June’s European Conference on Networks and Communications (EuCNC) will be a shop window for EU-funded research projects.

The event will of course showcase results. But through demos and prototypes, it will also illustrate how technology is developing, explains the man charged with putting the conference together – Professor Luis Correia of the University of Lisbon.Prof Correia

The European Commission has supported a series of conferences on telecommunications and networks since 1992. A look back at previous conference names provides a fairly comprehensive overview of how the sector has changed: Back in 1992, the event was known at the ‘Mobile Telecommunications Workshop’. By 2002, the title included the world ‘wireless’, while in 2010 the focus changed again as the conference – by now growing in size and reputation – was renamed the ‘Future Network and Mobile Summit’.

Chair of the Conference’s steering committee, Correia has been involved in EU-funded research projects for around 20 years, and first participated in these events 10-12 years ago.

“The industrial landscape was different back then. There are new players now and some of the old players have disappeared,” says Correia, reflecting on how the conference has mirrored what is happening in telecommunications.

A regular crowd pleaser

Trends may have changed, but the annual conference continues to be a success, as evidenced by the number of participants it attracts from abroad each year

At the helm of the Steering Committee, Correia coordinated the identification of speakers. He is particularly looking forward to hearing the five keynote speeches on the various trends in 5G – one of today’s hottest research topics.

Chair of this year’s Technical Programme Committee – Professor Roberto Verdone – coordinated the selection of 80 papers that will be presented at the conference, alongside 9 special sessions and the display of around 100 posters.

“The average quality of papers submitted was higher than expected, and this is a good sign of course,” says Verdone. “The programme is enriched by 15 workshops, 3 panels and exhibition stands; the overall programme is thus impressive in terms of relevance and quality of speakers and presentations.”

Workshops and tutorials by EU project partners on specific technical issues have also proved popular in the past, particularly with the event’s younger participants. Verdone expects that the focus on 5G, the Internet of Things and cloud-based infrastructures will attract hundreds of researchers, scientists and engineers.

In addition to showcasing research and results, EuCNC also brings people together. The event attracts both industry and academia – researchers involved in projects funded under the EU’s framework programmes, participants and also those funded under Celtic-Plus (an industry-driven research initiative that is part of the intergovernmental network EUREKA) and COST.

A microphone in front of the crowdThis series of conferences has entered a new phase with the launch of Horizon 2020. The organisation is now in the hands of a Supporting Action project from Call 11: EuCoNneCts. The Steering Committee, involving both Correia and Verdone, provides continuation from the previous edition (FuNeMS’2013 - 22nd Future Network and Mobile Summit, Lisbon, Portugal, July 2013). But Italy’s Inter-University Consortium for Telecommunications (CNIT) – a partner within EuCoNneCts – is responsible the local organisation and logistics for the 2014 edition.

But the basic goals of the conference remain the same: a technical and scientific conference for researchers, predominantly from Europe, to show their work in the area of telecommunications, focusing on communication networks and systems, but extending to services and applications.