The consortium compromises 22 complementary partners from 12 countries, each bringing complementary expertise to the table. This diverse consortium consists of prominent European players in the fields of AI and Cyber, as well as platform integrators, effectors and systems developers, collectively covering the entire spectrum of Cyber Information Warfare (CIW) related competences.
Over the past years, the landscape of information operations has undergone a transformation, expanding beyond the physical realms and extending its influence into the digital space. With the widespread use of the Internet and Social Media, these domains now offer abundant opportunities to potentially manipulate factual perception and impact decision-making processes.
In today’s highly connected world, there has been a noticeable rise of influence operations, making Cyber and Information Warfare (CIW) one of the most strategic domains in recent conflicts. The European Union and its member states are increasingly targeted by coordinated disinformation campaigns and influence operations. State-sponsored adversaries and proxies employ a range of methodologies, employing various tactics, techniques and procedures.
Weapons of information warfare combined with cyberattacks have been employed in diverse contexts to undermine national, European and international policies. In the civil domain, the European Union institutions have actively addressed disinformation since 2015 through numerous initiatives, such as the creation of the project EUvsDisinfo.
Addressing the need for a robust Cyber and Information domain is already a priority for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the EU and its member nations. France, in its National Strategic Review, supports the instruments developed by European institutions, including the creation of a toolbox against interference and foreign manipulation of information.
The EUCINF will now focus on developing a coherent European library of configurable software components that can easily integrate into Cyber and Information Warfare systems. These components will provide capabilities in detection, analysis, fusion, and threat targeting to support activities of Cyber and Operational Centres.
EUCINF offers a unique European industrial approach by proposing a reference repository of AI-based configurable applications and an experimental platform that comprehensively addresses information operation challenges in the digital space. As part of capability demonstrations, EUCINF will implement three operational CIW scenarios and define precise use cases based on the requirements of end-users from Ministry of Defence (MoDs) entities, ensuring compliance with legal regulations and societal expectations.
The EUCINF project will encompass studies, design, prototyping, testing, and qualification of a software toolbox system that offers multi-purpose tools, facilitating easily deployment into European operational systems. Technical specifications of a European CIW toolbox system will be derived from these requirements, ultimately demonstrating pertinence and performance at strategic, operational and tactical levels, as well as in the converged civil-military cyber and information warfare.
Airbus Defence and Space will contribute its expertise in intelligence and cyber solutions and its adeptness to manage complex projects and programmes. More globally, large companies will contribute their defence systems know-how, capabilities and means to support use cases, while specialised SMEs and mid caps will bring key technological skills to the project.
EUCINF will leverage the strengths of a well-balanced consortium composed of large companies (Airbus, Hensoldt, Indra, Leonardo); Mid-Caps (BV-Tech Spa, Space Hellas); SMEs (Anozr Way, Approach, Avisa Partners, Bloom, Cybernetica, Cyber Services, EclecticIQ, EIGHT BELLS, Sahar, Storyzy, Tilde); research organisation (AIT) as well as universities (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Universidad de Murcia).
The EC will now enter into grant agreement preparation with the selected consortium. Pending a successful conclusion of these preparations, the grant agreements are expected to be signed before the end of the year.