eFORT joins the European Cluster for Securing Critical Infrastructures
We are happy to announce that eFORT is now a member of the European Cluster for Securing Critical Infrastructures (ECSCI).
ECSCI creates synergies and fosters emerging disruptive solutions to security issues via cross-project collaboration and innovation. Its research activities focus on how to protect critical infrastructures and services, highlighting the different approaches between the clustered projects and establishing tight and productive connections with closely related and complementary EU Horizon projects.
One of the key components of eFORT is collaboration and engagement with relevant stakeholders, initiatives and projects. As part of ECSCI, the eFORT partners seek to collaborate with the cluster projects to reach our common goals and to maximise our impact.
The cluster has published joint scientific publications, open books, contributed to standards and regulations on critical infrastructures. It also organises national and international workshops.
eFORT presented at Barcelona Cybersecurity Congress
During the 21st century, the number of blackouts in the electrical power and energy systems has been increasing in Europe. The issues can be caused by physical failures, such as storms, but also increasingly often by cyberattacks.
Dr. Gregorio López from the eFORT partner Comillas University presented eFORT’s approach to improving cybersecurity in electrical grids at the Barcelona Cybersecurity Congress on 2 February 2023.
He discussed the recent demand side attacks and MadIoT attacks (manipulation of demand via Internet of Things). In addition, he presented some of the recent literature and research questions concerning the topic.
Prompted by the need to comply with environmental and societal concerns, the European EPES (Electrical Power and Energy Systems) are undergoing an unprecedented transformation, demanding urgent upgrades to make them more reliable, resilient and secure. Modernization of current grids will greatly reduce the frequency and duration of power blackouts, diminish the impact of disruptive events and restore service faster when outages occur, creating broad benefits to society and economy.
The eFORT project addresses this complex challenge by gathering a consortium of 23 partners from 10 European countries, providing needed expertise. The eFORT approach will enable the further upgrading of the energy grid without affecting the security of supply and increasing their reliability and resiliency against extreme weather events, man-made hazards and equipment failures. The project period is 4 years, starting in September 2022 and ending in August 2026.
eFORT will deploy a set of solutions at the cyber and physical layers for detecting, preventing and mitigating vulnerabilities and threats. Among them, an interoperable Intelligent Platform will set a common foundation for grid characterization and vulnerability overseeing, as well as gather information from smart grid components and apply heavy-duty algorithms, whereas Asset Management developments will strengthen grid infrastructure robustness, which will be empowered by the addressed Digital Technologies.
Four demo sites
All these elements will be validated in relevant environments coming from 4 demo cases covering the whole grid value chain: (D1) a micro-grid in Spain; (D2) a transmission network in the Netherlands; (D3) a remote distribution grid in Italy; and (D4) a digital substation in Ukraine. Moreover, eFORT relies on several horizontal actions aiming at empowering EPES players by establishing a common regulatory and standardisation framework, performing technical and cost-benefit analysis, and evaluating new related business models and replication potential, in the pathway towards a more sustainable energy system.
Kick-off in Zaragoza
The project was successfully kicked off in Zaragoza in September 2022, hosted by the project coordinating partner CIRCE. During the two-day meeting, the consortium discussed the work package linkages, and the first steps and actions to be taken in order to establish fruitful collaboration. The eFORT consortium looks forward to tackling the challenge of modernizing European grids and to develop a set of solutions to increase the EPES reliability and resilience.