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Targeting what it calls “revolutionary” technology advancement and experimental infrastructures, mobile and video technology research and development company InterDigital has revealed that it has been awarded funding to support five Horizon Europe Flagship research projects based on the sixth generation of telecommunications technology.
Horizon Europe is described as the European Union’s (EU’s) leading research and innovation funding initiative, with a budget of €95.5bn. Partners within the project are said to be able to gain access to “extensive” experience running and contributing to a wide range of European research, innovation and training projects.
The 6G research teams are said to be aiming to support project innovation and effectiveness from concept to completion using proven expertise fostering industrial growth and reacting to global challenges that span many ICT themes and verticals. These include mobility, Industry 4.0, health, energy, climate change and civil security.
The five flagship projects are 6G-XR, Centric, Predict-6G, 6G-Bricks and 6G-Shine, each uniquely dedicated to enabling what are called revolutionary technology advancement and experimental infrastructures in 6G.
The Centric project targets the development of radio access technologies towards fulfilling the ultimate vision of a 6G user-centric artificial intelligence (AI) native air interface, while Predict-6G focuses on laying the foundations of an AI-powered digital twin framework to predict the behaviour of the end-to-end 6G network and using this framework to enhance the reliability and time sensitivity of the network.
InterDigital’s awarded flagship projects are part of a portfolio of 35 research, innovation and trial projects curated by the EU’s Smart Networks and Services Joint Undertaking (SNS JU) to enable the evolution of 5G ecosystems and promote 6G research in Europe. Jointly led by the European Commission and the 6G-IA industry association, the SNS JU is responsible for fostering European leadership and technology sovereignty in 6G while boosting 5G deployment across the European continent. The programme has allocated upwards of €250m to fund the portfolio of 6G flagship projects.
Of the 35 projects within the SNS JU Horizon Europe portfolio, those awarded to InterDigital are aimed at exploring novel technologies and system architectures to be adopted in commercial networks in the medium or long term, as well as developing EU-wide experimentation platforms that can serve as a sandbox to validate technical 6G enablers.
The 6G-Shine project focuses on the design of short-range communication protocols that can meet the extreme bandwidth, latency and energy requirements emerging for 6G, while the 6G-XR project targets the development of an experimental research infrastructure to evaluate and validate the performance of key 6G candidate technologies, components and architectures, with focus on enabling next-generation extended reality (XR) services.
Meanwhile, the 6G-Bricks project focuses on setting up an experimental research facility to evaluate two key 6G candidate technologies – reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS) and cell-free massive multiple input multiple output (MIMO).
“We are honoured to be awarded five Horizon Europe 6G flagship projects to help shape the 6G vision,” said InterDigital chief technology officer Rajesh Pankaj. “Being selected for each of these unique projects will enable us to leverage our research heritage and expertise that will shape 6G development in Europe through the future.
“A competitive research environment helps drive our industry forward by pushing the limits of what is possible in the wireless technology landscape. These awards demonstrate InterDigital’s continuous contributions to the European wireless research and innovation ecosystem, as we build upon a strong record of engagement in the Horizon 2020 5G public-private partnership programme.”
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