Today, the internet is key to almost any socio-economic activity, a true value creator which reshapes economic and societal behaviours. This trend is irreversible and in 10 years from now the Internet will be an even more indispensable motor for socio-economic activity worldwide.
The internet creates unlimited opportunities to access information and entertainment, to interact and to assist us in our business and daily lives. Yet, there are still concerns around personal data and transparency. The internet should offer more to our society. It should provide better services and greater involvement and participation. It is essential that the next generation internet is designed for humans, so that it can meet its full potential for the society and economy.
The European Commission aims to shape this future internet as a powerful, open, data-driven, user-centric, interoperable platform ecosystem. Preparations for the Next Generation Internet initiative started in autumn 2016 and include the following corner stones:
- An open consultation that took place from 14 November 2016 until 9 January 2017. A total of 449 people took part and answered questions about technologies and values that are relevant for the Internet of the future. The results of the consultation have been summarised in a report.
- An online platform to engage with a broad audience where participants can access and comment on background documents and learn about relevant events. In this platform, additional discussions have been launched on the hot topics raised in the consultation.
- A call for support actions (objective ICT-41) in the Horizon 2020 research programme has been launched in December 2016, to identify the specific research topics and to create an ecosystem of relevant stakeholders (business and scientific community, high-tech start-ups, civil society and other interested parties). More information on this flagship is available in the LEIT Work Programme 2016-17.
- Specific workshops to share expert insight and build content and credibility.
The consultation and workshops aim to reach out to the future internet researchers and innovators across Europe and beyond. The scope of the European initiative should be broad, addressing technological opportunities arising from advances in various research fields, extending from new network architectures and software-defined infrastructures to new concepts for services and applications.