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Austrian Security Research Programme KIRAS - new call for proposals to be launched in October 2014
Date: 01 Oct 2014

The next call for proposals within KIRAS will be launched in October 2014 (closure date: 2nd of February 2015). Two of the focus areas to be addressed by applicants will be Cyber Security and Cyber Crime. A dedicated information day will be organized by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) on 24th of October 2014.

Established in 2005 by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit), KIRAS was the first national security research programme within the European Union. The name originates from ancient Greek and combines the words ‘‘kirkos’’ (circle-being a metaphor for the holistic concept behind KIRAS) and ‘‘asphaleia’’ (security). Since its introduction, the initiative has been based on a broad and circumspect notion of (civil) security, giving due consideration to socio-political, economic and cultural developments not only on a national level but also Europe wide.

In line with this idea, KIRAS promotes national research projects which correspond to the strategic objectives of the programme, namely

- To improve the subjective perception & objective level of security of Austrian citizens

- To support the generation of knowledge needed for security policy

- To promote security related technology leaps

- To support the growth of the Austrian security industry

- To achieve excellence in security research and

- To integrate relevant societal questions in every project.

In this context, the thematic priority addressed by KIRAS is the protection of critical infrastructures in sectors such as: energy, communication & information, financial- and health system, food, water, transport as well as public security and administration.

KIRAS is embedded in several national strategies, e.g. the Austrian Cyber Security Strategy and governed by a steering board which is chaired by bmvit and comprises all relevant ministries as well as special interest groups and research promotion institutions.

KIRAS is furthermore characterized by a mandatory inclusion of end users as well as an obligatory integration of humanities, social sciences and cultural studies.

The accompanying evaluation of KIRAS confirms a strong application focus and end-user emphasis within supported projects. This integrative approach ensures demand-driven research and therewith fosters the development of marketable technological products and services. The evaluation likewise confirms that societal aspects are deeply embedded in KIRAS projects. Questions on societal issues, like the acceptability of newly developed security solutions, are taken into consideration during the whole project lifecycle and therewith represent an integral part of the research work. In addition, Austrian institutions are very successful in European security research and thereby create an over-average return of research funds.