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Europe launches the second phase of its 6G Research and Innovation Programme

The Smart Networks and Services Joint Undertaking (SNS JU) adopted its second Research & Innovation Work Programme (2023) to advance 6G research in Europe.

photo of 3 wooden blocks stacked upon each other with 4G 5G and 6G written on them

On 14th December 2022, the Smart Networks and Services Joint Undertaking (SNS JU) adopted its Research & Innovation (R&I) Work Programme 2023-2024, including information about the 2023 call for project proposals under Horizon Europe.

The R&I Work Programme (ANNEX II to the 2023 SNS annual Work Programme) will be the basis for the second SNS Call for Proposals, with earmarked public funding of €132 million. It will be launched on 17th January 2023 and will include the following 3 complementary streams:

  1. Stream B: Research for revolutionary technology advancements, in preparation for 6G, and revolutionary advancements of IoT, devices and software, targeting low to medium Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), with the objective of delivering innovative solutions towards real-life networks in a long-term period of time. It includes international cooperation with the USA.
  2. Stream C: SNS system enablers and proof of concepts (PoCs) with a target to further develop, federate and consolidate Europe wide experimental infrastructure(s), in support of the various phases of the SNS.
  3. Stream D: Large-scale SNS trials and pilots with verticals, including the required infrastructure to explore and demonstrate technologies and advanced applications and services for vertical domains focusing on 2 priorities less covered in the previous call, namely:
    • automotive
    • health, smart cities, farming or education.

These 3 Streams will be complemented by an SNS Coordination and Support Action (CSA) aimed at dealing with societal challenges related to SNS technologies.

The SNS R&I Work Programme 2023 also highlights some indicative R&I topics for 2024 that will reach a stable version for approval later in 2023 and will be the basis for the third SNS Call in 2024, with around €129 million in EU funding.

Stream A is considered completed with the first wave of projects and as we move to 6G standardisation from 2025.

6G SNS Roadmap with timeline

Download the roadmap (.pdf)

The SNS R&I Work Programme 2023 builds the second phase of the SNS Roadmap and will expand on the 35 SNS Phase 1 Research and Innovation (R&I) projects that will be launched in January 2023.

The Work Programme focus will complement R&I on enabling technologies with more system-oriented research and dedicated prototyping and experimentation, as well as long-term R&I on disruptive concepts. It will further address the technological and business realisation of the 6G vision and support to 6G standardisation phase by covering industrial and business aspects, sustainability and societal challenges, joint activities in microelectronics and a set of focused international cooperation activities.

An Information Day on the second SNS Call will be jointly organised by the SNS JU, the EC and the 6GIA and will take place on 23rd January 2023, 10:00 – 13:00 CET, as an online event. For further information, event agenda and registration, please click here. If you already want to share your first ideas and find partners, you can join the SNS brokerage platform.

Background

In November 2021, Council Regulation 2021/2085 established the Smart Networks and Services Joint Undertaking (SNS JU) as a legal and funding entity, and one of the 10 Horizon Europe European Partnerships , which has the specific purpose to build the R&I capacities for 6G systems and develop lead markets for 5G infrastructure as a basis for the digital and green transformation in Europe. The Partnership is jointly led by the EC and the 6G Smart Networks and Services Industry Association (6G-IA).

The SNS JU enables pooling EU and industry resources into Smart Networks and Services investment. It also fosters alignment with Member States on 6G Research and Innovation and deployment of advanced 5G networks. The SNS JU sets out an ambitious mission with an EU budget of EUR 900 million for the period 2021-2027. The private sector will contribute with at least equal resources (i.e., EUR 900 million) to the SNS JU activities.

The first SNS call for proposals under Horizon Europe was published on 18 January 2022 and closed on 26 April 2022. A total of 35 Research and Innovation (R&I) projects have been selected following the evaluation of proposals submitted under the first call.