Prevention, detection, response and mitigation of the combination of physical and cyber threats to the critical infrastructure of Europe.

Nikola Benin


Topic identifier: CIP-01-2016-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: IA Innovation action
Opening date:
15 March 2016
Deadline: 25 August 2016 17:00:00

Types of action: IA Innovation action
Opening date:
01 March 2017
Deadline: 24 August 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)

Horizon 2020H2020 website

Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
+ More

Topic Description

Specific Challenge:Disruptions in the operation of our countries’ infrastructure may put at risk the functioning of our societies and their economies. Such disruptions may result from many kinds of hazards and physical and/or cyber-attacks on installations and systems. Recent events demonstrate the increased interconnection among the impact of hazards, of the two kinds of attacks and, conversely, the usefulness for operators to combine cyber and physical security-solutions to protect installations of the critical infrastructure of Europe: A comprehensive, yet installation-specific approach is needed to secure the integrity of existing or future, public or private, connected and interdependent installations. Since the global financial crisis has imposed unprecedented budgetary restrictions on both the public and private sectors, new security solutions must be more efficient and cost-effective than the ones currently available.

Scope:Proposals should focus on one of the following critical infrastructures: Water Systems, Energy Infrastructure (power plants and distribution), Transport Infrastructure and means of transportation, Communication Infrastructure, Health Services, Financial Services.

Proposals should cover: prevention, detection, response, and in case of failure, mitigation of consequences (including novel installation designs) over the life span of the infrastructure, with a view to achieving the security and resilience of all functions performed by the installations, and of neighbouring populations and the environment. They should not only address in details all aspects of both physical (e.g. bombing, plane or drone overflights and crashes, spreading of fires, floods, seismic activity, space radiations, etc.) and cyber threats and incidents, but also systemic security management issues and the combinations of physical and cyber threats and incidents, their interconnections, and their cascading effects. Innovative methods should be proposed for sharing information with the public in the vicinity of the installations, and the protection of rescue teams, security teams and monitoring teams.

Only the installations not covered in 2016 will remain eligible in 2017. A list of topics that remain eligible in 2017 will be published in due time in the section “Topic Conditions & Documents” for this topic on the Participant Portal.

The participation of SMEs is strongly encouraged.

In line with the EU’s strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation[1] international cooperation is encouraged, and in particular with international research partners involved in ongoing discussions and workshops, with the European Commission. Legal entities established in countries not listed in General Annex A and international organisations will be eligible for funding only when the Commission deems participation of the entity essential for carrying out the action.

The outcome of the proposal is expected to lead to development up to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7; please see part G of the General Annexes.

Indicative budget: The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of € 8million would allow this topic to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

A maximum of one project will be selected per critical infrastructure listed in the “Scope” section of this topic over the 2016-2017 period.

Expected Impact:Short term:

  • State-of-the-art analysis of physical/cyber detection technologies and risk scenarios, in the context of a specific critical infrastructure.
  • Analysis of both physical and cyber vulnerabilities of a specific critical infrastructure, including the combination of both real situation awareness and cyber situation awareness within the environment of the infrastructure.

Medium term

  • Innovative (novel or improved), integrated, and incremental solutions to prevent, detect, respond and mitigate physical and cyber threats to a specific Critical Infrastructure.
  • Innovative approaches to monitoring the environment, to protecting and communicating with the inhabitants in the vicinity of the critical infrastructure.
  • In situ demonstrations of efficient and cost-effective solutions.
  • Security risk management plans integrating systemic and both physical and cyber aspects.
  • Tools, concepts, and technologies for combatting both physical and cyber threats to a specific critical infrastructure.
  • Where relevant, test beds for industrial automation and control system for critical infrastructure in Europe, to measure the performance of critical infrastructure systems, when equipped with cyber and physical security protective measures, against prevailing standards and guidelines
  • Test results and validation of models of a specific critical infrastructure against physical and cyber threats.
  • Establishment and dissemination throughout the relevant user communities of specific models for information sharing on incidents, threats and vulnerabilities with respect to both physical and cyber threats.
  • Proposals submitted in the 2017 Call are also encouraged to contribute to the objectives of the Cybersecurity PPP[2]

Long term

  • Convergence of safety and security standards, and the pre-establishment of certification mechanisms.

Contributions to relevant sectorial frameworks or regulatory initiatives.

Cross-cutting Priorities:Socio-economic science and humanities
International cooperation


[2] (subject to the final adoption by the College of the decision for the cPPP)

+ More

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

Please note that this topic is planned to be opened also in 2017 with an indicative opening date of 01/03/2017 and an indicative deadline of 24/08/2017, subject to a separate financing decision for 2017.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).
  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme, with the following exceptions: at least 2 operators of the chosen type of critical infrastructure operating in 2 countries must be beneficiaries (possibly, but not necessarily: coordinator) of the grant agreement and should be directly involved in the carrying out of the tasks foreseen in the grant. The participation of industry able to provide security solutions is required.

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement

  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.

  7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

    Open access to research data
    The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

    Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

    Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

    – Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs.

    – Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

    The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.

    For topics covering 2016 & 2017 calls this is only relevant for the 2017 open topic.

  8. Additional documents:

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Secure societies – protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 – Regulation of Establishment
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme


Submission Service

To access the Electronic Submission Service of the topic, please select the type of action that is most relevant to your proposal from the list below and click on the ‘Start Submission’ button. You will then be asked to confirm your choice of the type of action and topic, as these cannot be changed in the submission system. Upon confirmation you will be linked to the correct entry point.

To access existing draft proposals for this topic, please login to the Participant Portal and select the My Proposals page of the My Area section.

Type of Action Innovation action [IA] START SUBMISSION
Topic Prevention, detection, response and mitigation of the combination of physical and cyber threats to the critical infrastructure of Europe. – CIP-01-2016-2017

Training Course. APPETISER

Nikola Benin

5-9 December 2016 | Budapest, Hungary

Giving a strong positive first experience of international youth projects to motivate the participants to use the Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme.

Appetiser aimes to give a strong positive first experience of international youth work and motivate participants to use Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme.

This aim summarises the entire idea of the seminar – to give a feeling, what it means to work with young people in an international setting. Leaving all explanations and knowledge aside it is about giving a space for participants to explore the advantage of “internationality” themselves.

Contact for questions:

Éva Zemliczki


Two Erasmus+ courses Umbria, Italy

Nikola Benin


DIGITAL TOOLS FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS1 week (basic course) or 2 weeks (advanced course) Particpants: primary or lower secondary school teachersSOCIAL INCLUSION OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES1 week (basic course) or 2 weeks (advanced course) Particpants: high school teachers and adult education staffFor more information, please, send a request to

Partner Search for SEC-14-BES-2016 and SEC-21-GM-2016-2017

Nikola Benin

BHE Bonn Hungary is the biggest telecommunication and aerospace technology developer and manufacturing company in Hungary. It develops and manufactures RF and microwave components, subsystems, instruments and systems for mobile telecommunications, aeronautics and space industries. Amongst others, BHE developed UAV systems for border control and facility security observations.

BHE has experience in European research projects and would like to participate in an existing or new consortium.

BHE is offering its expertise for Horizon 2020 security topics SEC-14-BES-2016: Towards reducing the cost of technologies in land border security applications and SEC-21-GM-2016-2017: Pan European Networks of practitioners and other actors in the field of security.

Contact details and more information

Project Package Published ‘SusChem Inspired’

Author: Nikola Benin


Over 450 000 enterprises and around 6.8 million jobs are dependent on Europe’s process sector, which includes chemicals, engineering, minerals and ore, non-ferrous metals, steel and water. The process industries, which generate more than EUR 1.6 billion in annual turnover and represent 20% of the EU’s total industrial production, are absolutely vital to Europe’s economy and long-term industrial competitiveness.
However, these vital industries have to face the key challenge of reducing their high dependency on resources. Although energy efficiency in industry across the EU has gradually improved (by an average of 1.8% per year up until 2009), there is still much work to do to encourage the uptake of cleaner technologies, more efficient methods and better industrial procedures to reduce environmental impact.
Achieving a better environmental footprint for the process industries is now even more pressing due to the EU’s target to cut its emissions to at least 40% of 1990 levels as a part of its comprehensive 2030 climate and energy framework. In April 2016, the EU also formally signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (COP21), formally committing the Union to fully embracing the transition to a low-carbon economy.
The CORDIS Results Pack showcases some SusChem-inspired and EU-funded projects that have taken up the challenge of developing the novel methods and enabling technologies that will increase energy efficiency in industrial processes.
Project examples
Examples include the implementation of more sustainable and less-resource dependent manufacturing methods, the design and optimisation of new and accurate computational frameworks and software, and the cultivation of better international cooperation.
The full list of projects described in the package is:
  • MORE developed new tools to help large plants achieve resource efficiencies including new resource efficiency indicators and software that can be easily integrated into large processing plants in order to achieve optimal daily performance.
  • TOP-REF worked on novel resource indicators and tools for competitive and sustainable continuous processing that will lead to the substantial improvement of resource efficiency in energy intensive industrial processes within the agro-chemical, chemical and petrochemical industries.
  • MAPSYN researched new techniques to energise the EU chemical industry through new energy sources and catalysts that can achieve cost efficient, high yield chemical production and boost competitiveness.
  • CYCLICCO2 was one of the first project to investigate conversion of carbon dioxide into commercially viable chemicals in a sustainable way that could be scaled-up for energy efficient industrial use.
  • ALTEREGO helped to ‘green-up’ the chemical industry with efficient alternative energy sources including ultrasound, microwave and non-thermal plasma technologies to power chemical processes, replacing fossil fuels and achieving higher levels of energy efficiency.
  • R4R used stronger regional cooperation to drive innovation in energy and resource efficiency forward in Europe’s chemical and processing industries.
  • InnoREX looked to accelerate the production of ‘green’ biobased plastic polymers in an environmentally-friendly, energy efficient and commercially viable process.
  • COOPOL produced new monitoring tools for more efficient polymer processing in the chemicals sector that will improve polymerisation reaction quality and provide new continuous production methods.
  • E4WATER helped to cut water use in the European chemical industry by creating novel systems and processes and make the European chemical sector more competitive.
  • OPTICO developed an adaptive and integrated computational framework for intensified processes in the chemical and biochemical industries consisting of multi-scale, multi-phase phenomena-based modelling technologies, and advanced process analytical tools.

Work Programme update supports competitiveness through open science

Author: Nikola Benin


Spanning seven years (2014 to 2020) and working with a budget of €77 billion, Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation funding programme ever.

Today, the European Commission confirmed the calls and other actions of the second year of the two-year work programmes setting out funding opportunities for 2017 (see IP/15/5831).

The calls and other actions under the current work programme updates have a budget of €8.5 billion. All the calls and related information are published on a single portal.

The 2016-2017 Work Programme builds on the success of Horizon 2020 to date, but the current update introduces important novelties. It has the potential to change the nature of EU-funded research thanks to the introduction of open research data in all new Horizon 2020 calls. In response to the migration crisis funding is made available to coordinate research communities and make policy recommendations to facilitate labour market integration of migrants. It also includes key actions supporting a forward-looking climate change policy.

Key Priorities for 2017

Horizon 2020 Work Programme is directly aligned with the agenda of the Commission. It will contribute to the Jobs, Growth and Investment Package helping to strengthen Europe’s global competitiveness through innovation to create new and sustainable jobs and promote growth. All the calls for proposals and activities will contribute substantially to this policy area as well as contributing in broader terms to one or more of the other areas.

1. A new Boost for Jobs, Growth and Investment

The Commission’s top priority is to get Europe growing again and to increase the number of jobs without creating new debt. Research and innovation investments will cover both the immediate need to engage the re-industrialisation of Europe as well as the longer-term objective of building solid knowledge needed for the next wave of innovative breakthroughs. Some new examples in the Work Programme feeding this priority are:

  • As of the Work Programme 2017, the current Open Research Data Pilot will be extended to cover all thematic areas of Horizon 2020, making open research data the default setting. This move will boost competitiveness by accelerating innovation and collaboration, improving transparency, and avoiding duplication of efforts. However, the Commission is aware that there are cases where research data cannot be open. Projects therefore have the possibility to opt out of the Pilot, provided a justification is given for doing so. Participation in the Pilot is not taken into account during the evaluation procedure.
    A further new element in Horizon 2020 is the use of Data Management Plans (DMPs), detailing what data the project will generate, whether and how it will be made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved. The use of a DMP is required for projects participating in the Open Research Data Pilot. Other projects are invited to submit a DMP if relevant for their planned research. A full DMP is not needed at application stage- only funded projects are required to submit a DMP. See infographic on how this will work in practice.
    Further guidance on the Pilot on Open Research Data and Data Management is available on the Participant Portal.
  • Around €1.45 billion of the total funding in the Work Programme 2017 will go to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including €438 million through a dedicated instrument which should benefit over 1000 highly innovative SMEs. On top of that, financial instruments, targeted in particular to SMEs, will increase the opportunities for funding to support research and innovation. These investments continue to be intensified with the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).
  • Through the European Research Council (ERC), the best researchers will be able to investigate the best ideas that could lead to innovative growth-enhancing breakthroughs. In 2017 alone, almost €1.8 billion – worth around 1000 grants – will be available through ERC calls. Also in 2017, more than 10.000 fellows will benefit from high-quality training and career development opportunities abroad thanks to Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions.
  • Seven Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) address strategic technologies that underpin growth and jobs in key European sectors in fields such as innovative medicine, fuel cells and hydrogen, electronics, aeronautics and bio-based industries. Further investment is leveraged through contractual PPPs working in areas such as factories of the future, robotics and green vehicles, and also cybersecurity, for which the partnership was signed in the beginning of July.

€291 million is available to foster the development and long term sustainability of new pan- European research infrastructures, support the integration and openness of key national infrastructures, and further develop and deploy e-infrastructures for research.

2. A Stronger Global Actor, Towards a New Policy on Migration, and an Area of Justice and Fundamental Rights Based on Mutual Trust.

The Work Programme is flexible and capable of addressing topical issues that matter the most to European citizens. Some key examples are:

  • The €11 million package of migration actions aims to bring together pertinent research communities to map, assemble and synthesise currently running migration research in Europe. It will compare national asylum laws and policies, including their implementation under stress, and identify ways for more harmonisation. It will also make policy recommendations on how to facilitate labour market integration of migrants. For details see factsheet.
  • The Fight against crime and terrorism part of the Security calls, with a budget of €49 million, will develop new ways of fighting and preventing organised crime and tackling terrorist ideas and beliefs, while guaranteeing fundamental rights and values.
  • International cooperation calls and targeted initiatives will help boost research and innovation cooperation with countries outside Europe and effectively tackle common societal challenges.


3. A Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy

A European Energy Union will ensure that Europe has secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy. Wiser energy use while fighting climate change is both a spur for new jobs and growth and an investment in Europe’s future. Activities for 2017 will help mobilise Europe’s research excellence to generate innovative solutions in this area, for example:

  • Growing water demands, mismanagement of water use and climate change are increasing the stress on water supply, water bodies, and associated ecosystems and infrastructures, and emphasise the need to close the water cycle gap, by reconciling water supply and demand in both quantitative and qualitative terms. The new ‘Closing the water gap’ topic with a budget of €10 million in the ‘Greening the economy’ call will reduce fragmentation of water research and innovation efforts across Europe and contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the conclusions of the COP21 Paris Agreement on climate change.
  • Research to support the future development of a production base for next generation Lithium battery cells or post-lithium battery cells would enable Europe to compete with world leaders in this sector. The €133 million call for Green Vehicles includes around €20 million for the development of a new generation of cells and their integration in competitive batteries. The ambition is to allow Europe to recover competitiveness in the production of future cells and batteries for transport and energy applications.
  • The Energy calls in 2017 dedicate more than €84 million for developing energy storage systems improving the flexibility of the energy grid to integrate an increasing share of renewables. These efforts reinforce the Energy Challenge’s strong support of previous years for energy storage, including batteries, which bring the investment to almost € 200 million (2014-17).
  • The €280 million sustainable food security call will ensure food and nutrition security, by fostering resilient and resource efficient primary production and industry as well as sustainable and healthy consumption. €4 million will support the policy development and implementation of the European Commission’s FOOD 2030 initiative to connect, structure and scale-up research and innovation for food and nutrition security in Europe, but in a global context.


4. A Deeper and Fairer Internal Market with a Strengthened Industrial Base

The Single Market is one of Europe’s major achievements and its best asset in times of increasing globalisation. It is an engine for building a stronger and fairer EU economy. This Work Programme will contribute to maintaining and reinforcing the internal market as well as European industrial base, through activities such as:

  • The call on Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy (€225 million) which will contribute to boosting and renewing Europe’s industrial capacities while ensuring sustainability.
  • The call on personalised medicine (€332 million) which will boost European industry and the so-called silver economy by investing in strategies for earlier and more effective prevention, diagnosis and treatments, and help Europe address the ageing population and chronic disease burden.
  • The Mobility for Growth call (€227 million) which will strengthen transport’s role as the artery of the single market.

The summer update includes a revision of the EU Prize for Women Innovators with €20,000 to be awarded to a ‘Rising Innovator’ targeting young female entrepreneurs.

5. A Connected Digital Single Market

The internet and digital technologies are transforming our world. But existing barriers online mean citizens miss out on goods and services, internet companies and start-ups have their horizons limited, and businesses and governments cannot fully benefit from digital tools. Research and Innovation will contribute to innovative digital solutions, for example, through the following actions in 2017:

  • A major ICT call (€625 million), which will support Europe’s position in key areas such as electronics, computing, networking, robotics and photonics.
  • The Digital Security call (€56 million), which will allow starting the implementation of the recently signed public-private partnership on cybersecurity, will address opportunities as well as vulnerabilities linked to ICT-driven transformation.
  • An Automated Road Transport call (€50 million over two years) will address a paradigm shift in the automotive sector that promises to drastically improve safety and energy efficiency while reducing congestion and emissions.
  • Four newHorizon Prizes, which will focus on boosting innovation in digital technologies, offer €11 million to winning solutions.


6. Cross-cutting and other features

  • Horizon 2020 will continue supporting a range of cross-cutting initiatives in 2017: Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy (€325 million) to develop strong and sustainable economies; Smart and Sustainable Cities (€115 million) to better integrate environmental elements, transport, energy and digital networks in the EU’s urban environments; Technologies and standards for automatic driving (over €50 million); and the Internet of Things (€37 million) to foster the take-up of digital technologies.
  • Closing the research and innovation divide among countries to bring excellence to all corners of the EU will remain a key objective with the “Widespread” call (€111 million).

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email

Cyber Security for SMEs

Auhor: Nikola Benin


Europe’s SMEs, local public administration and citizens face particular challenges in addressing basic cyber security threats. On one hand, in the case of SMEs and local public administration, their size and budgetary constraints often precludes them from putting in place highly granular organisational structures, retaining dedicated information security personnel and making significant investments in cybersecurity products or services. Individuals, constantly portrayed as the “weakest link” face the daunting task of having to constantly adapt their behaviour at home and in the workplace and the way they use both their personal or work-related IT equipment and devices in order to avoid falling prey to the latest threats and techniques that malicious actors leverage against them.