CTTC participates in 6G-REFERENCE to advance 6G research in Europe

CENTRE TECNOLOGIC DE TELECOMUNICACIONS DE CATALUNYA (CTTC) is proud to announce it will coordinate the project titled 6G haRdware Enablers For cEll fRee cohEreNt Communications & sEnsing (6G-REFERENCE) from the latest Smart Networks and Services Joint Undertaking (SNS JU) call for proposals. This project is set to develop innovative solutions for 6G technologies in Europe.

CENTRE TECNOLOGIC DE TELECOMUNICACIONS DE CATALUNYA (CTTC) is excited to embark on its new SNS JU project, 6G haRdware Enablers For cEll fRee cohEreNt Communications & sEnsing (6G-REFERENCE), which is set to commence on January 1, 2024. The project aims to develop hardware enablers constituting a reference design of distributed radios for a cell-free communication and sensing system operating in the 10-15 GHz range. It targets low complexity and low power, in other words, practical integrated circuits (IC) and antenna systems for 6G applications. Thus, it aims at enabling new functionalities addressing D-MIMO communication scenarios but extended to support distributed sensing and accurate localization and positioning.

The 6G-REFERENCE explores innovative approaches in the domain of Microelectronics-based Solutions for 6G Networks. 6G-REFERENCE’s objectives are to increase the capabilities of European microelectronics industry, to address new hardware solutions at all data processing chain levels, and to offer significant energy reduction for 6G communication systems.

6G-REFERENCE is among the new 27 research, innovation and trials projects financed by SNS JU that will commence operations as of January 1, 2024. All the projects represent a significant step towards advancing smart networks and services, offering breakthrough innovations, experimental platforms and large-scale trials, driving world-class research and shaping the world’s digital connected future.

With this second call for proposals, the SNS JU is moving towards more detailed design and system optimisation while integrating micro-electronics and sustainability as key dimensions. The aim is to build first-class 6G technology capacities across Europe, with the aim to strongly contribute to the standardisation efforts.

Overview of the new SNS JU Project Portfolio

Each of the winning projects explores innovative approaches, spanning a comprehensive spectrum of 6G domains. Assessed by an evaluation committee, composed of independent external experts, the proposals were evaluated based on the criteria of excellence, impact, and quality and efficiency of the implementation. The diverse array of projects ensures a multifaceted approach to addressing 6G challenges and promises a wide range of innovative solutions:

  • System Architecture: Strengthening the underlying structure of 6G networks for increased robustness, adaptability, and efficiency.
  • Wireless Communication Technologies and Signal Processing: Exploring advances like Terahertz communications and integrated communication-sensing paradigms.
  • Communication Infrastructure Technologies and Devices: Fortifying and expanding the physical and virtual infrastructure to support the new 6G technologies.
  • Reliable Services and Smart Security: Ensuring a secure transition to 6G that prioritises user data protection and privacy.
  • Microelectronics-based Solutions for 6G Networks: Development and validation of advanced microelectronics solutions for 6G networks.
  • EU-US 6G R&I Cooperation: Promoting synergies across industries, academic institutions, and regulatory bodies for holistic 6G development.
  • Complementary SNS experimental Pan-EU federated Infrastructure: Establishment and expansion of a Pan-EU experimental infrastructure for 6G, aiming to validate end-to-end 6G architectures.
  • SNS Societal Challenges: Addressing broader societal implications of 6G to ensure that technological advancements align with societal needs and benefits.
  • SNS Large Scale Trials and Pilots with Verticals: Transposing 6G technologies into real-world applications across sectors like connected and automated mobility, healthcare, smart cities , education and farming.

The EU funding for this new portfolio under the Horizon Europe programme is EUR 130 million. The opening of the third SNS call for proposals is planned for January 2024, with publication of the 2024 R&I Work Programme expected this November.


About SNS JU

The European Smart Networks and Services JU (SNS JU) is a Joint Undertaking established in 2021 by the European Union Council Regulation No 2021/2085. This EU Partnership is jointly led by the EU Commission and the 6G Smart Networks and Services Industry Association (6G-IA). The mix of public and industry interest makes the Smart Network and Services Joint Undertaking the right platform for collaboration and the right instrument to foster world-class research and innovation on next generation networks and services. The SNS JU two-pillar approach, in support of 5G deployment and for advanced research of 6G systems, create a continuity for EU players but also provide tangible financial support to best research, SMEs and industry to strengthen the EU supply chain side. The SNS JU fosters alignment and synergies with Member States on 6G Research and Innovation Programmes and favour international cooperation.

The SNS JU aims to contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) towards sustainable, resilient, and climate-neutral network infrastructures and services. The combined EU funding for the first and second call of the SNS JU under the Horizon Europe programme is of around EUR 380 million.

For more information about the SNS JU, please visit https://smart-networks.europa.eu.

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