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Launch of EU-funded project STARLIGHT

STARLIGHT, an innovation project backed by the European Union that aims to enhance the EU’s strategic autonomy in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) for law enforcement agencies (LEAs), started on the 1st of October 2021.

The launch of STARLIGHT (Sustainable Autonomy and Resilience for LEAs using AI against High priority Threats) was officially marked on the 6th and 7th October 2021 at a kick-off meeting held in Paris, France.

STARLIGHT is a four-year collaborative innovation project coordinated by CEA (The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) that aims to improve the widespread understanding of legal and ethical usage of AI across law enforcement agencies, thereby reinforcing their investigative and cybersecurity operations and helping them to combat the misuse of AI-supported crime and terrorism.

DFKI will participate in activities assuring that the STARLIGHT framework is compliant with the societal, ethical, legal, and privacy values of the EU and the principles of trustworthy and explainable AI. “We are aiming at a sustainable and systematic framework for designing and assessing AI solutions for LEAs that prevent personal data breaches and mitigate algorithmic bias. Our contribution will substantially enhance the use of AI against cyber threats by strategies for ethics-by-design and privacy-by-design,” says Roland Vogt, head of DFKI’s Laboratory for Certification and Digital Sovereignty (CERTLAB).

For the next four years, 52 partners representing 18 European countries, including 15 LEAs from 13 countries, will be working together to develop a new sustainable community. They will build a cohesive and strategic landscape that delivers interoperable and trustworthy AI solutions that uphold ethical and societal values to tackle high-priority threats for all LEAs across Europe.

The partners designed STARLIGHT to build AI capabilities and capacities within LEAs but also within research and industry organizations that support LEAs. “Our main goal is to enhance the EU’s strategic autonomy in the field of AI for LEAs. To do so, we will create more effective and efficient collaboration channels between EU Agencies, LEA, research organizations, small and medium enterprises, and other business actors. Thus, we will improve the global European response to criminal threats and contribute to the establishment of a strong EU AI-based security industry,” says Dr. Nizar Touleimat from CEA.

The primary outcomes expected from this ambitious project are:

  • the improvement and enrichment of LEAs’ knowledge and awareness of how AI can reinforce their operational and cybersecurity capabilities,
  • the development of a cybersecurity strategy and of the associated effective measures to proactively protect AI LEA solutions against cyber threats (including provision for trustworthy AI),
  • the delivery of a framework as an environment for multi-stakeholder, collaborative AI analytics,
  • and the creation of the European AI hub for LEAs as the center of gravity for the European AI for LEA vision.

STARLIGHT has a duration of 48 months, starting from the 1st of October 2021, and a total budget of 18.8 million euros, of which 17.0 million euros are funded by the European Union.

More information: or @Starlight_H2020 on Twitter



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101021797.