Ubiquitous digital infrastructure
ICT, Strategy & Policy

Future Network Services: communication networks for and by the Netherlands

Status project

Growth fund proposal submitted on February 2023

In cooperation with

Ministry of Economic Affairs, TU/e, TU Delft, Top Sector ICT, NXP, Ampleon, VTEC, NVIDEA, Nokia, Ericsson, KPN, T-Mobile, and 48 other partners

Digital infrastructure is of vital importance for the Netherlands. It is therefore imperative that future communication networks are even faster, more reliable and secure. To achieve this, a far-reaching collaboration will be needed between public and private parties, focused on researching and developing next-generation communication networks, especially 6G. The first steps to this end have already been taken. Together with partners, we are working to put the Future Network Services (FNS) growth fund proposal, which was submitted in February 2023, into practice.

Working together on 6G in the FNS growth fund proposal

TNO leads the FNS growth fund proposal and coordinates the ‘leading applications’ programme line. The aim of this programme is to build a leading Dutch and therefore European position through R&D&I in specific and interconnected parts of 6G: smart components, smart networks, and leading applications in key sectors.

Becoming a leader in these areas of 6G will strengthen the future earning power of the Dutch economy. This will be centred around the following core values: digital autonomy, reliability, and sustainability.

Growth fund proposal submitted

The FNS consortium submitted the ambitious proposal to the National Growth Fund on 2 February 2023.

This consortium has developed a national programme within which, over the next six years, more than 60 partners will collaborate intensively on 6G Research & Development & Innovation (R&D&I).

The overall programme has a budget of 312 million euros, of which around 90 million euros will be awarded through open calls.

Read the summary of the proposal

Core partners of Future Network Services growth fund proposal

The core team further consists of: TU/e (coordinator of ‘smart components’) and TU Delft (coordinator of ‘smart networks’ and ‘strengthening the ecosystem’). The Ministry of Economic Affairs is involved on account of the public value and the areas of overlap with government policy. The work will be centred in the network technology hubs around Eindhoven, Delft-Den Haag and Groningen.

Around 60 parties, large and small, have now joined and are contributing to the further elaboration of investment proposals in specific technology, application or ecosystem development.

The large parties include NXP and Ampleon (6G semiconductor solutions), SURF (test bed infrastructure), Ericsson and Nokia (smart components and networks), KPN and T-Mobile (networks and applications), Cordis Suite and ASML (Next-Gen Remote Support), Vialis (wireless detection), and Gomibo (E-Commerce).

Smaller parties include AntenneX, ALTRUM RF, Antenna Company and Future Mobility Network.

Join us

Companies and knowledge institutions from the sector are urged to join the proposal. Leading companies and knowledge institutions from the ICT sector in the Netherlands and Europe are joining forces to jointly shape the next generation of communication networks (6G).

Join us and become one of the leaders in the communication technology of tomorrow and beyond. Invest with your company and use the funding made available by the National Growth Fund.

Want to join or find out more?

Contact Paul Wijngaard, Partnership Manager Communication Network Infrastructure, TNO.

Collaboration in the Topsector ICT

The development of network technologies is a systemic challenge, with no single problem owner and a huge number of stakeholders. Organisations from the energy, healthcare, mobility, and logistics sectors, the industry and universities, knowledge institutions, the ICT and network industries, and the government will need to work together in consortia.

TNO is therefore actively contributing to the work on Future Network Services within the Topsector ICT, which has adopted FNS as a key technology. The focus here will be on the following goals:

  • Accelerate economic growth in sectors through digitisation and innovation in communication networks.
  • Accelerate innovation in the networks themselves. Create economic value by capitalising on specific Dutch strengths in network technology.
  • Actively build up knowledge and experience for sovereignty and reliability.

The paper ‘Communication networks for and by the Netherlands’

A group of telecommunications companies, technical universities, and knowledge institutions is calling for a public-private consortium to be formed to research and develop the next generation of communication networks. They have set out their appeal and an action plan in the Topsector ICT position paper (pdf) (paper only available in Dutch).

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