Europe has chosen for smart specialisation as a strategy to enforce the economic power of regions. At the same time, European society is at pressure. External drivers such as climate change, increasing (cyber) criminalithy, migration and terrorism, as also interdependent networks, do challenge security of individuals, organisations and society as a whole. Innovative approaches are required to keep up with these challenges.
New threats demand new security and the European answer needs to involve innovation. It is only through innovation that effective and efficient secruity solutions can be offered. Innovation allows us to maintain a lead in technological applications and thus in security. Security risks do not stop at borders and they pose a threat tot he whole of Europe. Security therefore has an important place on the European agenda. The theme of “Secure Societies” is one of the Grand Societal Challenges in the Europe 2020 strategy.
The Hague Security Delta has taken the initiative to stimulate cooperation with other regions that are strong in safety and security. First steps have been made, connecting to regions in France (PACA Region – SAFE Cluster and SCS Cluster), Denmark (Karup Denmark– CenSec), Finland (Tampere Region – Safety and Security Cluster) and Germany (Karlsruhe – KIT, Munich – Security Cluster).
Cooperation between these security clusters provides added value for a more secure Europe. Their collaboration creates various scale benefits. For example better utilisation of facilities and more opportunities for specialisation. The various security challenges facing Europe lead to societal challenges also. These in turn comprise problems with differing backgrounds, which consequently requires a cross-sectoral approach. The innovation strategies of the Member States concerned therefore all focus on valorising knowledge through innovative collaboration between SMEs, knowledge institutions, and government. Europe’s seven leading security clusters create solutions to the security challenges of the 21st century.
The common ambition is to jointly stimulate innovation in the security domain. This cross border cooperation will ultimately lead to European solutions, reduce fragmentations and create industrial opportunities for systems and processes that are world class. Starting point is to share experiences and practices, promote education, create and share high quality (testing)facilities, support the exchange of people and seek for common action and cooperation in (European) research programmes.
The challenges facing Europe are complex and comprehensive, with security being an important precondition. None of these problems stands alone and each challenge has interfaces with others. Security is an element in every societal challenge. Separate security clusters address various sub-themes. Creating a truly more secure Europe requires European cooperation. That means collaboration between the triple helix partners, facilitated by the security clusters. Cooperation at cluster level creates the right context, ultimately leading to better solutions and greater economic and social returns. Cooperation within a number of projects is the start. On that basis, cooperation is already taking place. In the years ahead, the clusters intend investing more in this comprehensive approach to cooperation, in applied innovations, and in disseminating knowledge. That is investment that will directly increase the security of all the people of Europe.