Strategic European partnership on Smart Networks and Services to boost 5G deployment and 6G research activities

The European Commission has adopted its legislative proposal for a strategic European partnership on Smart Networks and Services as a Joint Undertaking, with a public R&I investment of 900 M€ over the new long-term budget period 2021-2027. The Joint Undertaking will coordinate research activities on 6G technology under Horizon Europe and 5G deployment initiatives under the Connecting Europe Facility Digital and other programmes.

Senior Project Manager Pekka Torvinen at Spinverse says: ”Smart Networks and Services funding instrument offers a great opening to build projects focused on strong European telecommunications industry and ecosystems. The proposed project topics can range from research-intensive projects to demonstrations and trials with different industry verticals. This offers unique opportunities for many organisations in different fields when developing and testing technologies beyond 5G."

The budget over the next seven years will allow for the strategic planning and implementation of a truly roadmap-based 6G research programme. The public funding of 900 M€ by the Commission will be topped up by the private sector, leading to a total investment of at least 1.8 B€, which can be expected to leverage broader R&I investments in Europe in the order of 10 B€.

The public-private Joint Undertaking for Smart Networks and Services has two objectives, namely:
  • To foster Europe’s technological sovereignty in 6G by implementing the related research and innovation (R&I) programme leading to the conception and standardisation around 2025. In addition, it involves preparation for early market adoption of 6G technologies by the end of the decade. Mobilising a broad set of stakeholders will be key to address strategic areas of the networks and services value chain from edge- and cloud-based service provisioning to market opportunities in new components and devices beyond smartphones.
  • To boost the deployment of 5G in Europe in view of developing digital lead markets and of enabling the digital and green transition of the economy and society. For this objective, the Joint Undertaking will coordinate strategic guidance for the relevant programmes under the Connecting Europe Facility Digital, in particular 5G Corridors. It will also contribute to the coordination with national programmes, including the Recovery and Resilience Facility, as well as other European programmes and facilities, such as Digital Europe Programme and InvestEU.

The instrument has four main focus areas for the R&D and innovation projects:

  1. Smart communication components, systems and networks for 5G Evolution systems
  2. Continuous research for radical technology advancement in preparation for 6G and radical advancements of IoT, devices and software
  3. Enablers and Proofs of Concept, including required experimental infrastructure
  4. Large-scale SNS Trials and Pilots with Verticals, including the required infrastructure.

For whom?
Companies and research organizations focusing on ICT.

Timeline for proposal preparation
First calls are expected to open in December and first call deadlines are expected to be in April 2022.

Could your project become part of the Smart Networks and Services Joint Undertaking? Start planning now – our funding experts are here for you to help you plan your strategy, find potential partners and increase your chances for a winning funding proposal. Do not wait until the last moment but contact us today!
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