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VMware, Mitacs set sights on discovering sustainable path for 6G

Partnership will drive applied research with Canadian universities in the areas of sustainable grid, digital equity and clean tech involving 6G

A partnership between VMware and Mitacs is aiming to play a critical role in paving a sustainable path for 6G.

Mitacs, a non-profit organisation that connects industry with Canadian academic institutions, has launched its Digital Equity Grid Innovation initiative, also known as TETRA. Aligned with VMware’s Automated Life vision, the organisations plan to establish a TETRA research and innovation (R&I) centre in Montreal in partnership with the IEEE Future Networks Initiative (FNI), a technical community of IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organisation that aims to advance tech for the benefit of humanity.

TETRA and FNI will collaborate on technology to bridge the digital divide.

The R&I centre will set out to develop open grid infrastructures that bridge technologies from the satellite, wireless, networks and cloud industries. This infrastructure platform will serve as the application development platform for IEEE FNI’s Connecting the Unconnected Challenge, which seeks novel solutions for universal and affordable internet access. Also, researchers will be able to test solutions in real-world environments via Open Grid Alliance Innovation Zones and IEEE FNI testbeds.

Initial applied research projects will have key focus areas such as creating a sustainable open grid with an international research team to enable access to a global pool of physical, digital and biological resources to “solve the unsolved”. It will also aim to address the digital divide with practical and novel solutions, in partnership with IEEE, to connect the unconnected and ensure everyone can reap the benefits of the digital society.

Another area will be to contribute to a better environment for the planet in accordance with environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals included in the VMware 2030 Agenda.

“The path to 6G requires a fundamental re-architecting of the internet to an open grid – one that can be accessed from everywhere and brings immersive apps to everyone,” said Kit Colbert, CTO at VMware. “This calls for significant advancement of physical and digital systems through broad partnerships and true cross-sector collaboration. Our partnership with Mitacs aims to drive this advancement forward, keeping sustainability and digital equity at the heart of our work.”

John Hepburn, CEO of Mitacs, added: “Connecting rural, remote and indigenous communities is critical to driving innovation in every part of Canada. Mitacs is thrilled to be collaborating with VMware as part of the Digital Equity Grid Innovation initiative. This initiative will improve connectivity, enable local, national and international research collaboration, and support the development of an innovation ecosystem that leverages local strengths. We look forward to seeing where this partnership can take us.”

Mary Ward-Callan, managing director, technical activities at IEEE, said: “Nearly half of the world’s population is still not connected to the internet, but the internet is a critical access point to education, economic opportunity, and health information and services. IEEE is excited to leverage our Connecting the Unconnected Challenge programme to provide an innovation and a broad talent pipeline to the TETRA pilot project. This partnership provides the perfect framework to focus the expertise of our global member network on this critical humanitarian issue.”

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