6G Smart Networks and Services Joint Undertaking (SNS JU) Phase 1 Projects

In January 2023 the Smart Networks and Services Joint Undertaking (SNS JU) launched its first portfolio of 35 research, innovation, and trial projects. Selected after the first SNS JU Call in early 2022, these projects enable the evolution of 5G (5th Generation Wireless Systems) technology and ecosystems and promote 6G research in Europe.

This blog post from ETSI's Research Conference covered a lot of them but the latest SNS Journal has details on all of them here. Below is a short summary of all these 35 projects with links.

Stream A: Smart Communication Components, Systems And Networks For 5G Mid-Term Evolution Systems - The seven projects in this stream trace an evolutionary path towards the development of 6G networks. The selected projects demonstrate complementarity and have been selected in such a way as to create a complete system view. Research topics covered include energy-efficient radio networks, adaptive Open RAN, integrated 5G-Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN), AI-based edge platforms, and intelligent resource management ensuring security, privacy and trustworthiness. (7 projects)

  • BeGREEN (Beyond 5G aRtificial intelligence assisted Energy Efficient open radio access Network): BeGREEN brings forward the design of energy-efficient solutions into radio access, edge, network functions and management.
  • 5G-STARDUST (5G Satellite and Terrestrial Access foR Distributed, Ubiquitous, and Smart Telecommunications): 5G-STARDUST’s ambition is to deliver a fully integrated 5G-NTN autonomous system with novel self-adapting end-to-end connectivity models for enabling ubiquitous radio access.
  • SEASON (SElf-mAnaged Sustainable high-capacity Optical Networks): The goal of the SEASON project is to design and validate a transport network infrastructure able to support beyond 5G and new emerging services.
  • 6Green (Green Technologies For 5/6G Service-Based Architectures): The 6Green project aims to conceive, design, and realize an innovative service-based and holistic ecosystem.
  • VERGE (ai-powered eVolution towards opEn and secuRe edGe architEctures): The EU-funded research project VERGE aims to deliver an AI-empowered, flexible and modular edge platform, unifying communication and computation resources into an edge-cloud compute continuum that is seamlessly integrated within B5G.
  • NANCY (an artificial iNtelligent Aided unified Network for seCure BeYond 5G long term evolution): The primary objective of NANCY is to introduce a secure and intelligent architecture for the B5G wireless network.
  • ACROSS (Automated zero-touch cross-layer provisioning framework for 5G and beyond vertical services): ACROSS offers a secure E2E network and service management platform that is poised to tame the emerging dynamicity, complexity, performance, and scalability requirements of modern and futuristic end-user oriented 6G services over an ever-expanding cloud processing continuum.

Stream B: Research For Revolutionary Technology Advancement Towards 6G - The focus of Stream B is on novel technologies that are expected to be adopted in commercial networks within a mid- and/or long-term timeframe. Research topics considered in the 19 retained projects include, inter alia, novel 6G system architectures, advanced wireless and optical communication technologies, advances in Non-Terrestrial Networks, secure development of URLLC applications. (19 projects)

  • ADROIT6G (distributed Artificial intelligence-DRiven Open and programmable archITecture for 6G networks): ADROIT6G’s overall project goal is to provide revolutionary research foundations for low TRL, technological advancements in preparation for upcoming 6G network architectures.
  • DETERMINISTIC6G: DETERMINISTIC6G aims to develop an end-to-end deterministic communication architecture enabling innovative 6G use cases.
  • DESIRE6G (DEep programmability and Secure distributed Intelligence for Real-time E2e 6G networks): Promoting the 6G vision, the DESIRE6G project will design and develop a novel zero-touch control, management, and orchestration platform, with native integration of AI, to support verticals with extreme requirements.
  • PREDICT-6G (PRogrammable ai-Enabled DeterminIstiC neTworking for 6G): PREDICT-6G will develop a novel Multi-technology Multi-domain DataPlane (MDP) overhauling the reliability and time sensitiveness design features existing in current wired and wireless standards.
  • TERA6G (TERAhertz integrated systems enabling 6G Terabit-per-second ultramassive MIMO wireless): The TERA6G is an enabler of the Fibre-over-the-air concept. The objective is to develop new generation wireless links with Terabit-per-second data throughput capacity using hybrid photonic integration technology advances unlocking disruptive wireless transceivers employing massive MIMO for beyond-5G networks.
  • TERRAMETA (TERahertz ReconfigurAble METAsurfaces for ultra-high-rate wireless communications): TERRAMETA aims to examine revolutionary 6G technologies and demonstrate the feasibility of multi-functional THz reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs) to support very high data rates in wireless communications networks.
  • 6GTandem (A Dual-frequency Distributed MIMO Approach for Future 6G Applications): By co-designing novel dual-frequency operation and an innovative highly integrated and distributed radio stripe system, 6G Tandem will create superior value in energy consumption, service availability and system cost.
  • CENTRIC (towards an ai-native, user-CENTRIC air interface for 6G networks): CENTRIC proposes leveraging AI techniques through a top-down, modular approach to wireless connectivity that puts users’ communication needs and environmental constraints at the centre of network stack design. 
  • TIMES (Thz Industrial MEsh networks in Small sensing and propagation environments): The vision of TIMES is a THz-based smart radio ecosystem working in complex scenarios with a large number of heterogeneous devices, capable of offering similar performance as wired networks in terms of data rate (Tbps), ultra-low-latency, sensing, and reliability.
  • FLEX-SCALE (FLEXibly SCALable Energy efficient networking): Future 6G networks will rely on large-scale deployments of smart MIMO antennas in both small-cells and cell-free RAN architectures.
  • ETHER (sElf-evolving terrestrial/non-Terrestrial Hybrid nEtwoRks): ETHER is going to provide a framework for the terrestrial/non-terrestrial network ecosystem that involves efficient and zero-touch resource management, provides solutions for key RAN challenges, and identifies the business opportunities for potential stakeholders.
  • 6G-NTN (6G Non-Terrestrial Networks): The 6G-NTN project brings together high-level representatives from the mobile communication, satellite, and research communities to address users’ needs in telecommunication networks.
  • SUPERIOT (Towards a Truly Sustainable IoT System): SUPERIOT aims at demonstrating, advocating and further promoting the concept of truly sustainable IoT systems.
  • CONFIDENTIAL6G (CONFIDENTIAL computing and privacy-preserving technologies for 6G): CONFIDENTIAL6G will develop cryptographic quantum-resistant protocols and security proofs, tools, libraries, mechanism and architectural blueprints for confidentiality in 6G.
  • RIGOUROUS (secuRe desIGn and deplOyment of trUsthwoRthy cOntinUum computing 6G Services): The RIGOUROUS project aspires to identify and address the major cybersecurity, trust and privacy risks threatening the network, devices, computing infrastructure, and next generation of services.
  • HORSE (Holistic, Omnipresent, Resilient, Services for future 5G wireless and computing Ecosystems): HORSE proposes a novel human-centric, open-source, green, sustainable, coordinated provisioning and protection evolutionary platform. 
  • PRIVATEER (PRIVAcy-firsT sEcurity Enablers for 6G netwoRks): PRIVATEER is to pave the way for 6G “privacy-first security” by studying, designing and developing innovative security enablers for 6G networks, following a privacy-by-design approach.
  • Hexa-X-II: The Hexa-X-II project is a continuation of the Horizon 2020 ICT52 6G flagship Hexa-X project, and endeavours to continue the research on 6G components as well design an end-to-end 6G system capable of delivering the future 6G digital services.
  • 6G-SHINE (6G SHort range extreme communication IN Entities): The 6G-SHINE project will pioneer the main technology components for wireless in-X subnetworks, short range low-power radio cells to be installed in industrial and consumer entities.

Stream C: SNS Experimental Infrastructures - The three projects in stream C aim to develop EU-wide experimentation platforms that can incorporate promising technical 6G enablers for their further validation. Key aspects for the projects are the reusability and ability to evolve of the experimental platforms over the lifetime of the SNS programme. Accessibility and openness with well-defined and clearly documented technological and business interfaces are also considered key assets of the infrastructures to be developed. (3 projects)

  • 6G-SANDBOX (Supporting Architectural and technological Network evolutions through an intelligent, secureD and twinning enaBled Open eXperimentation facility): The 6G-SANDBOX project addresses the need for an experimentation facility that guarantees Modularity, Openness, Reusability, Innovation, and Sustainability (MORIS).
  • 6G-BRICKS (Building Reusable testbed Infrastructures for validating Cloud-to-device breaKthrough technologieS): Key participants from four 5G PPP projects (MonB5G, MARSAL, REINDEER, HEXA-X) have joined forces to pursue the federation of their efforts in the 6G-BRICKS experimentation facility, leveraging on a mature set of experimentation tools from the 5GMediaHUB 5G PPP project.
  • 6G-XR (6G eXperimental Research to enable next-generation XR services): 6G eXperimental Research’s ambition is to strengthen European leadership in 6G technologies by enabling next-generation XR services and infrastructures that will provide beyond-state-of-the-art capabilities in the run-up to the 6G era.

Stream D: Large-Scale SNS Trials And Pilots - Four projects are implementing large-scale SNS trials and pilots with specific verticals of high economic and societal importance. The aim is to explore and demonstrate 5G/6G technologies, advanced applications and services in vertical sectors such as energy, construction, automotive, manufacturing, eHealth, culture, and media. (4 projects)

  • TARGET-X (Trial plAtform foR 5G EvoluTion – X(cross)-industry on large scale identity card): The TARGET-X project was launched to accelerate the digital transformation of four key verticals: energy, construction, automotive, and manufacturing.
  • TrialsNet (TRials Supported By Smart Networks Beyond 5G): The TrialsNet project will deploy full large-scale trials to implement a heterogenous and comprehensive set of innovative 6G applications based on various technologies such as cobots, metaverse, massive twinning, Internet of Senses.
  • FIDAL (FIelD TriALs beyond 5G): FIDAL is targeting the augmentation of human capabilities, allowing vertical industry players to perform advanced technological and business validation in large-scale field trials.
  • IMAGINE-B5G (IMAGINE Beyond 5G): Imagine-B5G aims to provide an advanced and accessible end-to-end (E2E) 5G platform for large-scale trials and pilots in Europe.

CSAs: Coordination and Support Actions - The project portfolio includes two Coordination and Support Actions focused on internal operational aspects of the SNS Partnership, on establishing a dialogue with EU initiatives (e.g., related partnerships, national initiatives, etc.) and on promoting SNS results and achievements at a global level while working towards the definition of global standards. (2 projects)

  • SNS OPS (Supporting the SNS JU Operations): The SNS OPS project is devoted to supporting the operations of the 6G Smart Networks and Services Joint Undertaking (SNS JU).
  • SNS ICE (Smart Networks and Services International and European Cooperation Ecosystem): The SNS ICE project will provide the collaboration environment for dialogue amongst European and global stakeholders involved in the preparation of 6G smart networks and services.

Check out the SNS Journal for details.

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