Germany announced it had launched a federal agency to combat cyberattacks and strengthen its digital security. 

According to a news report, the creation of the agency was agreed upon in the 2018 coalition contract of Germany's ruling parties. The agency will coordinate innovative research on cybersecurity and help turn it into best practices to combat cyberattacks and other cybersecurity threats. 

The organization, which will receive initial funding of $412 million up to 2023, is to be headquartered at first in the eastern city of Halle, before moving in the long term to the Leipzig/Halle airport, says the report. 

Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called the creation of the agency a "milestone in the protection of our IT systems. The development of ideas and innovative approaches particularly in the field of digital security deserves our special commitment," she said. 

The report notes that the agency will be headed by Christoph Igel, an expert on artificial intelligence, who will lead about 100 employees.