The TSSG research group at Waterford Institute of Technology has beaten off competition from all over Europe to win a €6m EU public-private partnership (PPP) under Horizon 2020 to help build the 5G networks of the future.
The 30-month CogNet (Cognitive Networks) project, co-ordinated by TSSG, is the only Irish-led project so far approved under the Horizon 2020-financed, 5G Public, Private Partnership programme (5G-PPP).
TSSG is the research group that has punched above its weight to win major R&D funding and is spearheading Ireland’s prowess in the areas of telecoms and internet of things (IoT) research.
CogNet will develop solutions to provide a highly automated and more intelligent level of network monitoring and management, improve operational and energy efficiencies, quality of experience for the end user and facilitate the requirements of 5G.
Partners include Fraunhofer Fokus in Germany, Telefonica in Spain, universities in Madrid, Berlin and Italy, as well as VicomTech in the Basque Region and Israel partners Alcatel-Lucent and WeFi.
Irish research group leading Europe’s 5G charge
The 30-month, intensive project will require six full-time, highly-skilled staff, some with PhDs, at TSSG.
“We now have an opportunity to play in the premier league of European telecoms,” said coordinator Robert Mullins.
“Everyone that is anyone in the 5G space is involved — all the major companies, research groups and universities with expertise in this area.
“Only 15 projects were approved and we’re the only Irish-led project. We’ve got a great team and we’re really looking forward to getting started. Our mission is to build a faster, better technical infrastructure for the billions of interconnected, smart devices, among these cars, phones and wearables, buildings and appliances. It has to be mobile, it has to be wireless.
“The 5G-PPP is very important as it is part of a strategy to help put Europe back at the forefront of the telecommunications industry.
“In the past 10 years we’ve seen the rise and influence of Silicon Valley companies such as Google and Apple, and Asian smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC, in an industry that had previously been dominated by European companies such as Nokia, Ericsson and Siemens. This is a chance to regain some lost ground.”
5G to be tested between Silicon Fjord and Kilkenny
Cloud infrastructure researcher at TSSG Joe Tynan said the plan is to figure out network management issues and it will involve teams spread between Kilkenny and Waterford.
“We will specifically look at network management issues – how do you manage a network of this scale which is so big that humans can’t manage it. It has to be largely self-managed.
“A team of six will work on this project at TSSG in Waterford and Kilkenny and we will need to recruit staff with PhDs in computer science, maths and engineering for this work.”
TSSG’s chief operations officer Kevin Doolan said Europe has high expectations.
“Ireland is leading a project; it is in the starting 15 and there will be strong pressure to perform and deliver.”
Video interview with TSSG co-founder and WIT president Prof Willie Donnelly
Waterford Town Quays image via HotelsIreland on Flickr/Creative Commons