Panel 2

Panel 22024-05-07T08:48:24+00:00

Bridging the Gap between Technology Invention and Market Impact in the Era of 6G and AI

Tuesday, 4 June 2024, 17:30-18:30, Elisabeth Hall


  • Javier Albares (SNS JU, BE)

Motivation and Background

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of technology, we confront a fundamental challenge: the disparity between those who innovate and those who communicate, commercialise and benefit from the value of innovation.
We propose a dialogue with first principles reasoning in mind. We acknowledge that while innovation is undoubtedly needed for human progress, many promising inventions falter due to a lack of a robust business case rooted in market acceptance. In a world where telecoms players face mounting cost pressures, the imperative for new investments hinges on a clear return, whether in unlocking new revenue streams or reducing existing costs.
As we are starting the 6G definition phase, we come together to explore how to catalyze change, bridging the gap between technological innovation and market impact. Let us delve into a discussion that not only illuminate this divide but also unveils potential strategies to harness the collective power of innovation and marketing.
In this era defined by rapid technological advances, this dialogue will encompass the implications for future smart networks and services, analysing the link between technological push, practical implementation and market pull. Together, we propose to create a future where technology not only operates seamlessly but also resonates deeply with the aspirations of businesses and society.


  1. What are the key challenges that researchers face in translating their technological innovations into commercially viable products or services, and how can these challenges be addressed?
  2. What measures can be implemented to incentivize companies to invest in innovative technologies while ensuring market competitiveness and consumer protection?
  3. How to approach the balance between technological innovation and market feasibility in product development strategies?
  4. Considering the capability of 6G platforms to support future AI services like Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), how do you foresee the integration of these advanced technologies shaping the landscape of telecommunications network infrastructure and services? Do you agree that AI will become the dominant service in the coming decade? If so, how can we leverage artificial intelligence to bridge the gap between technology invention and market impact?
  5. As we witness an increased convergence of the digital and physical worlds, with technology permeating every aspect of our lives, how can we ensure that the concept of “sustainability by design” is not overshadowed by other performance improvements for future networks?


  1. Chair: Javier Albares (Moderator) (SNS JU, BE)
  2. Ana Garcia Armada (Univ. Carlos III de Madrid, ES)
  3. Petar Popovski (Aalborg Univ., DK)
  4. Azimeh Sefidcon (Nokia Bell Labs, SE)
  5. Wen Tong (Huawei Wireless, Huawei Technologies, CA)
  6. Stefaan Vyverman (Member of the Council of BIPT, BE)

Javier Albares

Javier Albares Bueno is Head of Program at the Smart Network and Services Joint Undertaking (SNS-JU) of the European Commission. Previously, he worked as Head of Telco Solutions at Here Technologies, a location technology firm with focus on positioning and automation. He also collaborated in 5GAA, as Vice-chair of working group 5 (future business models). Between 2013 and 2021 he worked for GSMA, the world’s largest telecoms association, as Director of Innovation (Brussels office) and Director of Strategy (London office). During this time, he worked to identify future sources of value and opportunities for industry collaboration in the transition to 5G. Previosly, he worked for 13 years at Telefonica-O2, as Director of strategy, mobile services and alliances, both in Europe and Latin America. He started his career as Telecom analyst for HSBC Investment Bank in London. Javier holds an Advanced Management Program from INSEAD France, an MBA from IESE Business School and a double bachelor’s degree in business science and economics from ICADE-Comillas Pontificia University. He has also completed programs on Innovation Management at IMD and on Artificial Intelligence at MIT Sloan.

Ana García Armada

Ana García Armada is a Professor at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, where she is leading the Communications Research Group. She has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, Bell Labs and University of Southampton. She is the co-author of eight book chapters on wireless communications and signal processing. She has published more than 250 papers in international journals and conference proceedings and she holds six granted patents. She is serving on the editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Open Journal of the Communications Society, and ITU Journal on Future and Evolving Technologies. She is an IEEE Fellow. She was awarded the third place Bell Labs Prize 2014 for shaping the future of information and communications technology. She has received the Outstanding service award from the IEEE ComSoc Signal Processing and Communications Electronics technical committee and from the IEEE ComSoc Women in Communications Engineering Standing Committee. She has received the IEEE ComSoc/KICS Exemplary Global Service Award.

Petar Popovski

Petar Popovski is a Professor at Aalborg University, where he heads the section on Connectivity and a Visiting Excellence Chair at the University of Bremen. He received his Dipl.-Ing and M. Sc. degrees in communication engineering from the University of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje and the Ph.D. degree from Aalborg University in 2005. He is a Fellow of the IEEE. He received an ERC Consolidator Grant (2015), the Danish Elite Researcher award (2016), IEEE Fred W. Ellersick prize (2016), IEEE Stephen O. Rice prize (2018), Technical Achievement Award from the IEEE Technical Committee on Smart Grid Communications (2019), the Danish Telecommunication Prize (2020) and Villum Investigator Grant (2021). He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of IEEEE JOURNAL ON SELECTED AREAS IN COMMUNICATIONS. Prof. Popovski was the General Chair for IEEE SmartGridComm 2018 and IEEE Communication Theory Workshop 2019. His research interests are in communication theory and wireless connectivity.

Azimeh Sefidcon

Azimeh Sefidcon is head of network systems and security research at Bell Labs. In this role, she leads a global team of researchers responsible for sketching the future vision of network systems and demonstrating the differentiators with the technologies covering security, automation, advanced computing and end to end network evolution; taking the steps toward a potential paradigm shift in networking. In addition she is a technical judge in various national and global research funding institutes and has served on several board of directors for advanced technical research programs. She holds a PhD degree in mobility and IP, a master degree in intelligent networks and a master degree in computing hardware. Since 2003, she has held various technology development and leadership roles in mobile and core networks as well as software and system design while leading the vision of network compute convergence. Together with her team, she is currently focused on UNEXT for unified networking experience transforming the network to meet the future need.

Wen Tong

Dr. Wen Tong is the CTO, Huawei Wireless and a Huawei Fellow. He is the head of Huawei wireless research, and the Huawei 5G chief scientist and led Huawei’s 10-year-long 5G wireless technologies research and development. Dr. Tong is the industry recognized leader in invention of advanced wireless technologies, for the past three decades, he had pioneered fundamental technologies from 1G to 6G wireless. Dr. Tong was elected as an IEEE Fellow. He was the recipient of IEEE Communications Society Industry Innovation Award and IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Industry Leader Award for “pioneering technical contributions and leadership in the mobile communications industry and innovation in 5G mobile communications technology”. He is also the recipient of R.A. Fessenden Medal. Prior to joining Huawei in 2009, Dr. Tong was the Nortel Fellow and head of the Network Technology Labs at Nortel. He joined the Wireless Technology Labs at Bell Northern Research in 1995 in Canada. Dr. Tong is a Fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Stefaan Vyverman

Stefaan Vyverman is in charge of the Telecom Market & Media Department and the Assignments Department. He is also responsible for the internal department Logistics & Purchases. Stefaan Vyverman holds master degrees in Business Economics and Communication Studies (UGent). From 1993 to 1997, he worked at the Cabinet of the Flemish Prime Minister Luc Van Den Brande, where he advised on media & telecommunications policy and general economic affairs. He then built up an extensive telecoms expertise within Proximus’s Wholesale Department. Stefaan has been working as a telecom consultant since 2015. In that capacity, he has directed a wide range of projects in the telecom sector in the areas of strategy, procurement, wholesale & B2B and market localization for both fixed and mobile technologies. Since 2019, Stefaan was also the head of 5G launch Benelux at Capgemini Invent.

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