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 and has therefore launched the Next Generation Internet initiative in autumn 2016. It 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 work programme has been launched in December 2016, to identify the specific research topics and to create an ecosystem of relevant stakeholders. The evaluation of submissions is ongoing and projects are expected to start in autumn 2017.
- Specific workshops to share expert insight and build content and credibility.
- A consultation, embedded in a citizen engagement and media campaign has been launched by Atomium, the European Institute for Science Media and Democracy. The aim is to find out what Europeans expect from the Internet in the next ten years. The results of this consultation will be presented on the Next Generation Internet Summit that will take place in Brussels on 6-7 June 2017.