOs) to finance the work of independent regional hubs to analyse and tackle disinformation in digital media.

The application deadline for all funding related to digital skills is November 21, 2024.

The DEP was established in 2021, with a focus on contributing to the digital transformation of the EU’s society and economy. The program has a planned total budget of €7.5bn over seven years.

It will provide funding for vital strategic areas to facilitate this vision, including supercomputing, AI, cybersecurity and advanced digital skills.

The EU Commission added that further calls for proposals for funding will be published next year following the adoption of the Digital Europe 2025-2027 Work Programme.

EU Seeks Feedback on NIS2

On June 27, the EU Commission announced it was collecting feedback on the draft implementing act for the NIS2 Directive. This implementing act will lay down the technical and the methodological requirements of the cybersecurity risk-management measures for some entities in the digital infrastructures, digital providers, and ICT service management sectors.

Public feedback for the draft act is open until July 25, 2024.

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