The Secure Societies - Protecting Freedom and Security of Europe and its Citizens Societal Challenge (SC7) is about undertaking the research and innovation activities needed to protect our citizens, society and economy as well as our infrastructures and services, our prosperity, political stability and wellbeing.
The European Commission feels that any security malfunction or disruption - intentional or accidental - can have detrimental impact with high associated economic or societal costs. Thus, the primary aim of SC7 is to enhance the resilience of society against natural and man-made disasters, ranging from new crisis management tools to communication interoperability, and to develop novel solutions for the protection of critical infrastructure; to fight crime and terrorism ranging from new forensic tools to protection against explosives; to improve border security, ranging from improved maritime border protection to supply chain security and to support the EU’s external security policies including through conflict prevention and peace building; and to provide enhanced cybersecurity, ranging from secure information sharing to new assurance models.
On the latter point, European citizens, businesses and administrations are increasingly dependent on information and communication technology (ICT) for their daily activities. ICT boosts productivity, innovation, commercial exchanges and societal changes. Hence, the actual or perceived lack of security of digital technologies is putting at risk the European economy and society. Moreover, criminal actors have now widely embraced the new technologies to perpetrate crime. Therefore, in the EU and worldwide, cybersecurity has become a political and economic priority. It is thus only natural that cybersecurity has become part of SC7.