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Cybersecurity Skills Academy
Link to the call
Link to the submission
The Cybersecurity Skills Academy would constitute a European umbrella integrating various activities with the objective of increasing their visibility, accessibility and impact. Those activities would align along common goals, key performance indicators and a joined-up communication strategy to seek greater impact.
Proposals should address only one of the following Activities (either Activity 1 or 2):
1) Training programmes for SMEs, start-ups and the public sector for the Cybersecurity Skills
Academy Proposals addressing this Activity are expected to implement new training opportunities or scale up successful existing ones with a special focus on the needs of Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) and public administrations in the area of cybersecurity. The proposed training should consider businesses’ needs and in particular facilitate access to cybersecurity talents for SMEs and start-ups across all sectors. To ensure the high levels of cybersecurity necessary for digital public administration, the trainings should cater for the upskilling, reskilling and interdisciplinary understanding of cybersecurity for civil servants.
Consortia of organisations active in the domain of cybersecurity and universities or training providers should devise and deliver relevant training activities. Activities must include, among others, the identification of relevant training courses, including bootcamps on specific cybersecurity topics, jointly vetted with industrial partners that would enhance employability of trainees or increase cybersecurity capabilities of public servants, communication actions for promoting the courses, etc. Applicants may propose online and physical training; however, online training courses are particularly recommended. The involvement of the national Cybersecurity Competence Centres (NCCs), in the framework of the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre (ECCC), is expected to address specific needs at national level, where significant variations exist as to the level of cybersecurity readiness. More specifically, proposals should build on the work of the NCCs on cyber skills, as available, as well as cooperate with the NCCs and relevant members of the cyber community in this area. More broadly, proposals should demonstrate their contribution to the objectives and activities of the Cybersecurity Skills Academy, as set out in the Communication COM (2023) 207 final and implemented by the Commission, the ECCC and ENISA. It is intended that more proposals will be funded under Activity 1 (please refer to section 10, ‘Form of grant, funding rate and maximum grant amount’ for expected grant amounts). Proposals selected under this Activity shall closely cooperate with the proposal selected under Activity 2 below.
2) The Cybersecurity Skills Academy: support operations
Proposals addressing this Activity are expected to support the operations of the Academy and its governance, in the following way:
- Propose a framework to measure the impact of the different actions considered under the scope of the Academy as defined in the Communication 'The Cybersecurity Skills Academy' (COM (2023) 207 final);
- Bring together relevant players from all Member States to contribute towards monitoring of the cybersecurity skills landscape, follow up its evolution and take action to advise and support Member States develop specialised training programmes, in particular addressing cybersecurity of SMEs as well as public administrations to address the cybersecurity skills gap;
- Work in close coordination with the ECCC / NCCs and ENISA, as well as relevant EU-funded projects, in particular projects on cyber skills funded under the DIGITAL Europe Programme in this and previous relevant calls;
- Explore, define and set up an impactful scheme promoting the standardisation of procedures for cybersecurity competence recognition and professional certification in the European market, while using ENISA’s European Cybersecurity Skills Framework (ECSF) as a basis;
- Promote the development and the use of up-to-date curricula in cybersecurity;
- Perform communication around this initiative including dissemination of results, outcomes and impact, to engage and facilitate interactions between relevant stakeholders;
- Leverage available tools, such as the Digital Skills & Jobs Platform and/or ENISA’s CyberHEAD database, to support the Academy and integrate the existing best practices that will feed the Academy.
It is intended that only one proposal will be funded under Activity 2.
Please note that activities relating to the functioning of the organisation (e.g. installing/outfitting of training and/or meeting rooms with floors, electrical systems, air conditioning, furniture, physical security controls, fire sensors, cables and sockets, etc.) will not be supported under this Topic.
Additionally, projects funded under this topic will be requested to collaborate with the Coordination and support action (CSA) selected by the call topic DIGITAL-2023- SKILLS-05-SPECIAL-PROGEDU. This CSA will provide different support and collaboration activities to the projects selected under this topic and complimentary support to the Activity 2 will be explored (please consult call text further down in this document for the CSA topic).
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Island (Ísland), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Liechtenstein, Montenegro (Црна Гора), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна)
Education and training institution, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be:
- legal entities (public or private bodies)
- established in one of the eligible countries:
- EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
- listed EEA countries and countries associated to the Digital Europe Programme or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature (together ‘DEP associated countries’, see list of participating countries)
Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).
International organisations — International organisations are not eligible, unless they are International organisations of European Interest within the meaning of Article 2 of the Digital Europe Regulation (i.e. international organisations the majority of whose members are Member States or whose headquarters are in a Member State).
EU bodies — EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.
Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf and offer guarantees for the protection of the EU financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons.
Entities composed of members may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. Please note that if the action will be implemented by the members, they should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible).
Countries currently negotiating association agreements — Beneficiaries from countries with ongoing negotiations (see above) may participate in the call and can sign grants if the negotiations are concluded before grant signature (with retroactive effect, if provided in the agreement).
other eligibility criteria
Proposals must be submitted by a consortium composed of a minimum 3 entities (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities) from 3 different eligible countries OR minimum 1 European digital infrastructure consortium (EDIC) composed of at least 3 Member States.
Financial support to third parties is allowed in for grants and prizes under the following conditions:
- the calls must be open, published widely and conform to EU standards concerning transparency, equal treatment, conflict of interest and confidentiality;
- the calls must be published on the Funding & Tenders Portal, and on the participants’ websites;
- the calls must remain open for at least two months;
- if call deadlines are changed, this must immediately be published on the Portal and all registered applicants must be informed of the change;
- the outcome of the call must be published on the participants’ websites, including a description of the selected projects, award dates, project durations, and final recipient legal names and countries;
- the calls must have a clear European dimension.
- Your project application must clearly specify why financial support to third parties is needed, how it will be managed, and provide a list of the different types of activities for which a third party may receive financial support. The proposal must also clearly describe the results to be obtained.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System (accessible via the Topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section. Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:
- Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants (future coordinator, beneficiaries and affiliated entities) and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)
- Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded)
- Mandatory annexes and supporting documents (to be uploaded when applicable only):
- detailed budget table/calculator: not applicable
- CVs of core project team: not applicable
- activity reports of last year: not applicable
- list of previous projects (key projects for the last 4 years, template available in part B)
- ownership control declarations: not applicable
Proposals are limited to maximum 70 pages (Part B).