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Think tank for the collaboration on NEXt generation internet between EU-US

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Think NEXUS (Think tank for the collaboration on NEXt generation internet between EU-US)

Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2020-04-30

Objective 1: Support the NGI development across Europe and facilitate EU/US cooperation

Objective 2: Setup and operate a think do-tank to study and foster EU/US collaboration, provide recommendations and prepare a legal structure (non-profit organisation) to operate the think-tank after the project’s lifetime (WP2/WP3)

Objective 3: Be the intersection between EC NGI related initiatives and US Tomorrow’s Internet related initiatives, i.e. Think NEXUS will create a bridge between EU and US NGI ecosystems

Objective 4: Support RIA NGI projects in their cooperation with US counterparts — create synergies between EU and US projects
Objective 1
Think NEXUS team linked with governments and agencies officials from both sides of the Atlantic for identifying priorities, key stakeholders and entities to be associated with the project developments. These developments enabled Think NEXUS first US workshop to take place in Washington, and exchange directly upon EU-US priorities with representatives from the NIST, NSF, EU Delegation in the US over collaborative schemes to co-design. More than 41 experts (from the US and the EU) were given the opportunity to present and interact with key policy-makers across both areas during this event. Policy also stands at the core of various Papers, upon NGI key technologies and approaches, constituting the backbone of Think NEXUS activities and recommendations.

Objective 2
The key first steps taken by the partners were to mobilise the ‘influencers’ from various backgrounds and entities who can provide key information, analyses, contents and outlooks for building a coherent view on the states of the arts across both areas. It has to be noted that a clear emphasis has been put on selecting academics from universities of excellence in the US and the EU, for enabling high-level / high-expertise discussions between stakeholders, notably upon existing and upcoming NGI technologies.
However, project partners are still identifying stakeholders, thematics and priorities that are to be discussed across the ocean, and will keep this approach over the next period. Also, synergies are being built with EU and US initiatives both within and beyond the NGI framework and considered for establishing an actionable framework for developing concrete cooperation.

Objective 3
As a member of the NGI OO, Think NEXUS regularly participates and intervenes in European NGI ecosystems for presenting achievements and identifying opportunities of cooperation with RIAs and ‘overarching CSAs’. However, these activities did not lead to clear opportunities for establishing Think NEXUS as a ‘pivot entity’ for these projects to access US stakeholders so far… notably because no RIA nor CSA expressed the need to access US stakeholders, despite having attended NGI events and presented the initiatives to various stakeholders. This identified shortcoming of the project will be tackled in the upcoming period.
Beyond EU ecosystems, Think NEXUS enabled US stakeholders to bond over common thematics and further deepen US-US and US-EU interactions between stakeholders. Indeed, US clusters, regional initiatives and universities leveraged upon the platform conferred by Think NEXUS for further interacting with US agencies upon NGI-related topics, reinforcing their positioning towards both US officials and European stakeholders. This ‘side-effect’ of Think NEXUS developments actually constitute an essential outcome of the period, since it anchors the think tank as a recognisable entity among US ecosystems for enabling open discussions over technological, business and policy-related topics. Think NEXUS partners will build upon these developments for further instauring a space of exchanges between EU and US, most notably with the US agencies (and similar entities) once inscribed in these grounds.

Objective 4
Several insight papers were published along the developments taking place within the Working Groups.
Think NEXUS partners also co-wrote a chapter in an upcoming book gathering articles on internet-related EU-US cooperation topics.
Think NEXUS positioned itself within European NGI communities and initiatives as a pivotal entity for outreaching towards US stakeholders. Also, the project tied strong links with other NGI initiatives focusing on EU-US cooperation, sharing common platforms for dissemination.
On the US side, Think NEXUS contacted and interacted with ICE-T US project leaders for better understanding their needs and perspectives over previous EU-US cooperative schemes. These interactions were reported to EU and US officials for enabling an improvement over the next programme. Furthermore, the project also interacted with several clusters and lobbies for identifying other schemes, that would enable to ‘complete’ the opportunities provided by current NSF collaborative frameworks. These schemes will be further explored in the next period.
Impact 1: Enhanced EU – US cooperation in Next Generation Internet, including policy cooperation.

● Development of Think NEXUS branding and positioning among EU-US stakeholders
● Development of Think NEXUS strategy within the set environments and perspectives
● Setup of the 3 Working Groups constituted of EU-US experts
● Future trends: discussion with EU/US experts during the first Think NEXUS workshop a first iteration of the shortlist of most important NGI-related topics for EU-US cooperation
● Development of the Working Groups’ expertise by involving new experts (14)
● Liaison with think tanks (Atlantic Council, APRE, Pew research center )
● Liaison with EU NGI initiatives supporting EU-US cooperation: NGI Explorer, NGI Atlantic
● Organisation of the first Think NEXUS workshop (in the US) / development of an e-event for coping with COVID-19 outbreak context for the second workshop

Impact 2: Reinforced collaboration and increased synergies between the Next Generation Internet and the Tomorrow's Internet programmes

● Integration of Think NEXUS developments within the NGI ecosystems and projects
● Participation in NGI OO dissemination efforts and promotion of EU-US opportunities within the tools provided
● Liaison with various US federal agencies (NSF, NIST, DARPA…) and US scientific communities (US ignite; GIPO; Internet Society; etc.)
● Liaison with all ICE-T projects’ main investigators;
● Organisation of webinars on key thematics developed within the NGI initiatives

Impact 3: Developing interoperable solutions and joint demonstrators, contributions to standards

● Identification of EU initiatives supporting joint demonstrations and standard bodies (IEEE, etc.)
● Liaison with key EU-US initiatives
● Definition of the Working Groups’ priorities
● Discussion with EU PPPs and related initiatives (5GPPP, AI4EU, etc.)
● Discussions with US agencies and PPPs financing transatlantic exchanges over R&I topics

Impact 4: An EU - US ecosystem of top researchers, hi-tech startups / SMEs and Internet-related communities collaborating on the evolution of the Internet

● Definition of each Working Group’s strategy with the experts involved and exchange with
● Identification of standard bodies and potential interactions to design (IEEE, etc.)
● Inclusion of Think NEXUS partners’ representatives as ‘Advisory Board members’ of TETRA and NGI Atlantic