The beautiful landscapes of Tuscany will have to wait for another day! In the meantime, the partners of the project Interreg Europe CYBER – “Regional policies for competitive cybersecurity SMEs” rolled up their sleeves and started to work in sharing best practices on cybersecurity skills, education and vocational training through a pair of webinars organised by Regione Toscana on the 21st and 23rd of October.

The focus of the meeting was to improve awareness of cybersecurity in the education system through the comparison of the best practices in different specialisation courses, which are getting more and more demanding. In the cybersecurity field, a higher number of educational, training and research proposals (postgraduate diplomas, university courses, master degrees) are needed in order to be competitive. These courses also need to be constantly updated in real time to meet the evolving needs of SMEs and other cybersecurity market players.

Regione Toscana and Bretagne Development Initiative started off proceedings on the 21st of October, addressing the key objectives of the webinar and the state of the art as far as the CYBER project was concerned. Presentations then featured contrasting experiences of higher education in cybersecurity with key lessons learned shared by the University of Pisa, School for advanced studies of Lucca, University of Rennes 1, as well as an overview of the Cybersecurity Competency Centre of Tuscany (C3T). A roundtable Q&A then allowed participants to ask questions to presenters.

This dynamic first webinar was followed by an equally successful event with the second webinar on the 23rd of October. Key themes that emerged during the second seminar were the importance of providing differentiated programmes according to a needs-based assessment of students and businesses, creating an inclusive culture of cybersecurity and maximising the opportunities for top human capital through helping students find internships and the right trainers. Speakers from Tuscany Region and local stakeholders gave an overview of their direct experiences in programming and implementing vocational training pathways with a focus on cybersecurity skills. Interesting points of learning exchange were raised thanks also to the speeches delivered by ICE - Castilla y Leon and the Bocconi University that shared their initiatives in this field.

Thank you to the Regione Toscana for organising the two webinars and sharing their experiences and thanks as well to all the other project partners who participated, contributed during the question and answer session and who attended; it was a great experience of mutual learning and collaboration and we very much look forward to the next one.

Cyber Security Specialist Good Practice: