Over the coming three years, the projects will strive to design network and computing technologies for the next generation of global telecommunications and cloud-based services beyond 2020.
There is a pressing need for new and more efficient networks in light of a massive online data explosion that is expected to continue over the next decade. The world generates 1.7 million billion bytes of data per minute, with data traffic volumes expected to grow 12-fold by 2018. Data is quickly piling up and today’s networks are struggling to cope.
Solutions have to be found – and fast – because there is a lot of hidden potential for new services and applications locked in this so-called “big data”, from improved internet search engines to new online tools to cut road congestion. The future of telecommunications and computing will see a world of fully interconnected users and devices, and placing big data on servers in the cloud will enable smartphones, tablets, machines, and countless sensors and interconnected wireless devices to make up the Internet of Things.
To tackle this magnitude of data and ensure reliable and secure networks, the joint research projects need to radically rethink the existing internet architecture. Network capacity, high-density data traffic, as well as cyber-security, storage and energy efficiency are among the key challenges that will need to be tackled.
The jointly-funded STRAUSS project, for instance, aims to boost optical wireless networks to 100 Gbps, while the MiWEBA project targets smarter use of radio frequencies to build ultra-high-speed wireless mobile connections. Another project, NECOMA, will explore new ways to enhance personal data security in sensitive environments, such as medical records, by developing new metrics to evaluate threats and the potential impact of cyber-attacks.
The ClouT project, meanwhile, will try to allow real-time control of sensors enabling smart cities to improve, for example, energy efficiency, traffic flows and responses to emergencies. To achieve this, the project will integrate cloud computing and Internet-of-Things features. FELIX project, on the other hand, will set up joint EU-Japan experimental platforms that will help universities and research centres to test new network technologies. Such new platforms are to help improve researchers’ shared use of their experimental facilities.
The joint research programme brings together the European Commission, the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC), the National Institute of ICT (NICT) along with European and Japanese industrial players, such as Orange, Telefonica, NEC, Panasonic, STMicroelectronics and Intel, as well as leading universities and R&D centres.
Website – EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation
Website – Digital Agenda for Europe: Network Technologies