Horizon Europe: Cluster 3

Cluster 3 will focus on activities in support of the implementation of policy priorities relating to security, including cybersecurity, and disaster risk management. Research activities will help to put into practice the EU Maritime Security Strategy and have a role in developing integrated border management. 

Destinations and call topics
Call topics will be grouped in the following seven “Destinations” 

Please note that the topics listed are from the 2021-22 Cluster 3 Work Programme (via the EC portal).

Research topics aimed at fighting crime and terrorism more effectively, particularly through better prevention of crime and enhanced investigation capabilities particularly relating to cybercrime, as well as at better protection of citizens from violent attacks in public spaces. 

Expected impacts 

  • Modern information analysis for Law Enforcement agencies, allowing them to efficiently fight criminals and terrorists who use novel technologies
  • Improved forensics and lawful evidence collection, increasing the capabilities to apprehend criminals and terrorists and bring them to the court
  • Enhanced prevention, detection and deterrence of societal issues related to various forms of crime, including cybercrime, and terrorism, such as violent radicalisation, domestic and sexual violence, or juvenile offenders 
  • Increased security of citizens against terrorism, including in public spaces (while preserving their quality and openness) 
  • Improved intelligence picture and enhanced prevention, detection and deterrence of various forms of organised crime
  • More secure cyberspace for citizens, especially children, through a robust prevention, detection, and protection from cybercriminal activities

Topics are aimed at ensuring strong European land, air and sea external borders –by developing strong capabilities for checks at external borders. Research and innovation in the area of maritime security will also support the development of future capabilities for the protection of sea harbours and related sea lines of communication including entry/exit lines.

Expected impacts 

  • Improved security of EU land and air borders, as well as sea borders and maritime environment, infrastructures and activities, against accidents, natural disasters and security challenges such as illegal trafficking, piracy and potential terrorist attacks, cyber and hybrid threats
  • Improved border crossing experience for travellers and border authorities staff, while maintaining security and monitoring of movements across air, land and sea EU external borders, supporting the Schengen space, reducing illegal movements of people and goods across those borders and protecting fundamental rights of travellers
  • Improved customs and supply chain security though better prevention, detection, deterrence and fight of illegal activities involving flows of goods across EU external border crossing points and through the supply chain, minimising disruption to trade flows

Topics are aimed at ensuring European infrastructures are protected from various cyber and physical threats.


Expected impacts 

  • Ensured resilience of large-scale interconnected systems infrastructures in case of complex attacks, pandemics or natural and man-made disasters
  • Upgraded infrastructure protection systems enabling rapid, effective, safe and secure response and without substantial human intervention to complex threats and challenges, and better assessment of risks ensuring resilience and strategic autonomy of European infrastructures
  • Resilient and secure smart cities are protected using the knowledge derived from the protection of critical infrastructures and systems that are characterised by growing complexity

Topics are aimed at contributing to increased cybersecurity in Europe and a secure online environment.


Expected impacts 

  • Strengthened EU cybersecurity capacities and European sovereignty in digital technologies
  • More resilient digital infrastructures, systems and processes
  • Increased software, hardware and supply chain security
  • Secured disruptive technologies
  • Smart and quantifiable security assurance and certification shared across Europe
  • Reinforced awareness and a common cyber security management and culture

Topics are aimed at contributing to a disaster-resilient society for Europe, looking at both risk-reduction of disasters and response.


Expected impacts

  • Enhanced understanding and improved knowledge and situational awareness of disaster related risks by citizens, empowered to act, thus raising the resilience of European society.
  • More efficient cross-sectoral, cross-disciplines, cross-border coordination of the disaster risk management cycle (from prevention, preparedness to mitigation, response, and recovery) from international to local levels.
  • Enhanced sharing of knowledge and coordination regarding standardisation in the area of crisis management and CBRN.
  • Strengthened capacities of first responders in all operational phases related to any kind of (natural and man-made) disasters so that they can better prepare their operations, have access to enhanced situational awareness, have means to respond to events in a faster, safer and more efficient way, and may more effectively proceed with victim identification, triage and care.

Topics aim to strengthen security research and innovation in Europe, including in bringing the outcomes of this research closer to market.


Expected 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