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Programme Type
Funding programme
European (European)
European Union
STRIA Roadmaps


Background & Policy context

Security related research is an important building block for supporting European freedom, security and justice. It will also contribute to developing technologies and capabilities in support of other European Community policies in areas such as transport, civil protection, energy, environment and health.

Making Europe more secure for its citizens while increasing its industrial competitiveness, is the goal of European Security Research. Europe has never been so peacefully consolidated, so prosperous and secure, yet at the same time so vulnerable against threats like terrorism, organised crime and natural disasters. By cooperating and coordinating efforts on a continent-wide scale, by stimulating the cooperation of providers and users for civil security solutions, the EU can better understand and respond to risks in a constantly changing world.

The evolving nature of security issues implies many new challenges. In order to protect our fundamental rights and freedom, technological preparedness and response of society to potential or actual threats are essential. The overall societal dimension and preparedness is of great importance at all stages, including prevention, crisis and after crisis management.

The relationship between defence technologies on the one hand, and security technologies on the other, is particularly noticeable in the field of R&D, with technologies that show potential developments in both areas (Dual Use). At both research and industrial development levels, synergies are possible and desirable.

Research into the Security theme at EU level is essential as security is a precondition of prosperity and freedom. It is also an important building block supporting the 'Common foreign and security policy' and helping to realise a high level of security within the area of justice, freedom and security. It will also contribute to developing technologies and capabilities in support of other Community policies in areas such as transport, civil protection, energy, environment and health.

Strategic Objectives

The objectives of the FP7 research theme 'Security' are:

  • To develop the technologies and knowledge for building capabilities needed to ensure the security of citizens from threats such as terrorism, natural disasters, and crime, while respecting fundamental human rights and privacy;
  • To ensure optimal and concerted use of available and evolving technologies to the benefit of civil European security;
  • To stimulate the cooperation of providers and users for civil security solutions;
  • To improve the competitiveness of the European security industry;
  • To deliver mission-oriented research results to reduce security gaps.

Research supported under this theme is intended to ensure optimal and concerted use of available technologies to the benefit of civil European security, and to stimulate the co-operation of providers and users for civil security solutions. This is expected to help improve the competitiveness of the European security industry and to deliver mission-orientated research results to reduce security gaps, whilst ensuring transparency and accountability.

Research activities are multidisciplinary and mission oriented. They range from technology and methodology development to systems integration. In addition, societal aspects are also addressed. The Security theme covers both transport-related and non transport-related research.

At Community level 'Security' research maintains an exclusively civil orientation and focuses on activities of clear, added value to the national level. As a consequence, civil security research within FP7 will reinforce the competitiveness of the European security industry. Close coordination with the activities of the 'European Defence Agency' (EDA) will be needed in order to ensure complementarity due to the 'dual use' nature of many technologies.

Programme organisation

Activities in this research theme address the following mission areas:

  1. Security of citizens: delivering technology solutions for civil protection, including bio-security and protection against risks arising from crime and terrorist attacks;
  2. Security of infrastructures and utilities: analysing and securing existing and future public and private critical/networked infrastructure (e.g. in transport, energy, ICT), systems and services (including financial and administrative services);
  3. Intelligent surveillance and border security: focusing on technologies and capabilities to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of all systems, equipment, tools and processes as well as methods for rapid identification required for improving the security of Europe's land and coastal borders, including border control and surveillance issues;
  4. Restoring security and safety in case of crisis: focusing on technologies providing an overview of, and support for diverse emergency management operations (such as civil protection, humanitarian and rescue tasks), and on issues, such as inter-organisational preparation, coordination and communication, distributed architectures and human factors.

The above four areas are supported by the following themes of a more cross-cutting nature:

  • Security systems integration, interconnectivity and interoperability: Intelligence, information gathering and civil security, focusing on technologies to enhance the interoperability of systems, equipment, services and processes, including law enforcement, firefighting, civil defence and medical information infrastructures, as well as on the reliability, organisational aspects, protection of confidentiality and integrity of information and traceability of all transactions and processing;
  • Security and society: mission orientated research which will focus on socio-economic analyses, scenario building and activities related to: cultural, social, political and economic dimensions of security, communication with society, the role of human values and policy-making, psychology social environment of terrorism, citizens' perception of security, ethics, protection of privacy, societal foresight and systemic risk analysis. Research also addresses technologies that better safeguard privacy and liberties, and will address vulnerabilities and new threats, as well as the management and impact assessment of possible consequences;
  • Security researc


Institution Type
Institution Name
European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)
Programme funding arrangements and funding conditions

General FP7 programme conditions apply (see CORDIS). In general, EU funding provides a contribution to the research and complementary funding is required from the project participants themselves.

Across all themes support for trans-national cooperation is implemented through:

  • Collaborative research: Collaborative research constitutes the bulk and the core of EU research funding. This includes funding via Collaborative Projects, Networks of Excellence (NoE) and Coordination and support actions;
  • 'Joint Technology Initiatives': In a very limited number of cases, the scope of an RTD objective and the scale of the resources involved justify setting up long-term public private partnerships in the form of Joint Technology Initiatives. These initiatives, mainly resulting from the work of European Technology Platforms, and covering one or small number of selected aspects of research in their field, will combine private sector investment as well as national and European public funding, including grant funding from the Research Framework Programme and loan finance from the European Investment Bank;
  • Coordination of non-Community research programmes: The action undertaken in this field makes use of two main tools, the ERA-NET scheme and the participation of the Community in jointly implemented national research programmes, including intergovernmental structures such as Eureka, Eiroforum and COST.
Total Budget
€1.4 bn (EU funding)


Communication and Information Unit R4
European Commission, Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General

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