SNS JU Research and Innovation Work Programme

The Smart Networks and Services Joint Undertaking (SNS JU) is proud to announce the publication of its new Research and Innovation Work Programme for 2024, earmarking a substantial €129 million public funding for collaborative projects to advance 6G systems and prepare for standardisation activities.

On 23rd November 2023, the Smart Networks and Services Joint Undertaking Governing Board adopted its Work Programme 2024, including information about the 2024 Call for Proposals under Horizon Europe.

The SNS R&I Work Programme 2024 will be the basis for the third SNS Call for Proposals and opens in January 2024 for application.

As the global landscape continues to evolve, the SNS JU’s comprehensive R&I Work Programme underscores its commitment to fostering 6G research and innovation, promotes sustainability, addresses microelectronics for telecommunication systems and cooperates internationally to drive the future of smart networks and services with a global impact.

The 3rd Call for proposals will include the following complementary streams:

  1. Stream B: Research for revolutionary and evolutionary technology advancements, in preparation for 6G, and including IoT, devices and software, targeting higher Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), with the objective of delivering innovative solutions towards real-life networks in a long-term period of time, notably through Proof of Concepts (PoCs).
  2. Stream C: SNS system enablers and PoCs with a target to further develop, federate and consolidate experimental infrastructure(s), in support of the various phases of the SNS and with a main focus on the integration of microelectronics and photonics, developed by related partnerships, in 6G experimental infrastructures.
  3. Stream D: Large-scale SNS trials and pilots with verticals, including the required infrastructure to explore and demonstrate technologies and advanced applications and services for various vertical domains and with a key focus on achieving tangible results on sustainability

These three Streams will be complemented by an SNS Coordination and Support Action (CSA) supporting the operations of the SNS Programme.

Key highlights are:

  • A strong emphasis on projects with higher TRLs, therefore closer to the market, with a particular focus on contributing to the standardisation efforts of 6G technology. This emphasises the JU commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements.
  • International collaboration as a cornerstone of the JU strategy, which will foster partnerships with other countries (such as Republic of Korea and Japan) to amplify the impact of our projects, expanding the international outreach of the JU research activities.
  • Two “Lighthouse projects”, that will serve to conceive, design and validate sustainable future networks and services and join forces with the microelectronics community:
    • Sustainability as a priority: a sustainable-by-design 6G infrastructure (Sustainable 6G) is a key objective of the SNS JU, while 6G should also become an enabler of sustainability (6G for Sustainability), benefitting other sectors, verticals and the society as a whole;
    • Microelectronics innovation by supporting pan-European platforms to integrate, validate and demonstrate usage of European microelectronics components into an end-to-end 6G system.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the development of a reference framework for end-to-end AI usage in 6G and for provisioning of end-to-end AI solutions to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Actively exploring synergies (i.e. with the EU Rail Joint Undertaking) and conducting trials with various industry verticals, seeking to create valuable connections and improve cross-sector collaboration.

The SNS R&I Work Programme aims at bringing together industry leaders, academia, research institutions, SMEs and innovators to target critical aspects of 6G, and the establishment of robust standards to facilitate seamless integration on a global scale. While driving ground-breaking research that goes significantly beyond state of the art, it deploys pan-EU experimental platforms and large-scale pilots and trials.

The SNS R&I Work Programme 2024 further progresses the second phase of the SNS Roadmap and will expand on a portfolio of 63 research, innovation, and trials projects building on the new 27 projects announced  last 19 October, as well as on the first Phase 35 SNS Research and Innovation projects.

The SNS third Call for proposals will officially open in January 2024, but the applicants can already start working on their proposal’s preparation.

A SNS R&I WP Briefing Session will be jointly organised by the SNS JU, the EC and the 6GIA on 11 December 2023, at 13:00h CET. Proponents will have the opportunity to ask questions – a Q&A session is foreseen. For further information, event agenda and registration, please click here.

An Information Day on the SNS third Call will take place in January 2024, after the Call opening. If you already want to share your first ideas and find partners, you can join the SNS brokerage platform.