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Partnership for innovative technological solutions to ensure privacy and enhance trust for the human-centric Internet

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NGI_TRUST (Partnership for innovative technological solutions to ensure privacy and enhance trust for the human-centric Internet)

Reporting period: 2018-12-01 to 2020-05-31

The NGI_Trust project supports the development of a human-centric Internet by developing a stronger European ecosystem of researchers, innovators and technology developers in the field of privacy and trust enhancing technologies. Via open calls, NGI_TRUST selects and providing financial support to the best projects submitted by third parties in a competitive manner.

The project has four overall objectives:
1: Reinforce, structure and develop the community of researchers, innovators and technology developers in the field of privacy and trust enhancing technologies.
2: Build on the state of the art in privacy and trust enhancing technologies by focusing support for third-party projects in a limited number of priority topics.
3: Improve user trust and acceptance of emerging technologies by focusing on applications and solutions that develop a more open, robust and dependable Internet and strengthen Internet Governance.
4: Foster the exploitation and commercialisation of the results of selected third-party projects through a tailored process of coaching and mentoring.
The project has run three rounds of open calls: two in 2019 and a third one in spring 2020.

1st Open Call:
o 109 proposals received and 18 (16.5%) funded.
o 11 type 1, 6 type 2 and 1 type 3 project were funded
o The total funding provided to the third-party projects by NGI_Trust is €2,112,723 and own funds mobilised of €750,403.
o For all 18 projects, first coaching session were held and for 2/3 a second coaching session has been organised.
2nd Open Call:
o 79 proposals received and 19 (24.1%) funded.
o 15 type 1 projects and 5 type 2 projects were selected.
o The total funding awarded was € 1,581,673 and own funds mobilised of € 346,214.
o Coaching activities have been launched for the 2nd round projects.
3rd Open Call:
o 112 proposals received with a total budget of € 17,014,770 and requested funding of €11.484.816.
o The evaluation and selection of projects was on-going at end May 2020.

NGI Trust has achieved an excellent response (number of applications) to the three rounds of open calls organised during the period January 2019 to May 2020. Overall the total funding requested of €31,337,312 means that the available NGI_Trust funding of €5.6m was heavily over-subscribed underlining the interest in the topic of privacy and trust enhancing technologies and their contribution to the NGI. The open calls also attracted a majority of ‘new to Horizon 2020' applicants and a majority of applications from SMEs as well as a good number of individual innovators (natural persons). In geographical terms, while we received applications from 36 countries, the spread of applicants is relatively concentrated as 5 countries account for 50% of applicants. Our efforts to promote the second and third open calls to central and Eastern European and H2020 associated countries did bear some fruit (applicants from Croatia, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey).
"The projects funded in the first call broadly support the following ideas: beyond passwords, better privacy, safer browsing and user control.
1. That we need to move beyond passwords, and find a better way for users to manage the complexity of shared secrets and technical trust. 4 projects will work in this area, with projects looking at how we can use our mobile devices more effectively as tokens instead of the need for passwords, how we can better protect data on our mobile devices, and how we can improve the way that cryptography is used on hardware and in the core of our internet infrastructure. Projects: Keyn, COP-MODE, CryRev, and TCN.
2. That it is essential for us to provide better privacy, particularly in areas where data is more sensitive and in how we present privacy information to our users. 4 projects will look at how we can both protect and utilise health data, how we deal with managing large amounts of data in the cloud and how we can better support users in understanding the legal issues around consenting to use services. Projects: b-smart, Edge-TINC, CAP-A and MyPCH.
3. That safer browsing is essential to an ecosystem of privacy and trust. 3 projects will look at providing better informed safety for children online that doesn't block access unnecessarily to useful information, how we can improve VPN technology to provide a better user experience and how we can support the users needs more effectively in internet search rather than being driven by the wants of advertisers. For more information see these projects: CASPER, D4S, and ISIBUD.
4. To achieve a truly human-centric Internet, we need to have user control. The complexity and options when navigating a globally connected internet can be a daunting task. 6 projects will focus on user control to ease the decision making and customisation of settings to give the user a role in their internet. Projects: Cozy Cloud, EUACTIVE, DECIDE, Protect Yourself, INSTANT, and Decentralised Messaging.

The projects funded in the second call broadly support the following ideas: Impact of AI, Human-Centric Internet, Stronger Tools and Effective Identity.
1. The Impact of AI is being seen in the daily lives of all of us, with growing concerns about the security and privacy of the Internet of Things. NGI_Trust has funded 6 projects in this area in call 2 looking at issues such as bias and fairness in AI, data stored by and used by cars, IOT sensors, machine learning, IOT certification and more. Projects: Amnesia, COSCA, FAIR-AI, IZI, SePrice and TRUSTRULES.
2. Putting humans back at the centre of our technology is a core goal for NGI_Trust, and call 2 is funding 5 projects with a focus on the Human-Centric Internet. These projects will focus on mapping human-trust to technical solutions, support for marginalised and disabled users, designing privacy in UX design and security of sensitive data. Projects: BitofTrust, DECTS, LegiCrowd, PRIMAL and TrustedUX.
3. Many of the tools we use in our daily lives are now critical to how we live and work, but often have security and design flaws that are overlooked for usability reasons. In Call 2, NGI_Trust has funded 3 projects to focus on building Stronger Tools, including use of cryptography in modern collaboration tools, the use of quantum-cryptography, and improved tooling for supporting digital rights. Projects: Cryptpad, MQ2M, and SID:SO&C.
4. Our interactions online often require us to make use of digital identity solutions and it is challenging for users to understand the best way to share, and not share, personally identifiable information. NGI_Trust has funded 4 projects to provide Effective Identity solutions to users. These projects look at a wide range of identity problems such as payment solutions and file transfer solutions without identity management, provenance of identity information and issues with the ""privacy paradox"" of when to share information. Projects: DISSENS, MW4ALL, MidPrivacy and PURPETS. 

An overarching aim of NGI_Trust is to ensure that a significant number of third-party projects advance to a further stage of development, application of the results, etc. At the current time, summer 2020, we can report that several of the first-round projects have applied for follow on funding under our third open call. We are confident that a number of the projects will result in operational solutions even if it remains too early to predict the final outcome of most projects."