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Call: Increased foresight capacity for security

Acronym HE-CL3-SSRI
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 3 - Destination 6: Strengthened Security Research and Innovation"

The EU-funded security research and innovation framework was launched with the Preparatory Action for Security Research[[COM(2004) 72]]. Since then, the programme has contributed substantially to knowledge and value creation in the field of internal security and to the consolidation of an ecosystem better equipped to capitalise on research and innovation to support the EU security priorities.

While the success of the programme has materialised in relevant scientific findings, maturation of promising technology areas, operational validation of innovative concepts or support to policy implementation, a key challenge remains in improving the uptake of innovation.

The extent to which innovative technologies developed thanks to EU R&I investment are industrialised and commercialised by EU industry, and later acquired and deployed by end-users, thus contributing to the development of security capabilities[[For the purpose of this work programme, the terms “Capability” should be understood as "the ability to pursue a particular policy priority or achieve a desired operational effect”. The term “capability” is often interchanged with the term “capacity”, but this should be avoided. “Capacity” could refer to an amount or volume of which one organisation could have enough or not. On the other hand, “capability” refers to an ability, an aptitude or a process that can be developed or improved in consonance with the ultimate objective of the organisation.]], could give a valuable measure of the impact achieved with the programme. However, there are factors inherent to the EU security ecosystem (often attributed to the market) that hinder the full achievement of this impact. These include market fragmentation, cultural barriers, analytical weaknesses, programming weaknesses, ethical, legal and societal considerations or lack of synergies between funding instruments, among others.

It is worth noting that such factors affect all the security domains addressed in Cluster 3; that there is not one predominant factor with sufficient leverage by itself to change the overall innovation uptake dynamics; and that they exhibit complex relationships among them which are difficult to disentangle. It should also be noted that the innovation uptake process starts before the R&I cycle is triggered, and it is not finalised with the successful termination of a research project. Therefore, the uptake challenge extends beyond the realm of R&I. However, from within R&I it is possible, if not to materialise the uptake in every case, at least to pave the way towards its materialisation.

To that aim, there is a need to create a favourable environment that is designed with the main purpose of increasing the impact of security R&I, that is visible and recognisable to those interested in contributing to this aim, and which provides bespoke tools that serve to tackle the factors that hinder innovation uptake.

The SSRI Destination has therefore been designed with this purpose to serve equally to all the expected impacts of Cluster 3. Research applied in this domain will contribute to increasing the impact of the work carried out in the EU security Research and Innovation ecosystem as a whole and to contribute to its core values, namely: i) Ensuring that security R&I maintains the focus on the potential final use of its outcomes; ii) Contributing to a forward-looking planning of EU security capabilities; iii) Ensuring the development of security technologies that are socially acceptable; iv) Paving the way to the industrialisation, commercialisation, acquisition and deployment of successful R&I outcomes; and v) Safeguarding the open strategic autonomy and technological sovereignty of the EU in critical security areas by contributing to a more competitive and resilient EU security technology and industrial base.

While the other Destinations of this Horizon Europe Cluster 3 Work Programme offer research and innovation activities to develop solutions to address specific security threats or capability needs, the SSRI Destination will contribute with instruments that will help bringing these and other developments closer to the market. Such instruments will help developers (including industry, research organisations and academia) to improve the valorisation of their research investment. They will also support buyers and users in materialising the uptake of innovation and further develop their security capabilities.

In addition, the SSRI Destination will offer an open environment to create knowledge and value through research in matters (including technology, but also social sciences and humanities) that are not exclusive of only one security area, but cross-cutting to the whole Cluster. This will contribute to reducing thematic fragmentation, bringing closer together the actors from different security domains, and expanding the market beyond traditional thematic silos.

Finally, SSRI will allow the allocation of resources to the development of tools and methods to reinforce the innovation cycle itself from a process standpoint, thus increasing its effectiveness, efficiency and impact. This Destination will contribute to the development of an analytical capacity tailored to the specific needs of security stakeholders for the materialisation of a structured long-term capability based planning of research and innovation for security.

In order to accomplish the objectives of this Destination, additional eligibility conditions have been defined with regard to the active involvement of relevant security practitioners or end-users.

Expected impacts:

Proposals for topics under this Destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to the following impacts:

  • A more effective and efficient evidence-based development of EU civil security capabilities built on a stronger, more systematic and analysis-intensive security research and innovation cycle;
  • Increased industrialisation, commercialisation, adoption and deployment of successful outcomes of security research reinforces the competitiveness and resilience of EU security technology and industrial base and safeguards the security of supply of EU-products in critical security areas;
  • R&I-enabled knowledge and value in cross-cutting matters reduces sector specific bias and breaks thematic silos that impede the proliferation of common security solutions.
Link Link to Programme
Increased foresight capacity for security
Description of call
"Increased foresight capacity for security"

Expected Outcome

  • An increased knowledge base on technology foresight, more accessible to the security stakeholders, that supports the consolidation of a forward-looking culture in the planning and use of resources in the area of security.
  • Anticipatory steering of the foreseeable evolution of security-relevant technologies and of the challenges and opportunities brought by such evolution on the industrialisation and use of future security technologies facilitated by a common foresight framework for EU civil security;
  • An evidence-based identification, prioritisation and programming of security R&I and capacity building investment sustained on an anticipated and consolidated view of how future technology, research and industrial trends impact, influence and shape future threats and security capabilities;
  • A recognised EU-wide definition of critical technological building blocks and components for the development of future high-priority capabilities.


Anticipating the future, both in terms of threats and of opportunities offered by new emerging technologies is a real challenge. Having the capacity to depict plausible futures, to identify upcoming threats and to propose early responses can be of invaluable help to decision makers.

The sound programming of EU-funded security research can also be notably improved if the analytical capacity required to identify mid to long-term trends in the EU security context is in place and its outcomes are made available to decision makers through the right channels on a timely manner. This includes not only the identification of academic research, technology, innovation and industrial trends, but also of how these can be translated into early warning of threats and anticipated response. A common EU approach for civil security to address this need, properly covering the full range of security policy dimensions and acknowledging their particularities and distinctive features, is therefore needed.

Many organisations, including the European Commission, have developed instruments that provide timely assessment of technology trends on a regular basis. The broad technology landscape does not show frequent fluctuations, and a plethora of tools and ready-made information products unveiling trends in different time horizons are widely available. However, pure technology watch-based approaches are not helpful for civil security decision makers unless they are embedded in a qualitative assessment of threats and capabilities. Such assessment shifts the focus from a purely technological standpoint to the way in which these technologies are and will be used in a given policy, operational, industrial and societal context.

Therefore, building on existing technology and research landscaping mechanisms (and possibly tailoring them to the specificities of the civil security domain), applicants are invited to submit proposals for the development and operationalisation of a foresight framework for security including advanced tools, methods, techniques and processes. Such framework should be accompanied by a solid scientific model that connects future technologies with their future use. This should allow to identify how future civil security technology, research, innovation and industrial trends impact, influence and shape future threats and security capabilities, taking into account contextual aspects. These may include ethical, legal, societal, economic, geopolitical, environmental or industrial aspects, with particular emphasis on the capacity of the EU security technology and industrial base to achieve the desired technology development objectives, thus safeguarding the EU security technology sovereignty, if and when this is required. The proposed approach should combine qualitative and quantitative methods, maximise their automation and allow for qualified inputs through distributed and collaborative environment/schemes in order to make the most efficient and effective use of the human and technical resources available.

The proposals should take into account existing foresight approaches implemented by other EU and international organisations (e.g. JRC, EDA, INTERPOL, UNIDO, etc.). Should these be used as a reference, the newly proposed approaches should not just replicate the existing ones, but reference the source accordingly and adapt them to the context of EU civil security. Proposals should also take into account previous EU-funded research projects addressing foresight and build strong synergies with ongoing projects, in particular with the Networks of Practitioners funded under H2020 Secure Societies work programmes and the new Knowledge Networks for Security Research & Innovation funded under Horizon Europe Cluster 3.

The proposed foresight framework must be operationalised since the early stages of the project and deliver information products until its finalisation and beyond. When operationalising the proposed approach, applicants have to consider that they should deliver tangible value to the European Commission Strategic Foresight Agenda[1], supporting political priorities in the field of civil security, including the programming of the Union´s investment for the development of security capabilities through research and capacity building funds. Therefore, the results are expected to be made available at least to all stakeholders involved in this task, both at EU and national level. In order to allow that the developed foresight framework works with and for this purpose, the applicants should demonstrate that the working cycles proposed and the exchanges of information required are duly coordinated with the work of the Thematic Working Groups of the Community of Users for Secure, Safe and Resilient societies set-up by the European Commission (future CERIS –Community of European Research and Innovation for Security) and/or with equivalent innovation labs set-up by EU Agencies in the different thematic areas addressed (e.g. Frontex). Therefore, the thematic working groups should not only be a source of information, but also a validator of the foresight approach proposed and a beneficiary of the information products delivered.

Applicants must show a good understanding of the context where security research and capacity building programming takes place (mostly at EU level), of who are the main actors involved and of what are their needs in terms of foresight. The proposal should pay special attention to the type and format of the outcomes to be delivered, their timeliness and to what audience these are addressed. In this sense, outcomes must be delivered periodically every 6 months or less throughout the whole project starting from month 6.

The project has to identify and describe options for the exploitation of the foresight model proposed beyond the project lifetime, including the setting up of a permanent technology foresight capacity in support to EU-funded security research and innovation programming, i.e. under the Research-as-a-service approach.

The project should have a maximum estimated duration of 3 years.

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Justice, Safety & Security, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, National Government, Other, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

eligible non-EU countries:

  • countries associated to Horizon Europe
Please see the List of Participating Countries in Horizon Europe for an up-to-date list of countries with which the association agreements have started to produce legal effects (either through provisional application or their entry into force).

  • low-and middle-income countries

Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.

Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

Legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State;and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Call opens 01.07.2022
Call closes 23.11.2022
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system

Page limit - Part B: 30 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of around EUR 1.50 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
Indicative budgetThe total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 1.50 million.
Typ of ActionCoordination and Support Actions (CSA)
Funding rate100%

Eligible costs will take the form of a lump sum as defined in the Decision of 7 July 2021 authorising the use of lump sum contributions under the Horizon Europe Programme – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2021-2027) – and in actions under the Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (2021-2025).
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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