Game on for Europol and CENTRIC

13 May 2020
News Article
Press Release/News

This News/Press release is about Cybercrime

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  • Europol and the Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organised Crime Research (CENTRIC) sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
  • The agreement formalises a long-standing partnership and encourages ongoing effective collaboration, combining relevant expertise and state-of-the-art technology.
  • Europol and CENTRIC have worked together on a number of initiatives and research projects, including the development of a cryptocurrency investigation game in 2019.

The rapid development of technology not only creates new opportunities but also facilitates new criminal models. Nowadays, almost all forms of crime have an online element, which increases our need for awareness and education, alongside deeper research to further enhance cybersecurity and to strengthen citizens’ and businesses’ cyber resilience.

Serious gaming for serious training

The MoU between Europol and CENTRIC will assist law enforcement in protecting society and citizens through joint activities, such as: 

  • Applied research and tool development to improve capabilities of law enforcement in reacting, mitigating and recovering from criminal threats, including cybercrime and terrorism.
  • serious gaming for training and capacity-building for police officers;

CENTRIC and Europol are working together on several H2020 projects and more recently on initiatives such as CENTRIC’s Security Research Rapid Response to COVID19 platform.

In October 2019, Europol launched CRYPTOPOL, the first cryptocurrency-tracing training game of its kind. Developed and co-created with CENTRIC, CRYPTOPOL simulates a cryptocurrency investigation, emphasising hands-on practice using real-life scenarios. The game is available to all law enforcement cryptocurrency investigators around the world, who can request access to the game from Europol. There are ongoing efforts with CENTRIC to apply this concept to capacity building efforts in other crime areas as well.

Fernando Ruiz, Acting Head of Europol's European Cybercrime Centre, said: ‘The signature of this MoU with CENTRIC consolidates an existing long-standing partnership. Pioneering projects such as CRYPTOPOL and our collaboration on a number of research projects already demonstrate the added value of this alliance. We are confident that this is just the beginning and we look forward to continuing our successful cooperation.’

Babak Akhgar, Director of CENTRIC, said: ‘I am delighted to formalise the relationship between CENTRIC and Europol by signing the MoU. This builds on years of collaboration in cybercrime, serious and organised crime and counter terrorism and is a milestone in our joint endeavour to bring research and innovation into operational reality in support of law enforcement agencies. I am looking forward to us delivering a positive impact in the fight against crime and terrorism in the years to come.’

The European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol

Europol is the European Union’s law enforcement agency. Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, Europol supports the 27 EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime and other serious and organised forms of crime. With over 1 400 staff members, Europol serves as a centre for law enforcement cooperation, analytical expertise and criminal intelligence. The European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), set up in 2013, is the response in the EU to protect European citizens, business and governments from online crime. With more than 60 experts working on a daily basis, EC3 is involved in hundreds of high-level online operations providing with data analysis and on-the-spot support to the Member States


CENTRIC is a multi-disciplinary and end-user focused centre of excellence, located within Sheffield Hallam University. The global reach of CENTRIC links both academic and professional expertise across a range of disciplines providing unique opportunities to progress ground-breaking research within security and policing domains.