La French Tech : Cyber-Security – Where is the money ?

Most of you probably already know the Cyber Fast Track (CFT) program from DARPA, formely led by Peiter Zatko (congrats again!), that provides fast access to grants to U.S. cyber security researchers.

In July 2013, France tried to launch a similar project (but obviously applications are more complex and bureaucratic) called “Investissements d’avenir pour la securite numerique”, the official press release can be found here.

The initiative had been launched by the ministers Arnaud Montebourg, Fleur Pellerin, and Louis Gallois, former CEO of Airbus (ex-EADS), as Commissaire général à l’investissement for the “Grand Emprunt“. Grand Emprunt is a 35 billions loan issued by France in 2010 as part of its innovation strategy to stimulate R&D in different fields. Unfortunately, the coordinator of the projects were not communicated.

July 2013’s press release announced a EUR 150 millions (USD 200M+ USD) fund, for cyber security projects. I have always been curious to know, who was the commission and jury in charge of reviewing the submissions, and when will the list of accepted contestants and projects be published. The cyber-security call-for-projects closed on the 29th November 2013. So I assume something must have happened since then.

I know a lot of potential candidates didn’t submit anything because they were afraid the funds would go to multi-billions dollars French defense companies, so I offered to check by myself on their behalf. Therefore, I tried to contact individuals and generic contact information available at for the above information, but I unfortunately never got I answer back.

Nonetheless, I thought it was a great initiative that was poorly communicated, I was myself very impressed and glad to see that the French government was supporting sovereign projects related to cyber-security.

Has any contestants, journalists or member of the “French Tech” heard of anything ?

4 thoughts on “La French Tech : Cyber-Security – Where is the money ?

  1. Hi Matt

    As far as I know, ANSSI is in charge of the expert review where as the financial aspects are managed by the DGCIS.
    This is the same scheme than the first 2011 round where I got the HAKA project founded for Arkoon, an independant company at that time. The project is still under developpment, you should check out or its github account.

    Hope this help

    Laurent (@lhausermann)

  2. Hi Laurent,

    Thanks for your comment. Interesting, this is the first time I hear about Arkoon (which is now part of Airbus DS apparently).

    That still does not say, Who is the panel of experts in charge of the review at the ANSSI though. This should be transparent, like any commission.
    And where we can find the full list of funded projects.


  3. Hi Matt

    I did not have the answers you’re looking for.

    I have quit Arkoon some monte ago. You are right Arkoon is now part of Airbus.
    Arkoon is making next generation firewall, endpoint HIPS and an encryption software.



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