Future Network Services (FNS): 6G for and by the Netherlands

Last year, at the ETSI's Research Conference, 'Maximizing the Impact of European 6G Research through Standardization', Paul Wijngaard - Board Member, Future Network Services foundation provided an 'Overview of Dutch 6G R&D collaboration in Future Network Services program' (presentation here).

In October 2023, FNS was launched having received €61 million for the first phase of the development of 6G from the committed €203 million from the National Growth Fund. Quoting from the website:

Mobile networks are driving the digitalisation of our society. They contribute to the growth of earning power in all sectors of the economy. Through innovation and cooperation between companies, knowledge institutions and the government, the Netherlands is acquiring a strong position in the global 6G value chain. The Future Network Services program will create an international top position for the Netherlands in 6G which will give a boost to the Dutch economy and sustainable earning capacity.

The FNS consortium currently consists of 60 partners, including leading telecom and semiconductor manufacturers, mobile operators, ICT companies and research institutes. These partners will jointly research specific components of 6G: software antennas, AI-driven network software and leading-edge applications. In addition, a nationwide 6G testbed will be built in which components and applications will be tested.

The Future Network Services program consists of four program lines. The work packages of the program lines each have their own set of activities, deliverables and KPIs that jointly contribute to the development of the 6G ecosystem. The day-to-day management of the project is in the hands of the Core Team.

  • PL 1: Intelligent components: Development of a new generation of intelligent components and semiconductors for 6G antenna technology and optical wireless systems.
  • PL 2: Intelligent networks: Development of software and algorithms for intelligently orchestrating programmable 6G networks.
  • PL 3: Leading applications: Deployment of new mobile network technology in leading applications. Among others, in smart grids (energy sector), autonomous vehicles (road and rail transport) and industrial robots (manufacturing and logistics). More potential applications will be explored in the course of the project.
  • PL 4: Strengthen ecosystem: Strengthening the innovation ecosystem through a national testbed, international cooperation, enabling start-ups or scale-ups and developing talent through a Human Capital agenda.

You can see the ambitious workplan for years ahead. The video below was shared by TNO, the organisation responsible for overall FNS program coordination. Switch on English subtitles if you don't follow Dutch:

TU Delft, the oldest and largest technical university in the Netherlands is currently advertising several PhD positions available as part of the FNS project here.

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