Call for Research Proposals Building Resilience against Systemic Cyber Risk


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The Swiss Re Institute/AXA Research Fund Risk Resilience Partnership calls on researchers from academic institutions to hand in their project proposals on  building resilience against systemic cyber risk until February 15th 2024.

Digitalization has enabled tremendous progress in economy and society over the past decades. Global connectivity through the internet and underlying network infrastructure has further accelerated this development. Like with any advance in technology, risks have evolved as well – in case of digitization in the shape of cyber risks.


A new era of systemic cyber risk

Cyber risk manifests itself in our everyday lives. Cyber-attacks, espionage, operational errors occur daily, causing loss to the economy at a significant level. Recently, there has been also growing concern about “systemic cyber risk”— the possibility that a single incident could cause ripple effects with potentially catastrophic consequences. A systemic cyber fallout could threaten the digital infrastructure that societies, economies, and governments rely on. Consequently, it comes as no surprise, that cyber risks are identified as one of the top risks over the past years in the AXA 2022 Future Risk Report[1]as well as the Swiss Re Institute SONAR Report 2023[2].

However, research progress on this subject has been described as modest and the availability of data limited, leading to many questions remaining unanswered. This can largely be attributed to the novelty of the topic, and its constantly evolving threat profile.

To reinforce cyber resilience, more understanding is needed. In light of this, the Swiss Re Institute and the AXA Research Fund have decided to collaboratively support academic research projects investigating how to increase cyber resilience for companies, governments and society looking at different resilience building approaches. This first thematic call for proposals is part of the Risk Resilience Partnership, launched on November 30th 2023 by Swiss Re Institute and the AXA Research Fund. The Partnership has an overall budget of 1M€, which will be distributed to different research projects over 3 years. Read more.

Call for proposals:

The Call for research Proposals ‘Building Resilience against Systemic Cyber Risk’ is seeking to improve the understanding of economic resilience against cyber catastrophes (including around strengthening protection, reducing impact and improving recovery protocols). Project teams will be required to make choices around specific cyber catastrophe scenarios as well as the methodology used.

The results of the work should contribute to industries and societies understanding of economic and business resilience against certain cyber risk scenarios by providing inputs on how to assess resilience and suggest best ways to improve it.

Target beneficiaries and projects

The Risk Resilience Partnership aims to support top-tier research on systemic risks. Research project proposals should demonstrate their scientific originality and innovative nature and have the potential to contribute to a step change in the proposal's specified areas.

The proposals are expected to:

  • Be of outstanding  scientific quality,

  • Create results applicable for risk identification and risk assessment by corporates, and

  • Inform governments and/or private sector on how to build resilience against systemic risks across the specific proposal's themes.

Applications are accepted from academic institutions across the globe. Academic institutions are the only eligible direct beneficiaries which may receive funding through this Partnership. Private companies, NGOs, governmental bodies, foundations, independent research centers, cultural institutions (such as museums), and hospitals are not eligible as direct beneficiaries. However, due to the applied nature of the funding, it is possible for academic institutions to collaborate and partner with other organizations from public and private sectors.

More on the Call for Proposals (download the guidelines)

If you encounter any questions on the technical platform during the application process, please write to the Help Desk :

For the questions on the guidelines or the eligibility to the call, please address them to:

[1] AXA Future Risks Report 2022

[2]  SONAR 2023: New emerging risk insights | Swiss Re

Go to the Application Platform

Click here, to see the instructions on how to submit your application on the platform.

Submit Your Application