BERLIN — Germany will invest €200 million over the next five years to launch an agency that will develop its own cyberdefense capabilities, ministers in Chancellor Angela Merkels government said Wednesday.
The new agency, which will be modeled after the U.S. Pentagon research agency DARPA, is starting its work by the end of this year. Its focus will be on developing “disruptive” technology to make Germany more independent in its fight against cyberthreats, the ministers said.
Until now, Germanys army and security agencies have purchased their cyber capabilities, including hacking software, on the free market from various companies, many of which are based outside of Europe. That needs to change, said Seehofer.
“We cannot just sit around watching sensitive information technology of high security relevance being controlled by third countries,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said during a joint press conference with Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen.
“We have to secure and expand those key technologies ourselves,” he added.
Seehofer said that no decision had yet been made on budget, staffing or a location for the new Agency for Innovation in Cybersecurity. But Von der Leyen said later that it would get going with a budget of €200 million for the next five years, and that the German government would increase that investment eventually.
By contrast, U.S. President Donald Trumps administration is to spend €2.95 billion on DARPA in 2019 alone.
Also on Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkels government also announced the launch of a separate agency focusing on disruptive innovation for civil applications, according to statements by Research Minister Anja Karliczek and Economy Minister Peter Altmaier during a separate press conference.