The first Think NEXUS Workshop took place in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington D.C. on 10th July 2019, in parallel with the GCTC Expo. During the Workshop, the 3 Expert Groups had their first round of face-to-face discussions, which focused on fostering future EU-US collaboration over NGI thematic areas.
The overall approach of this 1st ‘Science and Technology’ Expert Group discussion was to allow all experts to brainstorm about a pre-defined set of questions. However, in many cases, additional topics popped up during the discussion.
One of the first key topics that all experts raised is the fact that, in general, S&T polices need to synchronize with technology developments, as in many cases policies are considered to be obsolete. Moreover, the need for a joint funding scheme between the EU and US should be of high priority for both regions, which need to collaborate instead of competing. Another relevant issue to policy makers is the communication/coordination bottleneck between policy makers and funding agencies from both regions.
Adding to the above, most experts agreed that current networks are struggling to support NGI related research experiments as they are commercial focused and need to be significantly updated. In parallel with the previous statement, all experts concluded that Joint Experimentation Testbeds & Networks are needed, while the need of engaging big players (platforms such as Google, Amazon, etc.) to offer infrastructure for research is vital.
Experts also agreed on what are the key NGI technologies and also which are the most important characteristics that these technologies should have, in order to serve the purpose of the future internet. In addition, all experts agreed to the fact that standardisation bodies, industrial representatives and user representatives should also be included in the NGI discussion.
In conclusion, the Expert Group agreed that there are many options for transatlantic collaboration. Thus, topics that are not too reliant on the involvement of competing companies (e.g. that address world-wide societal challenges, or that focus on low-TRL fundamental research) are promising candidates. The meeting led to a fruitful discussion of numerous important aspects that helped both sides to understand in more detail the initiatives, the players, and their focus on either side.
Overview & Outcomes (in a nutshell)
- Key Technologies: IoT, Digital ledger technology, Big Data, Trust & Identity, Cloud computing, Edge, AI, Real time control, Smart Infrastructures, 5G, Cloud to Edge, Edge to Edge Communication Technologies, Intelligent Operating Systems
- Characteristics of Technologies: Enable mobility, more visual, less complex, more secure, autonomous deployment systems, data-centric services, distribution of computation elements (decentralised), distributing computation
- Organic & Intelligent Internet
Key Suggestions (in a nutshell)
- Formal Collaboration Mechanism between EU and US is needed for getting great results
- The need to engage Standardisation bodies, Industrial Stakeholder Groups and User Representatives Groups
- Policies need to synchronize with technologies
- Identify Key Application Areas: Connected Healthcare, Global Challenges, Disaster Relief
- Need for a joint branding: introduce NGI terminology in the US funding environment.
Stay tuned to know more about the outcomes of the Expert Group discussions!