In a highly connected world, the European Commission considers cybersecurity a priority for the digital development of Europe. Led by the French CEA with the help of Thales, SPARTA is a novel Cybersecurity Competence Network, supported by Europe’s H2020 programme, with the objective to develop and implement top-tier research and innovation cooperative actions.
Cybersecurity is an urgent and major societal challenge, highly correlated with the digitalization of our societies. Cyber-threats have an increasing impact on our lives. It is therefore essential to ensure security and sovereignty in our societies by strengthening leading cybersecurity capabilities. This will require the coordination of Europe’s best competences, towards common research and innovation goals.
Resulting from the concrete challenges of forming an ambitious cybersecurity research & innovation roadmap, SPARTA will set up unique collaborations, to pave the way for transformative capabilities and the formation of a world-leading joint competence centre infrastructure. Led by the CEA, the 44 actors of the SPARTA consortium (academics, industries and SMEs) aim at a re-thinking together of the way cybersecurity research, innovation, and training is performed in Europe across domains and expertise, from foundation to applications, in academia and industry.
As one of the consortium’s original founders, Thales is a major partner of the SPARTA project. It will share with the consortium its 40 years of expertise, focusing on two objectives: strengthening the cyber threat intelligence within the network and developing secure systems based on Artificial Intelligence.
To help companies and organisations appreciate the IT threat and better protect themselves, Thales aims at developing European capabilities in cyber threat intelligence. One of the most important objectives will be to have tools and algorithms that are fed into easily exploitable information which will help the whole community to facilitate the safe sharing of this knowledge.
Thales will also bring its long-standing experience in the development of secure systems based on a trusted and explainable AI. By automating lower value tasks we can foster more value added specialist expertise, therefore use the available talent pool more efficiently. This is critical since cybersecurity professionals already represent a scarce resource and one which will be in increasing demand as the Internet of Things and 5G scale up. By bringing together its cyber expertise and its knowledge of hackers’ modus operandi, Thales will be able to simulate new AI-based attacks to learn how to react and protect the ecosystem.
 Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.