In 1996, the Americans started projects with the aim of drastically increasing the speed of internet. The Chinese started the CGNI (Chinese Next Generation Internet) project in 2002, with a focus on constructing their Internet backbones, developing key network technologies and promoting industrialisation and application development of equipment and software with IPv6 technology.

You might ask yourself, what about Europe? In 2016, European Commission launched an initiative which aims to shape the future internet as an interoperable platform ecosystem embodying the values that Europe holds dear: openness, inclusivity, transparency, privacy, cooperation, and protection of data. They believe that "The NGI will drive this technological revolution and ensure the progressive adoption of advanced concepts and methodologies spanning across the domains of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, interactive technologies and more, while contributing to making the future internet more human-centric”.

In other words, with NGI, European Commission wants to reinstate Europe as a prominent global leader with improvement of its economy, enabling of human potential and improving the European way of life. The internet will be the backbone of all of this.

What are some current major topics that the NGI is focused on?

As concluded at the 1st workshop in Milan, NGI needs to be the catalyst for disrupting the current Internet, and driving new approaches on how we can make the internet less centralised and controlled by the few to a more open, transparent internet. Technology should be driven by societal values to frame the use of the next generation of artificial intelligence, security, privacy and trust components. Therefore, the major topics that are most frequently discussed are the following:

1. Data

One of the main concerns and opportunities of the internet nowadays, forming a wide range of space to cover together with data gathering, data ownership, lack of transparency about data management processes, lack of awareness about the value of data and fragmentation of data sources and information asymmetries. These topics represent the research and action field as priority.

2. Privacy and trust

Under this domain the need for reliable and trusted identities, accountability, and the need to improve monitoring processes is commonly identified. The proliferation of smart devices and data sources has been identified as a new vulnerability.

3. Internet of people

Common priorities include the need for a user/human-centric approach and the urgency for people/society to master the technology.

4. Societal needs

The NGI community calls for concrete actions to concentrate on the collective well-being and societal implications, as well as a more user-oriented regulation of new technologies. Training initiatives and awareness-raising campaigns could be designed as a possible solution to these challenges, to provide citizens with the tools to face the new digital society.

5. Standards

The NGI community pointed out current and future initiatives in this domain that should take into account how to improve the use of uniform, open standards widely used across Europe, that are not only designed by the dominant ICT players as it is currently perceived to be.

6. SME and Start-ups

Current challenges and possible solutions to increase participation of SMEs, start-ups and young entrepreneurs in the research and development activities in the NGI domain, and to help in scaling their business are the common topics when talking about innovative enterprises. Some solutions have already been identified for achieving these goals: The simplification of application procedures and requirements as well as the reduction of bureaucratic burdens; the introduction of special incentives and new supporting regulations and policies.

What about the current and future goals and their fulfilment?

Building a "human internet” is the common aim and goal of NGI initiative in Europe, but what does this really mean? Join us at this year’s Living bits and things Conference in Bled, Slovenia on the 18th and 19thof June where Rob van Kranenburg, together with IoT Slovenia, Austria, Italy and Serbia are going to present current and future challenges of next generation internet in the form of a workshop that you shouldn’t miss

To see more about the NGI you should definitely also check and

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