Horizon 2020 Security

Provides 1 - 5M € in subsidies for research, development, and demonstration within:

About Horizon 2020 Security

With support from Horizon 2020 you will be able to conduct international research projects in support of EU policies for security. With a successful application of the program, companies will receive:

  • 1-5M EUR for technology and product development
  • IPR - Intellectual Property Rights
  • Network of partners for development
  • Access to new markets
  • Technology and knowledge transfer

The purpose of Horizon 2020 Security is to increase European competitiveness and create new jobs.

Possibilities with Horizon 2020 Security

Horizon 2020 Security offers opportunities for SMEs as well as large companies, regardless of industry and technological level. It offers interesting possibilities for traditional production companies as well as high-tech companies; the key factor is that the company is facing a technological challenge or has a project idea for the solution of a technological/societal challenge. With Horizon 2020 Security, the company can receive co-financing from the EU for project research and development.

Horizon 2020 Security calls will be offered to projects within the following categories (see current calls below):

  • Crisis Management: Extreme weather, chemical - biological - radiological - nuclear (CBRN) contaminations, pandemic protection, climate adaption, natural hazards, critical infrastructure protection, communication technologies, etc.

  • Crime and Terrorism: Forensic infrastructure and tools, internet monitoring, identity management, urban security etc.

  • Border and External Security: Costal and land border security, radar systems, biometrics, scanners, freight inspection, external security, etc.

  • Digital Security: Privacy, access control, ICT in critical infrastructure protection, secure information sharing, etc.

Requirements for Horizon 2020 Security

There are three primary requirements for a project to be eligible for support from Horizon 2020 Security:

  • Height of Innovation - the project/technology must be novel and solve a European security problem.
  • Large market potential or socioeconomic impact - min. 100M EUR over 5 years.
  • The project demands three partners from three countries.

Upcoming deadlines

Below are the upcoming deadlines for Horizon 2020 Security. Expect 1-2 months for the proposal writing process.


Proposals should address the deployment of detection systems in large and medium cities, in existing networks, or a combination of such networks, for instance for the detection of explosive precursors and illegal chemicals (drugs). Proposals shall address sewage networks and quality of air monitoring networks, and may address other networks. The experiment should last a significant period of time (at least two years).

Proposals should also provide for a mobile platform equipped to ascertain the composition and location of suspicious measurements, once data have been provided by the networked detection systems.

Proposals should provide for the prototype of a system controlling the detection systems and capable of fusing data provided by a variety of such networks, and of interfacing with other networks, pay particular attention to ethical issues raised when using such systems, and address the sustainability of such systems.


Proposals should take account of the four-tier access control model developed in the EU: measures undertaken in, or jointly with third countries or service providers (e.g. those managing Advance Passenger Information or Passenger Name Record systems); cooperation with neighbouring countries; border control and counter-smuggling measures; control measures within the area of free movement in order to prevent illegal immigration and cross- border crime inside the Schengen area.

Innovative, international alert systems can be developed further to more co-operative law enforcement and investigative efforts. Building upon lessons learned and field experience is essential.

The combination of a variety of arrays of sensors, new operational methods, and improved data management techniques can support appropriate law enforcement responses and enable better, transnational, interagency access to reliable and secure situational intelligence and information, on a real-time and cost-effective basis. 


Systems should be developed that combine or improve surveillance technologies and techniques and arrays of sensors of different sorts capable to provide higher quality detection capabilities and imaging via the integration of different techniques, to achieve wide- and small-area through foliage detection, despite the canopy density, in a real operational context. They could build on airborne, satellite-based, and/or on ground based platforms.

Solutions should be tested and validated in terms of capabilities to control effectively the land border covered by a vegetation layer, in all weather conditions. 


Strategies and tools are needed for the timely submission to customs authorities of relevant high-quality and comprehensive data on goods moving and crossing borders, whilst taking into consideration the national and EU legal, procedural and IT systems where they exist. Realistic methodologies and organisations need to develop, that facilitate collaboration among the relevant authorities (not only customs but also law enforcement, transport, security and border control agencies). Data governance policies and mechanisms for data sharing need to be agreed internationally.

Common repositories that take advantage of existing instruments such as the Advance Cargo Information System (advance electronic notification of cargo coming into EU before it leaves the third country) which are under-utilised and under-exploited for risk management purpose, can support the intelligent use and management of complex and large amount of data, exploiting unstructured data, supporting operational and situational awareness of customs authorities, adding intelligence (trends analysis, correlation analysis, etc.) by means of state- of-the-art technologies including in the fields of Big Data, Data Analytics.


The assessment of the acceptability of such (combinations of) technologies and systems by citizens (who need to remain in control of personal data) and practitioners is needed, that takes account of human behaviour, gender, legal frameworks, societal issues, and possible risk of discrimination.

Methods developed to perform such assessments need also to generate information useful for decision makers to take informed decisions about future technology deployments, and for industry to design products that preserve privacy. 


Two different foci are found:

a. Research and Innovation Actions –Situational Awareness

The focus of the proposals should be on the development of novel approaches for providing organisations the appropriate situational awareness in relation to cyber security threats allowing them to detect and quickly and effectively respond to sophisticated cyber-attacks.

a. Innovation Actions – Simulation Environments, Training

Proposals should develop innovative simulation environments and training materials in order to adequately prepare those tasked with defending high-risk organisations to counter advanced cyber-attacks. 


Proposals may cover one of the strands identified below

  • Privacy-enhancing Technologies (PET)
  • General Data Protection Regulation in practice
  • Secure digital identities

New knowledge and targeted technologies for fighting both old and new forms of crime and terrorist behaviours supported by advanced technologies;
Test and demonstration of newly developed technology by Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) involved in proposals;
Innovative curricula, training and (joint) exercises to be used to facilitate the EU-wide take-up of these new technologies, in particular in the fields of:

Sub-topic: 1.cyber-crime: virtual/crypto currencies des-anonymisation/tracing/impairing where they support underground markets in the darknet.

Sub-topic: 2.detection and neutralization of rogue/suspicious light drone/UAV flying over restricted areas, and involving as beneficiaries, where appropriate, the operators of infrastructure

Sub-topic: 3.video analysis in the context of legal investigation Sub-topic: Others.

Only the sub-topics 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. 

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