We would like to welcome you to this edition of the conference, which is for the second time putting together two of the top European conferences in the area of communication networks: the European Conference on Networks and Communications (EuCNC) and the 6G Summit. After two years of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are delighted to host this hybrid conference in the city of Grenoble, located in the French Alps and recognised internationally for its scientific excellence, especially in the area of electronics components and systems. This is a testimony of the increased importance of microelectronics for European technological sovereignty and cybersecurity in 5G and 6G, in line with the European Chips Act recently proposed by the Commission.
The Russian war against Ukraine has disrupted the lives of millions of Ukrainians. Recognising the importance of connectivity, in particular in times of crisis and under these exceptional circumstances, the EU in cooperation with key stakeholders has taken measures to alleviate the consequences of the humanitarian crisis. These include resilience of networks within the country, free or heavily discounted international calls and SMS to Ukraine or free roaming to Ukrainian people that fled the war.
In the longer term, we need to make sure that trust, security and competitiveness of future technologies such as beyond 5G and 6G are ensured.
6G systems are expected to offer a new step change in performance from Gigabit towards Terabit capacities and sub-millisecond response times. This will enable new critical applications such as real-time automation or extended reality (“Internet of Senses”) sensing, collecting and providing the data for nothing less than a digital twin of the physical world.
Moreover, new smart network technologies and architectures will need to drastically enhance the energy efficiency of connectivity infrastructures to manage major traffic growth while keeping electromagnetic fields under strict safety limits. These technologies will form the basis for a human-centric Next-Generation Internet and address Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as accessibility and affordability of technology.
This year is an important milestone in the European research, development and innovation sphere towards 6G communications systems as it has seen the kick-off of the activities of the European partnership on Smart Networks and Services (SNS). This strategic public-private partnership has been established in November 2021 as one of the Horizon Europe Joint undertakings. The SNS partnership should enable European players to develop the technology capacities for 6G systems as basis for future digital services towards 2030. Its focus extends beyond networking, spanning the whole value chain, from components and devices to the Cloud, AI and Cybersecurity.
In January 2022, the first SNS JU calls for proposals has been launched, with a total budget of EUR 240 million. It sets out main complementary work streams spanning from 5G Evolution systems, research for radical technology advancement in preparation for 6G, proof of concepts including experimental infrastructures; up to large scale trials and pilots with vertical industries. We are excited and cannot wait for the selected projects to be launched next autumn, thus joining the big family of the EU projects that you will be able to discover and liaise with during this conference.
We are convinced that this year again the EuCNC & 6G Summit will be a memorable event, showcasing the state of the art of research in communication networks and associated topics, with numerous exciting sessions, workshops, exhibitions, without forgetting the outstanding social program.
We wish you a striking 2022 EuCNC and 6G Summit !