Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Award-winning EU project redefines the Internet strengthening users' online safety while boosting broadband speeds

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An EU funded project that paves the way to an innovative Internet architecture meeting current traffic and growing security demands has just been awarded a prize at the Future Internet Assembly (FIA) in Dublin. The PURSUIT project received the Future Internet Award for its outstanding contribution to redefining the existing Internet design in order to ensure users' stronger control over their data while enhancing broadband connections.
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The €5.2m project, completed in February 2013, brought together a consortium composed of European universities, research institutes and the telecommunication companies from the private sector, all aiming towards improved Internet use by reducing delays in processing network data as well as limiting security threats. The EU contributed €3.77m in ICT research funding.

The network envisaged by PURSUIT is meant to overcome challenges defined by today's ever-growing number of online applications and skyrocketing traffic. Most importantly, the network focuses on the type of data transferred among users, rather than on its location. Cloud computing now enables users to locate and store data on different servers and locations across the network. This allows users to access data from the geographically closest server, decreasing network traffic and, consequently, speeding up connections.

This information-centric approach to redesigning the Internet sees citizens take control over their personal data, since data is no longer categorised according to its location (user's IP address), but according to its content. Such an approach offers users stronger control over how and when their data is accessed. Moreover, by prioritizing data content over location, users only receive information that they have singled out as particularly relevant. This also helps decrease spam overloading the network and reduces virus threats.

The award acknowledges European research efforts in developing the future Internet, in the context of ever-increasing traffic that is seeing broadband networks overloaded by new applications and video streaming demands.

PURSUIT builds on previous research success, spearheaded by award-winning TRILOGY and PSIRP projects. The competition jury acknowledged the project's "very impressive results" as well as its visible step forward to commercial deployment. The project already prides on a number of already functional prototype systems.

Using funding from the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7) to support innovative ICT solutions which will help EU citizens and businesses is a priority of the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200). The project also supports the Commission strategy to strengthen EU data protection rules (IP/10/1462 and MEMO/10/542).

The award was announced in the closing session of the 10th Future Internet Assembly (FIA), held in Dublin, Ireland, in association with the Irish presidency of the Council of the EU.

Organised annually by a country holding the EU Presidency, the Assembly reunites European projects working in the Future Internet field and provides a discussion platform for the latest research results and developments.

The Future Internet Awards promote the best European national and regional future Internet initiatives. Funded under the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development, PURSUIT is a leading example of European future networks research.

Background

Internet traffic has reached unprecedented levels due to the ever-increasing number of applications and user demand. YouTube alone reaches 1 billion unique viewers per month and 3 days' worth of uploaded videos every minute in 2012. Bandwidth aside, online services for businesses also call for reliable, superfast networks that the current Internet architecture can no longer fully support. Ensuring such reliability and speed is crucial particularly for the industrial and medical sectors.

PURSUIT proposes an innovative Internet architecture improving users' overall online experience by strengthening their control over personal data while speeding up connections.

The project has set up several prototype systems targeting both data security and enhanced network traffic. Blackadder and Blackhawk allow peers in a network to find each other according to their interest in information, thus avoiding network traffic overload due to unwanted data transmission. The prototypes have been setup in an international test bed, spanning across all institutions involved in the project, including international collaborators in Japan and the US.

Duration: Sep 2010 – Feb 2013

Partners:

Aalto University (FI)
University of Cambridge (GB)
RWTH Aachen University (DE)
Athens University of Economics and Business (GR)
Oy L M Ericsson Ab (FI)
University of Essex (GB)
Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (GR)
CTVC Ltd (GB)

Funding scheme: STREP

Total Cost: 5.20 m

EC Contribution: 3.77 m

Useful links:

http://www.fp7-pursuit.eu

Future Internet Award: http://www.fi-dublin.eu/fi-award/

Future Internet Assembly: http://www.fi-dublin.eu/

Videoblog from FIA 2013 in Dublin

Digital Agenda website: http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/

Neelie Kroes' website: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/kroes/

Follow Neelie Kroes on Twitter:http://twitter.com/#!/neeliekroeseu

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Last updated on 17/07/2015