CORDIS - EU research results

Secure and Assured hardware: Facilitating ESTonia’s digital society

Project description

Strengthening research capacity into hardware security for resilient digital societies

Protecting software is not enough to guarantee trust in an electronic system; hardware is just as susceptible to attacks. Today, hardware security concerns are more important than ever. The EU-funded SAFEST project will boost this area of study at Estonia’s Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech). It will implement a networking strategy focused on testing practices, reverse engineering, and hardware-based defences. Other subtopics include side channel attacks and hardware-software architectural vulnerabilities. The project's strategy is aimed at strengthening the research capacity of TalTech, promoting its competitiveness, and raising its research profile. Ultimately, it will contribute to the safety aspects of e-Estonia, which is a government-led initiative to facilitate citizen interactions with the state through the use of (trusted) electronic solutions.


The overall aim of SAFEST is to enhance the scientific and technological capacity of Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) in the field of Hardware Security, to be achieved through networking activities with its internationally-leading Twinning partners: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Technische Universität München (TUM), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven), and Technische Universität Graz (TU Graz). To achieve its overall aim, the 3 year project will build upon the existing strong competences of TalTech in closely-related fields, to be complemented by the specific know-how of the Twinning partners. TalTech will also make use of best practices learned from its previous Twinning experience as an enabler to the success of this project.

To boost their scientific excellence and innovation capacity, the partners will implement a networking strategy focused on four complementary subtopics:
- Test for security (CNRS)
- Reverse engineering and defences (TUM)
- Side channel attacks (KU Leuven)
- Hardware-software architectural vulnerabilities (TU Graz)

The networking strategy takes into account the SWOT analysis of TalTech and has the following objectives:
Objective 1: Strengthen the research capability of TalTech and its Twinning partners in the area of Hardware Security
Objective 2: Promote TalTech's competitiveness through sustainable participation in collaborative research efforts
Objective 3: Raise the research profile of TalTech and the Twinning partners
Objective 4: Contribute to the safety aspects of e-Estonia

In order to realize these objectives, the partners will implement a comprehensive set of measures via the following work packages (WPs):
- Short term staff exchanges (WP1)
- Short term exchanges of early stage researchers (WP2)
- Organization of workshops and summer schools (WP3)
- Dissemination and outreach (WP4)
- Project management (WP5)

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 435 348,37
12616 Tallinn

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Eesti Eesti Põhja-Eesti
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 435 348,37

Participants (5)