International launch of new pan-European cybersecurity master’s programme, Digital4Security

Logroño, La Rioja, Spain, 13th November, 2023

A new innovative pan-European master’s programme will help companies in all sectors tackle the growing global problem of cybersecurity threats and privacy issues.

Digital4Security is a four-year €20 million project funded by the EU, created by a Consortium of 35 Partners from 14 countries. The initiative has just been launched with a full-day in-person collaborative workshop at Politehnica University of Bucharest (UPB), attended by representatives of all Consortium Partners. This huge international commitment and collaboration highlights the need for a greater collective response to the biggest challenge facing the digital space.

Protecting economic prosperity in Europe

The project is an industry-led European master’s programme in Cybersecurity Management & Data Sovereignty, which will equip European SMEs and companies with a comprehensive knowledge of cybersecurity management, regulatory and technical skills.

Representatives of Digital4Security Consortium Partners at UPB

Digital4Security aims to protect economic prosperity and support long-term competitiveness and growth all over Europe. The course will continuously adapt and evolve to counter current and emerging cybersecurity risks.

Romanian government minister Tudor Prisecaru, State Secretary with Romanian Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalisation, said that “Cybersecurity is a global concern that affects all citizens, from individuals, to businesses, large organisations and national security”.

“Cutting-edge research and innovation”

Mr Prisecaru told guests at the launch: “A master’s programme provides the opportunity for students to engage in cutting-edge research and innovation in the field of cybersecurity. Graduates of master’s programmes in cybersecurity can contribute to the global effort to address these concerns. Raising awareness about cybersecurity best practices is essential. A master’s programme can equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to educate others about staying safe in the digital world.”

Tudor Prisecaru at the launch

Also speaking at the launch event, Programme Director and UPB Dean of of the Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers, Mihnea Moisescu, praised the international commitment and the vision of all partner organisations, and said such a transformative programme is “highly relevant today because the digital landscape is constantly evolving, and cyber threats are on the rise”.

Mr Moisecu added: “Our Consortium, consisting of highly skilled professionals, is dedicated to designing a comprehensive cybersecurity master’s programme. With the expertise and commitment of our partners, we further strengthen our capabilities to address evolving threats. Together, we are confident in our ability to deliver robust cybersecurity solutions that will protect our systems and data, while also nurturing a new generation of skilled professionals in this rapidly advancing field.”

Digital4Security is funded under the European Commission’s flagship DIGITALEUROPE programme, which provides €7.5 billion of funding to accelerate the economic recovery and shape the digital transformation of Europe’s society.

A new generation of cyber-confident graduates

DIGITALEUROPE Project Communications Officer Irene Marinelli said the time is right for such an innovative programme. Speaking after the launch, she said: “The need to recruit, retain and maintain a sufficient number of cybersecurity professionals in Europe has become increasingly urgent today. The kick-off meeting for the Digital4Security project was a great opportunity to start the four-year collaboration with partners and create the foundations for an innovative and market-led European Master’s Programme in Cybersecurity Management & Data Sovereignty.”

The project is a highly market-led sustainable European cybersecurity master’s programme that will address the growing cybersecurity skills gap in European industries and public sector organisations. It will focus on industry needs and demands, and build Europe-wide cybersecurity knowledge through a unique combination of academic accreditation and industry certification.

It will reskill and upskill graduates, professionals, managers, and business leaders, and empower them to strengthen their cybersecurity infrastructure and implement robust incident prevention and management procedures. Digital4Security will create a new generation of cyber-confident graduates, building a solid foundation for growth and resilience.

The inclusive programme will fast-track high numbers of graduates, and appeal to a broad spectrum of potential students and companies from a wide range of sectors, demographics, and cultural backgrounds. These graduates will fill high-demand roles from ENISA’s European Cybersecurity Skills Framework (ECSF), filling crucial occupational profiles that are critical to the ongoing security and success of European businesses.

Digital4Security launch workshop at UPB

Digital4Security Project Lead Florian Frank, of the University of Digital Science in Potsdam, Germany, said the huge Europe-wide collaboration between tech, industry and academia was “great team play in the Champions League of digital challenges”, and added: “With D4S we have academia, industry and the European administration in one integrative approach which is already changing our view on the topic of cybersecurity. The motivation, speed and integrity of all partners involved can be exemplary for how we can evolve together with the power of live network and collaboration.”

“Building a digital fortress”

Horacio Gonzalez-Velez of the National College of Ireland praised the “exciting times ahead” for the Consortium, adding: “The Digital4Security kickoff in Bucharest was not just the beginning of a project, but a monumental leap towards securing Europe’s digital future. Our mission to forge the next generation of ‘cyber-confident’ leaders and experts is in full swing. With a curriculum tailored to today’s cyber threats and tomorrow’s challenges, we are building a digital fortress for European businesses. Be part of our journey towards a safer, more resilient digital Europe!”

Echoing Mr Gonzalez-Velez’s enthusiasm after the launch, Brian Cochrane of Brussels-based Consortium Partner Schuman Associates, said: “The Digital4Security launch event in Bucharest marks the start of our four-year journey towards a highly innovative, successful, and sustainable European cybersecurity master’s programme. The kick-off meeting established a robust foundation to unify our joint efforts, combining the strengths of academia and industry, in tackling the pressing demand for cybersecurity skills needs.”

Additional information for editors

The Digital4Security Consortium is a dynamic pan-European partnership of innovators in the field of cybersecurity. It comprises higher education institutions, industry partners, training providers and cybersecurity clusters, working together to design, promote and deliver a transformative cybersecurity management programme, developed and delivered by the best cybersecurity talent from Europe and worldwide.

University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest  (Romania),  National College of Ireland (Ireland), University of Digital Science GGMBH (Germany), University of Rijeka (UNIRI) (Hungary), The Università degli Studi di Brescia (Italy), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), University of Koblenz (Germany), CY Cergy Paris Universite (France), Mykolo Romerio Universitetas (Lithuania), Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (Spain), Brno University of Technology (Czechia), Munster Technological University / Cyber Ireland (Ireland), Skillnet Ireland (Ireland), Adecco Formazione SRL (Italy), DTSL (Ireland), Adecco Italia Holding di Partecipazione e Servizi SPA (Italy), Ataya & Partners (Belgium), IT@Cork Association Limited (Ireland), Matrix Internet (Ireland), G & N Silensec Ltd (Cyprus/US/UK), Schuman Associates (Belgium), Fraunhofer Gesellschaft Zur Forderung Der Angewandten Forschung Ev (Germany), Naukowa I Akademicka Siec Komputerowa – Panstwowy Instytut Badawcz (Poland), Lietuvos Kibernetiniu Nusikaltimu Kompetenciju Ir Tyrimu Centras (Lithuania), Polish Cyber Security Cluster (Poland), Contrader SRL (Italy), ServiceNow Ireland Limited (Ireland), DIGITALEUROPE ASBL (Belgium), Agoria ASBL (Belgium), European Digital SME Alliance (Belgium), Terawe Technologies Limited (Ireland), Banco Santander SA (Spain), Red Open SRL (Italy), Pearson Benelux BV (Netherlands), Independent Pictures Ltd (Indiepics) (Ireland), Profil Klett DOO (Croatia)


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Reference: 101123430