The i2CAT Foundation has been recently awarded four new projects within the second call of the 6G Smart Networks and Services (SNS) Joint Undertaking (JU). The SNS is the European Research and Innovation initiative within the Horizon Europe R&I programme directed at designing and facilitating technologies for the next generation of mobile networks and its advanced services. These new four projects will expand and complement the six projects awarded in the first call of the SNS back in 2022, which are already in execution since January 2023. With a total of 10 active projects in the SNS to date, i2CAT keeps consolidating its role in developing 5G and 6G technologies in the European research arena.
A strategic project out of the new 4 is SUNRISE-6G, where i2CAT will act as co-technical manager. It is the only project funded in STREAM C during the 2023 call and it will be mainly aimed to federate the experimental platforms for 6G in Europe. The project’s approach is inspired by the “network of networks” concept of 6G Networks, seeking to integrate all private and public infrastructures under a massively scalable internet-like architecture. Taking part in such a broad and decisive initiative will strengthen i2CAT’s and its local ecosystem position in the European field.
The other three new projects belong to STREAM B of the 6G SNS JU programme and are focused on the design of 6G technology enablers. In particular, INSTINCT will deliver the waveforms, protocols, and hardware design of an innovative beyond communications system architecture, combining the benefits of Wireless Sensing, Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RIS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). iTrust6G will propose novel concepts and solutions to achieve a unified and intelligent security architecture for distributed network and cloud domains, capable of addressing advanced 6G use cases and applications by integrating required architectural enablers for flexible, yet cost-efficient, deployment in 6G networks. Finally, ORIGAMI will spearhead the next-generation mobile network architecture, overcoming eight factual barriers to ensure a successful 6G future.
“This i2CAT’s team success consolidates the vision to become a key actor within the 6G ecosystem while leveraging the work under the UNICO 6G program aiming to position selected Spanish R&D centres among the top centres of Europe”, states Sergi Figuerola, Chief Technology and Innovation Office at the i2CAT Foundation.
“The success of i2CAT’s team in the second call of the 6G SNS Joint Undertaking consolidates its vision to become a key actor within the 6G ecosystem. We expect to do so while leveraging i2CAT’s work under the UNICO 6G program, which aims to position selected Spanish centres among the top R&D organisations in Europe”, states Sergi Figuerola, Chief Technology and Innovation Office at the i2CAT Foundation.
New Horizon Europe projects
Along with the projects awarded within the 6G SNS JU program, the i2CAT Foundation has won four other Horizon Europe projects since the beginning of this year, 2023. The Catalan research centre will coordinate PRESENCE, a research project that will work on different Extended Reality (XR) applications to create realistic visual interactions and touch among remote users and synthetic objects, as well as to produce advanced social interactions among avatars and agents, generating AI-based virtual humans that represent actual users or AI agents.
i2CAT will also participate in the deployEMDS project to develop innovative services and applications and support policymaking by making data available, shareable, and reusable for sustainable urban mobility indicators (SUMI) and traffic and travel information in urban and regional areas.
Another project in which i2CAT will have active participation is the AI4CI project, whose primary goal is to provide a cutting-edge, up-to-date master curriculum that covers all the latest advances in the design and operation of AI systems. The primary objective is to train at least 500 new experts in AI technologies for Connected Industries to reinforce the EU industry and scientific ecosystem and to graduate at least 250 of them.
Finally, i2CAT will contribute to the CUSTODES project, which will develop and implement an innovative, configurable, user-friendly, and cost-effective Composite Inspection and Certification (CIC) System to facilitate the cybersecurity certification of European products and services.
To date, the i2CAT Foundation has obtained 25 projects within the Horizon Europe funding program (2021-2027) with an assigned budget of more than 9.5 million euros. In addition, the research centre has obtained three projects from the Digital Europe Program and one more framed in the Connecting Europe Facility call. With these new projects, i2CAT consolidates itself as a central player in the European R&D ecosystem in the field of advanced digital technologies.