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FIRE+ (Future Internet Research & Experimentation)


Specific Challenge: Experimentally-driven research and innovation is a key mechanism towards advancement in Internet technology and applications. Europe needs a Strategic Experimental Infrastructure for Future Internet Research & Experimentation (FIRE+) available to experiments of any size, complexity, or networking technology. Experimenters need to run experiments under controlled and replicable conditions, according to specific requirements by accessing real or virtual equipment, services, systems and tools on demand, seamlessly and regardless of their geographical location. Additionally, a dynamic and promising segment of experimenters, comprising in particular individuals, small and medium-size developers and innovators cannot afford testbeds or even testing equipment of their own and need to be provided easy and affordable access to said capacities. Real-world prototyping and experimenting environments are needed in certain cases for innovation creation. In addition, Future Internet Research and Experimentation in Europe could benefit from similar initiatives around the world.


a.      Research & Innovation Actions: proposals are expected to cover one or more of the themes identified below, but not necessarily all of them.

Collaborative projects for the creation, reconfiguration and/or extension of experimental infrastructures. Proposals in any of the following areas are encouraged: Mobile and Wireless, Cloud, Spectrum, Photonics, Internet of Things (IoT), Distributed Service Platforms, Sensors; as well as proposals allowing experimenters to manage, analyse and extract value from data acquired from sensors, mobile devices and/or online interactions in social and real networks.

Proposals with an experimentation aspect that will leverage Europe's Research and Education Network infrastructure (GÉANT). Major emphasis will be put on the integration of real-world devices across all communication layers, in order to really deliver to the end-user.

Proposals to develop the concepts of Experimentation-as-a-Service (EaaS) and Virtual Experimentation. In particular, proposals must allow ad hoc, on demand federation and reconfiguration of facilities and platforms, in order to serve the researcher and development requirements and provide tools for reporting, benchmarking and monitoring.

The action may involve financial support to third parties in line with the conditions set out in Part K of the General Annexes. The consortium will define the selection process of additional users, experimenters and suppliers for which financial support will be granted (typically in the order of EUR 50.000 – 150.000 per party).  At least 50% of the EU funding should be allocated to this purpose.

b.      Innovation Actions

Proposals for a collaborative project that would identify, evaluate and select ideas for prototyping and experimentation, testing and validation and enable the step towards actual experimentation planning and execution on top of FIRE+. Ideas and experiments would come from the Future Internet constituency at large, as well as from non-Future Internet constituencies and the setting would be in real world environments, where applicable.

c.       Coordination and Support Actions: proposals are expected to cover one or more of the themes identified below, but not necessarily all of them.

         Identification of European, national and regional experimental facilities, testbeds and laboratories available for integration into FIRE+ in a heterogeneous but reconfigurable and evolving arrangement. The resulting experimental infrastructure must be extensive, span various technologies and allow for integration on demand in response to experimenters' and users' needs.

         Identification, evaluation and roadmap of the future needs for advanced networking experimentation and ancillary services with a large-scale experimental need on top of existing or future facilities under FIRE+.

         Coordination and Support action for international cooperation: Proposals for concrete, reciprocal actions in the short and medium term. The primary target is the cooperation between the EU and the US, but the preparation for multilateral experimentation and federation with other initiatives around the world can also be addressed. These actions will organise workshops linked to concrete actions on joint developments; they will invite US testbeds to join Open Calls of FIRE projects either for experiments or for linking facilities, where each side would fund its own part and GEANT would provide the link; they will also promote EU developments towards the US and reciprocate the exchange of researchers using an Erasmus Mundus-like subscription/selection system.

Expected impact:

         Experimental capability at European level that covers a variety of networking technology areas and allows tens of experiments to be run on top of them each year.

         A reliable, diversified infrastructure of approximately ten world-class experimental facilities and platforms, covering different aspects of advanced networking and applications.

         Potential to experiment without the constraints of the physical location or access to a specific experimental facility.

         Development of common architectures across the various prototypes and experiments across a variety of settings and/or application areas.

         Economies of scale in terms of infrastructure and its management by promoting the utilization of existing shared experimental facilities and platforms by experiments under other specific challenges.

         Reduction of the time to experiment by allowing a larger set of experiments to take place on reliable and benchmarked infrastructure that can evolve and be re-configured.

         Response to the needs of individual, small and medium experimenters without access to experimental facilities or environments.

         Positive impact on application areas other than Future Internet, for example Societal Challenges and in particular Smart Cities enabled by advanced Future Internet Infrastructure, via large-scale experimentation involving users.

         Concrete cooperation and cross-fertilisation between European and US initiatives in experimentally-driven research as a first step towards a wider collaboration with other countries, for example Japan, Brazil and South Korea.

         Contribution to standardisation and interoperability of experimental facilities.

Types of action:

a.       Research & Innovation Actions – Proposals requesting a Large contribution are expected

b.      Innovation Actions – Proposals requesting a Large contribution are expected

c.       Coordination and Support Actions