(CHESS) Cyber-security Excellence Hub in Estonia and South Moravia

The Cyber-security Excellence Hub in Estonia and South Moravia (CHESS) will bring together leading R&I institutions in both regions to build connected innovation ecosystems to address one of the most important issues confronting Europe today: Cyber-Security. Considering recent world events and the EU’s goal to fully digitize the economy and society by 2030 – the Cybersecurity topic should be at the forefront of agendas. European cybersecurity must be addressed at multiple levels: local, national, European. It needs to not only address gaps in security that exist today but also must be prepared for future threats, which is why research and innovation is needed.

The CHESS Hub has been designed specifically to meet these challenges, building two linked Hubs in Estonia and South Moravia (Czech Republic), two regions that have already become important centers of IT industry and research. We will develop a joint strategy that is closely aligned to the priorities set by the four H2020 flagship cybersecurity pilot projects: CONCORDIA, SPARTA, CyberSec4Europe and ECHO. Multiple CHESS partners were part of the pilots, so we will be able to ensure that our strategy is in alignment with European goals.

Our place-based ecosystems will bring together all parts of the quadruple helix, to identify research and training needs as well as executing small pilot research projects as proofs of concept or to otherwise validate technologies or their business models. We will seek to bridge the research-innovation gap by connecting fundamental researchers with economic and societal exploitation. CHESS will seek to leverage local and regional resources to support development and sustainability of the ecosystem. All CHESS activities will be focused on six key elements of cybersecurity prioritized by H2020 flagships. These include topics of current pressing importance (achieving an Internet of Secure Things) as well as topics steadily rising in importance (how to preserve security in blockchain technologies) to considering challenges in the coming decade, such as the looming threats posed by post quantum technologies

To achieve this ambitious vision, specific objectives for CHESS include the following:

  • A Cross-border joint Cybersecurity R&I strategy aligned with CZ-EE smart specialisation strategies
    (ICT) and Europe’s Digital Society and Cybersecurity goals as articulated in the 4 H2020
    Cybersecurity flagships projects Roadmaps.
  • Action and investment plans for implementation of the strategy in each of its six focus areas of
    cybersecurity (Internet of Safe Things, Security Certification, Verification of Trustworthy Software,
    Security Preservation in Blockchain Technology and Post-Quantum Cryptography.
  • Initiation of at least 12 small-scale R&I projects consolidating academia business linkages to
    demonstrate validity of ideas and provide evidence to obtain additional investments.
  • A Training strategy for both regions to increase cross border/sectoral cooperation and increase
    needed skills around the six priority areas.
  • Companying measures e.g. to raise visibility, citizen engagement, technology transfer,
    entrepreneurship training, staff exchange, mutual learning etc.