Minister Smyth welcomes the establishment of new €4.2m National Cybersecurity Coordination and Development Centre (NCC-IE) project

Funding to be provided to SMEs for cybersecurity research, innovation and resilience measures 

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications with responsibility for Communications, Ossian Smyth TD, has welcomed the establishment of a new National Cyber Security Coordination and Development Centre (NCC-IE) project for Ireland. 

The role of the NCC-IE project, which sits within the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), is:

  • to coordinate with industry, academia, research and other stakeholders to develop awareness of and promote funding supports and associated networking opportunities;
  • to distribute EU and national funds to industry and societal stakeholders, notably small and medium sized enterprises (SME), with the aim of strengthening the uptake of state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions; and
  • to contribute to policy and strategy formulation on cybersecurity funding.

The NCC-IE project will run for two years and is being joint-funded by an EU contribution of €2 million and €2.2 million from the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. This funding, which is in line with similar investments in other EU Member States, will resource the NCSC’s capacity-building function and finance a support programme for industry and societal stakeholders to facilitate cybersecurity innovation and resilience.

The project, which is due to commence in the autumn, will help meet national obligations under EU law with a focus on creating a vibrant national cybersecurity ecosystem that is engaged with communities in other EU Member States. 

Through this project, the NCSC will work with the national industry cluster, Cyber Ireland, and relevant State agencies to encourage a more Eurocentric approach in the interests of EU cohesion and of maintaining ongoing access to the Single Market. This will include a focus on supporting indigenous Irish enterprises to build industrial capacity in cybersecurity.

Welcoming the development today, Minister Smyth said: This is an exciting new development for the NCSC. It is important that we play our part as a member of the EU in seizing the cybersecurity opportunities as regards research, innovation, technological development and commercial exploitation as part of the Green Deal and Digital Transformation agendas.”  

This project was among a number successful applications from Ireland under the Digital Europe Cybersecurity call for proposals that closed in February. Approximately €7.8 million of EU funding is being provided to various parties in Ireland to improve cybersecurity capabilities.

The development and implementation of the National Cyber Security Coordination and Development Centre for Ireland, known as the NCC-IE, falls under the capacity building remit of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and is a key priority identified as part of the mid-term review of Ireland’s National Cyber Security Strategy 2019-2024. 

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EU Cybersecurity

The European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre and the Network of National Coordination Centres Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2021/887) provides for Ireland and other Member States to establish National Coordination Centres (NCCs). This Regulation envisages NCCs, such as the National Cybersecurity Coordination and Development Centre, as the key enabling partner to support industry, research and societal stakeholders to achieve the aims of the Regulation, namely to strengthen leadership of the EU on cybersecurity, support EU technological capacities, capabilities and skills, and increase global competitiveness.

EU’s Digital Europe Programme

The Digital Europe Programme (DIGITAL) is an EU funding programme focused on bringing digital technology to businesses, citizens and public administrations. This Regulation has identified ‘Cybersecurity and Trust’ as a specific objective. 

The Digital Europe Cybersecurity Work Programme 2021-2022 seeks to support the deployment of cybersecurity infrastructure, to strengthen cybersecurity uptake, to raise awareness and foster cybersecurity skills and training and to support implementation of legislation.

This project will assist the National Cybersecurity Coordination and Development Centre, NCC-IE in realising its 2 key roles, namely:

  • coordination of the various Irish based interests in cybersecurity and facilitating their interaction with the EU’s Cybersecurity Competence Community, and
  • development of the various Irish based interests, particularly SMEs, as regards facilitating cybersecurity innovation and enhancing cybersecurity resilience.

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