The i2CAT Foundation, a cutting-edge centre for applied research in the field of new digital technologies, has recently obtained 17 projects under the Horizon Europe programme, the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation, with total funding of more than €7M.
In particular, i2CAT has obtained ten projects linked to three of the six clusters into which Pillar II – Horizon Europe (Global challenges & European Industrial Competitiveness) is divided:
. Digital, Industry & Space (8).
. Climate, Energy & Mobility (1).
. Food, Bioeconomy, Natural resources, Agriculture and Environment (1).
Another project is linked to Pillar III – Horizon Europe, “Innovative Europe”, to stimulate market-creating breakthroughs and ecosystems conducive to innovation.
Leaders on advanced 5G and 6G enabling technologies
On the other hand, six new projects correspond to the Smart Network and Services (SNS) Partnership, which aims to foster European technological leadership in digital and future enabling technologies. i2CAT will have active participation in the 4 streams of the SNS, ensuring contributions to the design of 5G Advanced (Stream A), the execution of large-scale demonstrations of 5G for verticals (Stream D), as well as the design of 6G (Stream B) and the future experimental platforms for the next generation (Stream C).
These six projects obtained by the i2CAT Foundation join the 6 obtained by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and the 8 by the Centre Tecnològic de Telecommunications de Catalunya (CTTC) and guarantee the success of the Catalan public research system within the first call of the program of 6G. The UPC will coordinate one of these projects and participate as a research partner with the CTTC in two projects and with the i2CAT Foundation in another.
In total, the three entities have achieved 17 research and innovation projects linked to the new generation of advanced 5G and 6G mobile networks with total funding of 8.8 million euros between now and 2026.
This is a relevant achievement by the public research sector in Catalonia, which will participate in approximately 50% of all the projects financed in the first call for the SNS program to guarantee the development of advanced 5G and the future 6G throughout Europe.
“Catalonia will play a crucial role in the development of 6G technologies in Europe. From now on, the challenge will be to ensure all the necessary talent and generate a great impact on research and the ICT sector”, says Dr. Sergi Figuerola, Chief of Technology and Innovation Officer (CTIO) of the i2CAT Foundation.
“We are facing a unique historical opportunity for the Catalan research system and consolidate a position of leadership in the development of mobile communications technologies. We have the responsibility to ensure that all actors work in a coordinated manner to guarantee both the creation of new knowledge and the transfer of this knowledge to society and the economy”, stands Dr. Jesus Alonso-Zárate, director of the 6G program and director of strategy for European R&D programs at the i2CAT Foundation.
i2CAT within the framework of Horizon Europe
The 17 projects obtained by i2CAT Foundation within Horizon Europe programme will ensure that the centre keeps on contributing to the design, development, and testing of future digital technologies, including 5G, 5G Advanced, 6G, the Internet of Things, Cybersecurity, Satellite Communications, and Artificial Intelligence, all of them at the service of enabling disruptive use cases, such as those based on extended reality and immersive experiences, Connected and Automated Mobility, the future or Industry, eHealth, and many more. i2CAT has been the third-top Catalan institution in terms of funding return in Horizon 2020 – the previous European R&I framework programme – in the area of ICT. The results already obtained in Horizon Europe, despite being at the very early stage of the programme, point at an even better-expected return, thus contributing to strengthening the leadership of i2CAT in the area of emerging digital technologies.