CONNECT to lead €3m EU-Brazil Telecoms Project

FUTEBOL project will create an Internet experimentation lab spanning Europe and Brazil

The CONNECT Centre at Trinity College Dublin is to lead an EU-Brazil telecommunications research team after winning €3 million in a funding initiative co-managed by the Brazilian government and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The team, known as FUTEBOL (Federated Union of Telecommunications Research Facilities for an EU-Brazil Open Laboratory), is the only Irish-led project among the five winning proposals.

FUTEBOL will now allow researchers to run experiments on a telecommunications network distributed across Europe and Brazil.

The consortium is led and coordinated by Professor Luiz DaSilva, Professor of Telecommunications at the CONNECT Centre for Future Networks in Trinity College Dublin.

Professor Luiz DaSilva said: “The Internet must evolve in order to facilitate a new generation of services as diverse as HD video and autonomous vehicles. New services emerging from the Internet of Things will also have to be accommodated.This requires an evolution of both the wireless network to which we connect and the optical network that forms the backbone of the Internet.FUTEBOL will enable researchers to experiment at the boundary of these two networks, through a network testbed federation that spans Europe and Brazil.We have already developed a very sophisticated testbed here at Trinity College. This can now be used by researchers across Europe and Brazil.”

The FUTEBOL consortium involves 13 partners, eight in Brazil and five in the EU, and is a mix of academic institutions, research centres and industry, including Intel.

Professor Luiz DaSilva added: “This success demonstrates Ireland’s attractiveness as an international research partner. It represents a strong return on recent efforts to encourage collaboration between research communities and industry partners in Ireland and Brazil.  With support from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), we are building strong relationships between the two countries and initiatives such as the International Strategic Cooperation Awards (ISCA) and Brazil-Ireland Science Week, organised by Research Brazil Ireland, have helped develop strong links among researchers and industry partners.”

FUTEBOL will launch later this year with research work commencing in January 2016.

 Dr Juliette Hussey, Vice-President for Global Relations in Trinity College Dublin, welcomed the announcement:
“Trinity has developed excellent relationships with the leading universities in Brazil in recent years and been one of the top choices for Brazilian students considering Ireland as a destination for Science without Borders. The success of the FUTEBOL project will further strengthen this engagement and provide our researchers with practical avenues for collaboration with colleagues in Brazil and across the EU.”

Doris Alexander, Research Development Office Manager at Trinity College Dublin added: “I am delighted this project has been successful.  Securing funding from the Horizon 2020 programme is very challenging and it is a lynchpin in Trinity College's research diversification strategy.Trinity College will now take the lead in coordinating collaborative research and networking among multiple partners in Brazil and across the EU. Our Research Projects Officer assisted Professor DaSilva in the development of the FUTEBOL consortium. Its success is a practical example of how researchers are being assisted to secure this vital funding.”

Dr Jorge Pereira, Principal Scientific Officer at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology said: "The European Union and Brazil have established close ties of cooperation in science and technology by promoting joint calls for advanced research in various fields, including information and communication technologies (ICT). The latest, in 2015, was the third Coordinated Call, with a fourth planned for 2017, as ICT will continue to play a leading role in the development of the economies of the EU and Brazil.The success of the FUTEBOL consortium will enable sharing of experimentation expertise and experimental infrastructure in the area of Spectrum, and lead to stronger relationships between the research communities and industries, across the Atlantic."

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