Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : 5G PPP Convergent Technologies

Topic identifier: ICT-08-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
IA Innovation action
Opening date:
10 May 2016
Deadline: 08 November 2016 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Industrial Leadership
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Network and service providers are faced with increasing challenges to manage convergence technologies. On the one hand, technological versatility increases service provision capabilities, with ever raising possibilities to dimension service offer to context and user specific SLA's. On the other hand, convergence technologies are getting increasingly complex, with ever larger integration of multiple technological heterogeneous hardware and software components, and more difficult properties to characterise at scale. The challenge thus tackles scalability and usability of mixed network technological approaches that can benefit from previous research, towards validation of deployment at scale.


a. Innovation actions

Strand 1: Ubiquitous 5G access leveraging optical technologies

5G access networks have to dramatically grow in user capacity, quality of service, responsiveness, energy efficiency and number of connected devices while keeping a sustainable cost.

The objective is to develop and assess new optical access network solutions based on integrated optical device prototypes. Novel integrated devices and subsystems may cover new optical transmission, switching and information processing techniques to support key access functionalities such as beam forming, high accuracy cm/mmWave generation and massive MIMO deployments. They may also be based on new network concepts and control architectures. Co-operative radio-optical approaches are seen as very promising, also to cover intelligent interference cancellation. Techniques to map 5G channels to optical transport and a co-design of the optical and wireless interfaces and protocols are also targeted, to increase capacity and reduce latency, especially in highly dense 5G scenarios. The work draws on existing scientific and research results in the field and includes scalable demonstrators validated through typical usage scenario.

Strand 2: Flexible network applications

The work leverages the current intense research activities in relation to Virtualised Network Functions (VNF) and targets development of a multiplicity of VNF's useful to operators, service providers and users. Service providers or third party providers should be able to assemble these virtualised 5G functions as "network apps" from an NFV hosting infrastructure, to deploy them in the relevant network nodes, to orchestrate and customise resources to provision user services. The target is for a cloud like 5G infrastructures, supporting network services, resource and service orchestration. This environment also provides an open source development framework for control functionalities and application developments. It also provides the link between the network –terminal functions and the app/content providers towards standards developments. The platform will be opened to third party developers to demonstrate network "apps".

For the strands above, projects will be implemented as a programme and will be expected to actively contribute key horizontal results to the integration process led by the programme level CSA. Therefore all grants awarded under part a) of this topic will be complementary to each other and to the grant agreement(s) under the topic ICT-07-2017. The respective options of Article 2, Article 31.6 and Article 41.4 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied [1]. International cooperation with clear EU industrial benefits may be considered, preferably with nations having launched strategic 5G initiatives (e.g. China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, USA).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 and 8 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Minimum one action per strand will be selected.

b. Research and Innovation Actions – Cooperation in access convergence

This activity takes advantage of the supporting 5G research and demonstration facilities offered by Taiwan towards collaborative 5G research with the EU, and aims at developing and demonstrating an integrated convergent access across different air interface technologies and the fronthaul/backhaul/core network. Test beds making use of facilities offered by Taiwanese partners are targeted. It demonstrates the capabilities of new spectrum access schemes, including for co-working with the network. A system demonstrator showing applications potential is thus favoured, e.g. for high speed moving vehicles.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 2.5 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

a. Innovation Actions

  • Validated access network architecture with integrated optical technologies for the realisation of critical access and transport control function (only for Strand 1);
  • Demonstration of technological applicability to dense access scenarios supporting the 1000 capacity increase objective (only for Strand 1);
  • Demonstrated scalability, close to operational context, of the proposed technological approach (only for Strand 1);
  • Contribution to standards, notably 5G and optical access (only for Strand 1);
  • Optical access interface with 10 times lower energy consumption (only for Strand 1);
  • Open environments for creation of network apps (only for Strand 2);
  • Open repository of network apps that may be validated and leveraged by third party developers (only for Strand 2);
  • Validation at scale of the VNF aggregation capability of the proposed environment (only for Strand 2).

b. Research and Innovation Actions – Cooperation in access convergence

  • Contribution to the ITU-R objectives for the next generation mobile network including requirements on data rates, mobility, connection density, latency, energy efficiency, spectrum efficiency, and traffic volume density
  • Contribution to the 1000 fold mobile traffic increase per area, in the context of the target application
  • Contribution to the 1ms latency objective in the context of the target application
  • Results exploitation in the context of standardization and spectrum requirements
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Contractual Public-Private Partnerships (cPPPs)
International cooperation


Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Please also note that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hongkong & Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme with the following exceptions:

    For ICT-08-2017 point b) only, there are additional eligibility criteria:
    - Due to the specific scope of this sub-topic, in addition to the minimum number of participants set out in the General Annexes, proposals shall include at least one participant from Taïwan.
    - Proposals will only be selected on the condition that the Taïwanese partners are funded by the Taiwan government.

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme with the following exceptions:

    For ICT-08-2017 point b) only:

    - Criterion 3 "Quality and efficiency of the implementation": additional evaluation sub-criterion: Balanced effort between participants from the EU and associated countries and participants from Taïwan, with a work plan properly involving coordinated research and innovation activities between Europe and Taïwan.

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of the evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Specific proposal template for this topic's "Research and Innovation Actions"
    Specific evaluation form for this topic's "Research and Innovation Actions"
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement

    Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement

  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

  7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

    Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

    Open access to research data
    The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

    Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

    Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

    - Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs.

    - Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

    The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.

  8. Additional documents:

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction to Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs)
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Information and communication technologies (ICT)
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme


Additional documents

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