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Societal challenges

The Netherlands and Europe are facing complex challenges. We are directly confronted with military threats, with the invasion of Ukraine being the primary one. The fast pace at which technologies are evolving is also bringing new threats. Consider, for example, China's assertive stance. The Netherlands is also one of the most digitised countries in the world, making us especially vulnerable to cyber attacks. In the crime world, a strong shift is visible to the digital world. Cybercriminals feel invisible and often manage to stay out of the hands of authorities through clever use of anonymous tools.

Organised crime is putting further pressure on the security of our society, with all its undermining consequences. This also poses a threat to society. Foreign interference and influencing our society through disinformation form other threats to our democracy and public values.

Central mission

To meet these threats, a central mission has been formulated in the area of security: That the Netherlands is secure and resilient against external threats and undermining crime, both in the physical environment and the digital domain. Subsidiary to the central security mission are five innovation missions:

  • That in 2030 organised undermining crime in the Netherlands will be risky and poorly rewarding, due to increased visibility of illegal activities and money flows;
  • That by 2035, the Netherlands will have the navy of the future. The greatly improved cooperation in the naval construction cluster will enable the Netherlands to respond flexibly to unpredictable developments;
  • That by 2030, the Netherlands has an operationally deployable space capacity for defence and security. In this, the Defence Space Agenda will serve as a guideline (the long-term space agenda will follow later);
  • Cybersecurity: by 2030, security is mandatory in the development of digital products, and the Netherlands has a strong cybersecurity knowledge and innovation chain. The objectives and actions in the Netherlands Cybersecurity Strategy 2022-2028 (NLCS) will provide the overarching framework for this mission;
  • High-tech Land Action: that by 2030, the armed forces will operate fully networked with integration of new technologies to act faster and more effectively than the adversary.

Role of ICT in innovative solutions

In the search for innovative solutions, we use the latest scientific insights, key technologies and applications to always stay one step ahead of (potential) adversaries. This involves intensive cooperation with knowledge and innovation partners, including at European level. Joint action will be taken by Topsector ICT with other top sectors, and partnerships such as Dutch Naval Design (cooperation between Defence and the maritime sector) and dcypher (platform for supporting the public-private innovation chain cybersecurity) play an important role. Because only by working together can we always stay one step ahead of opponents.

Holland High Tech (Topsector HTSM) coordinates the implementation of the Knowledge and Innovation Agenda for the Security sector, which was created in cooperation with the top sectors ICT, Creative Industry, Logistics and Water & Maritime. Examples of collaborations already in place: the Security, Peace and Law working group (Dutch AI Coalition), the theme Cybersecurity (Commit2Data) and in 2021, the event cybersecurity for societal challenges took place in collaboration with the top sectors water, energy and health.

CS4NL

There is also an integrated programme specifically on Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity for the Netherlands (CS4NL) to provide a substantial boost to cybersecurity knowledge and innovation in the Netherlands. That impetus comes through collaboration in calls for proposals, in which research organisations and industry apply for funding to set up a partnership. Parties apply as consortia for funding through NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) and TKI (Top Consortia for Knowledge and Innovation).

Learn more about CS4NL

Deployment of key technologies

The search for innovative solutions uses not only ICT key technologies, but also clusters of key technologies, namely Chemical Technologies, Digital Technologies, Engineering and Fabrication Technologies, Photonics and Light Technologies, Advanced Materials, Quantum Technologies, Life science technologies and Nanotechnologies.

The realisation of the navy of the future, for example, includes the use of high-tech solutions such as smart kill-chains, radar and integrated sensor suites, smart operations, smart crew & automation and smart design, management and concepts. Operational space capabilities in 2030 will include robust positioning and time synchronisation systems, national situational awareness, surveillance & tracking capabilities, ground-based situational awareness solutions, laser for secure communications and augmented transmission capabilities and (partially) proprietary satellite capabilities with timely and secure access.

By 2030, the armed forces are fully networked with other services and integrating new technologies, such as unmanned systems, electromagnetic spectrum and social media, allowing our country to go through the decision loop faster and better than the adversary.

By focusing on developing cybersecurity knowledge and innovation, the Netherlands aims to be in the top 10 of both the ITU Global Cybersecurity Index and the National Cyber Security Index in the near future. Programmes have been established to promote the development of cyber competences, and the profession of cybersecurity specialist should be in the top 10 most attractive professions in the Netherlands by 2030.

SWEETIE

Sweetie is a computerised 3D model of a Filipino girl working in the webcam sex tourism industry. In the Sweetie case, you can read about how ICT can innovatively help break up paedophile networks

Read more about the Sweetie project
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