EU reveals final 5G funding under Horizon 2020, focused on transport and industry
The European Union (EU) has signed off 11 new research projects into development of 5G industry and use cases in Europe, with a focus on mobility, supply chains, and manufacturing, as well as on Europe-based innovation around 5G hardware itself.
The new projects are among the last to be agreed under the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation framework, which will be succeeded with a new five-year €100 billion funding programme from next year, under the Horizon Europe moniker.
The 11 new projects (see full details below) take EU funding for the European 5G Public-Private Partnership (5G-PPP) trials, under the Horizon 2020 scheme, to more than €400 million of EU funding; the projects have leveraged more than €1 billion of private investment alongside, with a design to explode 5G-enabled industrial change.
Three of the 11 new projects are cross-border trials of 5G-based mobility and transport solutions, funded to the tune of €41 million (with €31.1 million of the fund from EU coffers, and the rest from private investment). Each will establish 5G infrastructure to test connected and automated cars, trucks, trains, barges, and boats. They complement three existing 5G cross-border corridor trials (see image below).
The trials bring together various stakeholders, including mobile operators, telecoms vendors, road operators, rail infrastructure firms, transport and logistic companies, vehicle manufacturers, railway equipment manufacturers, research institutes, plus transport authorities and national and regional governments.
Each of the three mobility trials considers different geographic and weather conditions. The 5GMed project in the Pyrennees mountains will test use cases for connected and automated road and rail along the Figueras-Perpignan cross-border corridor.
The 5G-Routes trial in the Baltic region will validate over 150 kilometres of the Via Baltica corridor, with a ferry extension to Helsinki, including ports and maritime routes. The 5GBlueprint project will look at tele-operated transport for roads running between the North Sea ports of Antwerp and Vlissingen, in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Specifically, the 5G-Routes and 5GBlueprint projects will take place over cross-border 5G infrastructure, supported by agreements between Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in the first case, and between the Netherlands and Belgium-based Flanders, covering the Rotterdam, Antwerp and North Sea Port areas.
Along with the three existing cross-border trials, the new 5G-connected mobility projects will provide the know-how for large-scale deployment of 5G corridors in Europe, said the EU, which will be supported by the new Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) over the 2021-2027 period.
Meanwhile, another eight projects are to start in September around 5G hardware innovation – “to build a first-class European industrial supply chain for core 5G technologies and hardware… and support the emergence of new innovative market players.”
The projects will address innovation in promising vertical use cases such as content management, coordinated auto mobility platooning, private networks, data ecosystems, and ultra-high data rates in THz frequencies. They will explore various business approaches, including open RAN, disaggregated systems, edge networking, and neutral host concepts.
The EU has confirmed another seven 5G-PPP trial projects (see below) with €100 million of Horizon 2020 funding are also under way. These focus on the role of 5G in vertical markets, including for manufacturing, healthcare, energy, automotive, aviation, railway, logistics, food and agriculture, media and entertainment, public safety, smart cities, and tourism.
They complement the various 5G mobility projects, the EU said.
Another wave of projects for approximately €100 million will be launched this year under the final wave of Horizon 2020 funding, with calls closing this week. These will focus on 5G software innovation and ‘beyond 5G’ development.
11 NEW EU 5G-PPP PROJECTS FOR MOBILITY AND NETWORKS
5GMed will test use cases for connected and automated mobility along the Figueras-Perpignan cross-border corridor. It will demonstrate the multi-application and multi-stakeholder features of the 5G infrastructure for the joint delivery of use cases in the field of road and rail, as well as connectivity to road users and train passengers, implementing the latest 5G standards over 3.5 GHz and 5.9 as well as unlicensed mm-wave, network slicing and service orchestration.
5G-Routes will validate over 150km of the Via Baltica corridor, with a ferry extension to Helsinki, including ports and maritime routes. 5G-ROUTES will also focus on uninterrupted infotainment passenger services and on multimodal services in the context of complete connectivity-enabled ecosystems around passengers and cargo.
5G-Blueprint will design and validate a technical architecture, business model and governance model for cross-border tele-operated transport for roads and maritime based on 5G between the ports of Antwerp and Vlissingen. The project will test and validate advanced CAM use cases remote operation of trucks, cars, pods, and barges.
COREnect will provide a road-mapping service to European players. It will help to support the development of business cases and foster creation and support of an ecosystem bringing European microelectronics and telecoms players together. The overall goal is to establish a sustainable European technological sovereignty in 5G and beyond by promoting innovation and business opportunities for SMEs, paving the way for one or more future European champions in this area.
5G-Records will explore the opportunities to bring new 5G technology components to professional audio-visual content production. The project will take a business-to-business perspective, and plans to use non-public networks. All technology components covered in the proposals are expected to reach a technology readiness level of 7. The project includes three challenging scenarios of professional content production: live audio production, a multi-camera wireless studio and live immersive media production.
Affordable5G will create a 5G network that delivers a complete and affordable solution covering the needs of private and enterprise networks through technical innovation spanning all parts of the network. It includes cell densification, hardware acceleration, edge computing, and core network virtualisation, with the adoption of open source RAN, MEC, and MANO solutions.
DRAGON aims at high capacity wireless solutions for 5G in the D-band range (very high frequencies), building on the results of the DREAM project. The project presents innovation potential in several areas, e.g. transceiver architecture, antennas and packaging. It may leverage European companies in the semiconductor market to obtain a stronger position in the 5G domain.
5G-LOGINNOV will design an innovative framework integrating and validating CAD/CAM technologies related to industry 4.0 and the ports domains. The project plans to integrate 5G blocks, including a new generation of 5G terminals, new types of IoT 5G devices, data analytics, next-generation traffic management and emerging 5G networks, for city ports to handle upcoming and future capacity, traffic, efficiency and environmental challenges.
Int5Gent targets the integration of innovative data plane technology building blocks under a flexible 5G network resource, slice and application orchestration framework, providing a 5G-system platform for validation of advanced 5G services and IoT. The project builds on a suite of 5G core tech developed under the 5G-PPP.
5GMETA will create an open platform for monetising vehicle data using 5G technologies. Progress beyond the state-of-the-art is predicted in several areas, for example, business models and security- or privacy-compliant data flows. It plans to organise technology transfer activities, tutorials and hackathons to incubators and clusters to capture attention of SMEs and high-tech start-ups.
FUDGE-5G will create a new generation of world leading 5G core network technology companies for private 5G networks based in Europe. It focusses on cloud-native 5G private networks by offering a disintegrated environment where components can be deployed anywhere as micro-services (edge, on premises and cloud).
SEVEN NEW EU 5G-PPP PROJECTS FOR INDUSTRY 4.0
This will explore 5G for smart manufacturing. The project trials will test the most advanced 5G-integrated manufacturing applications, such as industrial robotics and machine vision-based remote operations, and will fully characterise spectrum use and electromagnetic compatibility issues for 5G in factory environments.
5GDrones plans to trial several unmanned aerial vehicle use-cases covering enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC), and massive machine-type communications (mMTC), notably for public safety monitoring and disaster relief operations.
5G-HEART will focus on vertical use-cases of healthcare, transport and aquaculture. For example, it will validate pillcams for automatic detection in screening of colon cancer; it will also validate a broad range of automotive services such as assisted driving and platooning.
5GROWTH aims to empower vertical industries such as Industry 4.0, transportation, and energy with AI-driven automated 5G end-to-end solutions.
5G-SOLUTIONS aims to validate 5G provision of prominent industry verticals with ubiquitous access to a wide range of services. This will be achieved through field trials across five domains: smart factories, smart energy, smart cities, smart ports, and media and entertainment.
5G-TOURS will provide close-to-commercial services for tourists, citizens and patients in three different cities. The fundamental feature of the project concept is the dynamic use of the network to seamlessly provide different types of services, such as augmented reality assisted surgery and smart-mobility enabled navigation, each adapted to the specific needs of individual use cases.
5G-VICTORI will conduct large-scale trials for advanced vertical use-case verification, focusing on transportation, energy, media and factories-of-the-future and cross-vertical use-cases. For example, provisioning of mission critical services for railway systems and of energy metering services for high-voltage and low voltage distributions grids.