Europe Launches First Large-scale 6G R&I Program

The European Commission said it has earmarked around EUR 240 million ($271 million) for its first large-scale “6G” research and innovation program, with the first calls for proposals due in early 2022.

Under the Work Program 2021-2022 adopted by the newly-created Joint Undertaking on Smart Networks and Services, a number of activities ranging from 5G evolution including large-scale trials and pilots with vertical industries to frontier research towards future 6G systems will receive EU funding.

The European partnership on Smart Networks and Services (SNS), which is co-led by industry and the European Commission with close involvement of Member States, sets the strategic R&I roadmap for Europe. The initiative builds on an EU contribution of EUR 900 million over the next 7 years to be matched by the private sector with the same amount. The aim is to enable European players to build the R&I capacities for as-yet-unstandardized 6G systems and develop lead markets for 5G infrastructure as a basis for the digital and green transformation.

The SNS Work Program sets out four main complementary work streams:

 -Stream A (RIA): Smart communication components, systems, and networks for 5G Evolution systems.

 -Stream B (RIA): Research for radical technology advancement (in preparation for 6G and radical advancements of IoT, devices and software).

 -Stream C (RIA): SNS Enablers and Proof of Concept (PoCs), including development of experimental infrastructure that could be further used during later phases of SNS.

 -Stream D (IA): Large Scale SNS Trials and Pilots with Verticals, including the required infrastructure to explore and demonstrate technologies and advanced applications as well as advanced services in the vertical domains.

These four Streams will be complemented by SNS Support Actions (CSA) to support EU wide synergies and directionality as well as international cooperation.

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