European Commission logo
français français
CORDIS - Résultats de la recherche de l’UE

EMpowering transatlantic PlatfOrms for advanced WirEless Research

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EMPOWER (EMpowering transatlantic PlatfOrms for advanced WirEless Research)

Période du rapport: 2020-05-01 au 2022-04-30

Digital transformation is at the heart of our society. This evolution is made possible by the progressive deployment of a sophisticated digital service infrastructure. The result is a complex system whose availability, reliability, security, and performance challenge its design in order to make it a strong asset of sovereignty, innovation, and industrial competitiveness ideally to serve the well-being of the citizens.

Digital infrastructures are the outcome of several decades of evolution of both the telecommunication and computer software industry. An important transformation is happening, powered by technology and driven by applications, and shows a fantastic disruptive capability. It develops by exploiting the virtualization techniques and software-enabled network functions, providing the ability to program the infrastructure, capturing the “on-demand” user’s need, and therefore allowing more agile resource provisioning.

This trend is going to impact the whole telecommunication and computer-based sector, from design to products and operation. This will strongly impact the multi-year planification approach based on new generations (4G/5G, etc.) and threaten the corresponding industry.

The science of Digital infrastructure raises multiple complex challenges to the research community. Experimentation is becoming an even more important methodology to assess and provide evidence about the diverse design assumptions and choices in realistic conditions. In order to serve these needs, a new generation of test platforms is being deployed, supported by recent international initiatives such as NSF/PAWR, NSF/DARPA Colosseum, and NSF/Fabric in the US, CENI in China, and SLICES ESFRI in Europe.

EMPOWER addresses the international dimension of test platforms, facilitating the dialogue among the main stakeholders, projects, activities, and researchers. Even if matching funding is hard if impossible to achieve, joint activities can be supported, including the alignment of the roadmap and platform components that are pursued on both sides of the Atlantic.

EMPOWER has fully reached its mission to accelerate the joint development between the EU and the US on advanced wireless platforms targeting the new connectivity frontiers beyond 5G. EMPOWER allowed twinning with the best researchers and practitioners involved in EU and US-funded projects, providing a strong trust relationship and willingness to strengthen further the cooperation. And EMPOWER provided recommendations on technologies and experimentation methodologies for future advanced platforms.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the EMPOWER partners re-organized their activities to ensure the impact of the project by finding alternative solutions, such as the very successful activity of TheNetworkingChannel which has been a very effective and innovative platform to connect people and increase the EU-US collaboration.

EMPOWER allowed to strengthen the EU-US collaboration, and it is important for both sides to find ways to continue the collaboration, at a time when the BY5G and 6G topics will become even more strategic. EMPOWER has provided the EC with recommendations about future EU-US cooperation in advanced platforms, including the necessary tight relation with SNS. A very important result is that EMPOWER will be sustained through the SLICES Research Infrastructure (included in the ESFRI Roadmap), as a practical solution until a new appropriate coordination and support action will be launched.
The value and impact of EMPOWER are to act as a catalyst between the EU and the US communities, where a strong trust relationship has been established and dialogue on challenges has been initiated. Likewise, EMPOWER is acting as a liaison with important stakeholders in this area.

EMPOWER consortium defined the strategy and tools to contribute to the development of a joint EU-US ecosystem and to liaise with the relevant communities and stakeholders. The EMPOWER Strategy Document and Collaboration Roadmap, which includes EU/USA Twinning and Collaboration Agenda, has been released and has been updated on a regular basis. EMPOWER has worked, with the support of the Advisory Board, on the activities to be held for long-term collaboration between the EU and USA and on the longer-term sustainability of EMPOWER.

In parallel, the partners worked on the demand that helped to define the first technology roadmap for advanced wireless. This roadmap was the basis for the consultation on the baseline 5G evolution technology roadmap. This roadmap has been updated 3 times, based upon close monitoring and engagement with all the European, North American, and Global stakeholders. The roadmap was demonstrated to align quite well with the emerging consensus on the 6G vision and technology trends. The final roadmap was disseminated actively through key forums such as NGMN, ETSI, WWRF, ITU-R, IMT-2030, and the 6G Symposium.

Moreover, activities related to the transatlantic deployment and evaluation methodologies started with the publication of a report on joint technology demonstrations and data analysis, completed by a survey of software tools and computing architectures for advanced wireless platforms. The objective is to structure the future solutions that will be integrated into the test platforms. It targets software components, API, management and operation of the platform, the Data Management Plan, and reproducibility.

Several important steps have been deployed towards a transatlantic deployment and evaluation methodologies with: definition of a reference architecture for hosting experiments, provision of several tutorials and demonstrations, and several actions for evaluation methodologies.

The community bridging has been mostly done through the innovative and successful tool of the Networking Channel: a series of events as an online “channel” where the global networking research and education community will be able to meet and share.
The socio-economic impact has been clearly stated in the introduction of this summary. Digital transformation is at the heart of our society in all the activities we develop. Europe should clearly position itself in the future of digital infrastructures. Educating future talents and providing evidence about innovation opportunities rely on the availability of research infrastructures as commonly recognized in all fields of science. This is a necessity regarding sovereignty, innovation, and industrial competitiveness ideally to serve the well-being of the citizens.

EMPOWER is the interface in Europe with the community and advanced solutions already deployed in the US. Although ICT17-19 does not perfectly match with the PAWR/FABRIC projects, commonalities have been identified and interest has been raised on both sides. There is yet no program similar to PAWR/FABRIC in Europe and EMPOWER has allowed the European community to monitor and contribute to the international (mostly US) developments. EMPOWER strategy document and collaboration roadmap has been updated, and the final technology roadmap for advanced wireless has been issued as recommendations for the future.

EMPOWER will continue to impact, through the acceleration of the joint development between the EU and the US on advanced wireless platforms targeting the new connectivity frontiers beyond 5G, with the sustainability made possible through the SLICES-RI.