European research - FIA PPP

A Future Internet for Future European economies and societies


Lifting Europe's economy out of the crisis is what many people wish for. The Internet of the Future could be the key to the solution. By integrating the internet into the basic functions and processes of existing infrastructures like healthcare systems, energy grids or traffic management, they become "smart", i.e. more efficient and sustainable. Thanks to the launching of such internet-enhanced infrastructures, multiple online services and applications will soon be available, calling for the "Internet of things" and the "Internet of services". However, the current internet infrastructure shows itself incapable of facing future upcoming challenges implied by new functionalities with increased performance, trust and security issues and thus, becomes increasingly less proficient. Consequently, the emergence of multiple technological innovations calls for a more adapted and high-performance internet architecture.

Steps towards making Europe the driving force in the Future Internet research area, a place, where advanced internet technologies and faster applications emerge first in order to realise a promising economic and social future and thus, make European citizens benefit, have already been taken:

1. Future Internet research in FP7

Current research efforts on the Future Internet account for more than 90 EU-projects, involving more than 500 European organisations with a total EU funding of around 400 million Euros. Initiatives such as "FIRE" or "GEANT" support the deployment, testing and experimentation of the Future Internet.

The European Commission intends to continue investing 200 million Euros per year through the ICT work programme, covering the remainder of FP7. This budget sustains long term Research and Development (R&D) in the Future Internet area. In addition, it is necessary to overcome technological roadblocks and address user involvement, governance, standardisation and IPR.

The Commission also emphasises the importance of the "Future Internet Assembly" (FIA), which has a federating effect on the European research community, as a tool to encourage the R&D, disseminate results, explore future research and promote applications for the Future Internet.

2. Future Internet Initiatives by Member State

Working within the Future Internet Forum (FIF), the Commission will actively pursue the initiatives of the Member States in order to reduce fragmentation of efforts. It will step up to enhance the EU's bilateral and multilateral international cooperation with other leading Future Internet initiatives. The main objective is to enhance global standards and interoperability of the Future Internet. The FIF was set up by the Member States that build on common approaches, coordination of national initiatives to address the Future Internet jointly.

3. Industrial and innovation dimension

The European Commission encourages industry-academia partnerships sharing research roadmaps. eMobility, NEM, NESSI, ISI and EPoSS are five European Technology Platforms (ETP's) currently active in Future Internet-related technologies and systems.

4. Building a public-private partnership on the Future Internet

The European Commission proposed an EU-wide internet innovation strategy: create a public-private partnership (PPP) between public sectors and major ICT players!

By employing novel internet technology, the efficiency of business processes and the activity of infrastructures and applications of important social value are considerably raised. The aim is to address service architectures and platforms, enhancing long term requirements of the internet, encouraging the European industry to face "smart infrastructure" challenges and taking part in EU policies related to innovation, interoperability, sustainable growth, energy and environmental targets. Finally, the PPP encourages cross-sector industrial partnerships, involving users and public authorities at all levels: local, regional and national.


Initiating the PPP

  1. The initiative of a public-private partnership (PPP) on the Future Internet, recently activated and proposed by the industry, is supported by the European Commission with 300 million Euros for 2011-2013 in addition to the 200 million Euros spent per year for long term R&D.
  2. The Commission will develop the work programme, the specific evaluation and the modus operandi the Future Internet PPP.
  3. Under a call of the Commission, industries must define a PPP content by mid-2010 to firstly, advance Europe's competitiveness in Future Internet technologies and systems and secondly, to support the emergence of Future Internet-enhanced applications of public and social relevance.
  4. The Commission will review the possibility of setting a governance structure of Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) in the area of Future Internet.