6G Research Hub for Germany

Around 40 professorships at the Technical Universities in Dresden and Munich are working on digital infrastructures with high-performance communication networks in the federally funded R&D project "6G-life". The project is being coordinated from Dresden.

Virtual Reality (Source: pixabay)

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the major "6G-life" project with 70 million euros over the next four years. The new research hub is being coordinated by Prof. Frank Fitzek, Deutsche Telekom Professor for Communication Networks at TU Dresden.

The digital transformation is one of the greatest upheavals in human history. The future 6G mobile communications standard will play a central role in this. It is not just a matter of creating the digital infrastructure with high-performance communication networks. The change affects all areas of life and raises fundamental political and social questions that need to be researched and negotiated. "6G-life" takes a comprehensive look at the topic. 

At 6G, the focus is on people and their communication and interaction with machines and virtual worlds. To this end, innovative concepts in the areas of scalable communication, new methods, flexible software concepts and adaptive hardware are being researched in a holistic approach. Important fields of application include Industry 4.0 and healthcare. Four key questions are always considered: latency (delay - how can communication be made even faster?), resilience (how can reliability be maximized?), security (how can privacy be protected and attacks fended off?) and sustainability (how can the extreme energy consumption of digital communication be significantly reduced?). The requirements for 6G entail technical challenges that can only be overcome through new theoretical approaches. Basic research is therefore an important component of the project.

There is growing concern in Germany and Europe about being too dependent on foreign companies in the field of digital technologies. From a political, economic and social perspective, it is therefore necessary not only to keep pace with the fast-moving digital transformation, but to actively shape it. "6G-life" will sustainably strengthen Germany's digital sovereignty with the development of key technologies and numerous industrial collaborations. 

For society, the change brought about by the digital transformation offers completely new opportunities, but also raises questions: How will our children learn in the future? How will we organize our work? How will we receive medical care and dignified care in old age? Even though digitalization offers great potential and the need for new technologies is obvious, it is important to accompany society on this journey. 6G-life also involves the humanities and social sciences in research in order to address ethical issues and appropriately counter concerns - for example about possible radiation exposure. Science communication and public relations will therefore play an important role.

6G-life focuses specifically on the innovative strength of start-ups: 10 million euros have been earmarked to support young companies. At least ten new companies are to be founded over the next four years and numerous existing start-ups in this field are to be supported. Building on the research results, 6G-life will contribute to the global standardization of 6G in follow-up projects together with technology companies and network operators.