Today, the Internet is key to almost any social or economic activity. It is a true value creator that has reshaped the economy and society. This trend is irreversible and the Internet’s essential role for society and the economy worldwide will continue to increase.
The pandemic crisis of COVID-19 showed the importance of Internet resilience. Seamless, secure and privacy-preserving connectivity was crucial to confront unprecedented challenges.
Yet, there are still concerns around personal data and transparency. There is also a demand for the Internet to provide better services and greater user empowerment in shaping up their own online experience. It is crucial that the next generation of the Internet puts people at its centre, so that it can meet its full potential for both the society and the economy.
The Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative aims to put in place the key technological building blocks of tomorrow’s Internet and to shape the future Internet as an interoperable platform ecosystem that embodies the values that Europe holds dear: openness, inclusivity, transparency, privacy, cooperation, and protection of data. The goal is to empower users with the freedom of choice among a range of open-source decentralised digital solutions.
To this end, NGI provides financial support to grass-root projects covering all layers of the Internet: from open hardware, networking and transport technologies, firmware, operating systems and virtualisation, electronic identities and middleware, decentralised ledgers, software productivity tools, traffic supervision tools, up to over-the-top internet and vertical applications.
Building an NGI ecosystem
Pioneering researchers, developers, high-tech SMEs and start-ups developed the key building blocks of the internet as we know it today. NGI aspires to revitalise and maintain this ecosystem of innovators to build the internet of tomorrow.
Through a number of ongoing NGI projects the cascade funding mechanism is used to fund a large number of highly talented grass-root innovators who are actually changing the course of the internet.
Supporting sovereignty, trust, and European values
The NGI initiative is contributing to the protection of European values expressed by the European Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles – such as Privacy protection, User control and choice, Inclusion, Decentralisation – and the vision of an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable and secure internet as set out in the Declaration for the future of the internet
NGI is among the EU initiatives that directly contribute to the development and uptake of digital commons in the area of internet technologies.