CRDF Global Formalizes Partnerships in Romania to Advance Digital Resilience and Cybersecurity Initiatives

February 2024 marked a significant milestone in CRDF Global’s growing partnership with leading organizations in Central and Eastern Europe.

Romania is a powerhouse of expertise, innovation, and advocacy for progress towards resilience against regional and global threats. The country stands out as a convener and committed advocate for economic stability and security in the Black Sea region, as well as a staunch supporter and good neighbor to Ukraine and a leading voice in NATO and the EU.

CRDF Global was proud to sign cooperation agreements with the Euro-Atlantic Resilience Centre, CYSCOE, and MARCYSCOE, each agreement laying the basis to combine global perspective and expertise, with regional insight, innovation and excellence to  jointly deepen and accelerate our impact.

Collaboration with E-ARC

Recognized and welcomed in the joint statement of the heads of state and government meeting at the Brussels Summit on 14 June 2021, the Euro-Atlantic Resilience Centre (E-ARC) is a leading center of excellence in resilience and a key partner of NATO and the EU.  E-ARC works toward delivering EU and NATO resilience objectives and provides expertise to member states, as well as to Black Sea states that are EU or NATO partners, for example, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia. This support can include analyses, resilience alerts, conferences, seminars, training and training sessions, webinars and vlogs. 

CRDF Global and E-ARC are already collaborating on exciting new initiatives, such as counterproliferation finance, cryptocurrency, anti-money laundering, data, and cyber security.  On February 15, our relationship was formalized by E-ARC’s President, Mr. Ovidiu Raetchi, and Mr. Mykhailo Verych, CRDF’s Regional Director for Europe and Eurasia.

Our cooperation comes at an exciting time for E-ARC, as it gains the status of an international organization under the recent decision of the Government of Romania.

Our sincere thanks go to Valentin Ene, leader of Emerging Technologies at E-ARC, for steering our agreement through to finalization and signature and to the whole E-ARC for their excellent partnership.

Collaboration with CYSCOE

The Cybersecurity Cluster of Excellence (CYSCOE) is a dynamic Romanian NGO comprising 19 of the foremost technical organizations in Romania. whose founding principle is to integrate and leverage excellence of private, public and academic sectors to achieve outstanding impact – the triple-helix.  CRDF Global has already partnered with CYSCOE, bringing a significant additional technical dimension to our extensive portfolio of cybersecurity and related programming.  At a time when we are co-designing new program concepts and planning an exciting pipeline of work, on February 16, CRDF Global and CYSCOE met at the Constanta Maritime University, symbolically overlooking the Black Sea and the vast and growing trading Port of Constanta, to formalize an already close relationship.  

Underscoring the specific and critical importance of security in the Black Sea Region, and Romania’s active contribution to securing the maritime digital ecosystem, the Maritime Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (MARCYSCOE), is a specialized project unit within the Maritime University of Constanta.  Under the leadership of Professor Nicu Iancu, MARCYSCOE focuses on protecting maritime assets, infrastructure, and sensitive data systems from ever-evolving cyber threats. The MARCYSCOE team leverages advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robust encryption protocols, to empower organizations to safeguard their digital ecosystems, building capability in threat detection, real-time monitoring, incident response, and continuous vulnerability assessments. 

Sincere thanks go to the President of CYSCOE Mircea Constantin Scheau for guiding and finalizing our agreement with CYSCOE.  Both cooperation agreements were signed was signed on behalf of CYSCOE and MARCYSCOE by Professor Gabriel Raicu, Rector of Constanta Maritime University, and Mr. Mykhailo Verych our Regional Director.

On February 21 and 22, CRDF Global and MARCYSCOE had the first opportunity to put our new partnership into action. CRDF Global joined a team of over 30 national and international leaders for the 2024 Cyber security Tabletop Exercise “Port of Constanta,” designed and organized by MARCYSCOE.  CRDF Global was represented by Senior Project Lead Sofia White and Senior Advisor Duncan Thomson from the company’s Warsaw office, as well as senior technical consultant Beznik Limaj, who all contributed as evaluators and team members for the first event of its kind, aimed at simulating and responding to a cyber-attack on the energy supply to the Port.  The event provided critical learnings to help shape future responses.

Our sincere thanks go to Professors Gabriel Raicu, Rector of CMU, Professor Nicu Iancu, Leader of MARCYSCOE and Manuela Catrina, Under-Secretary of State and Deputy Director of DNSC for their excellent organization, inspiration and invitation to CRDF Global.