The digital transformation is one of the great upheavals in human history. The future standard of mobile communications 6G will play a central role in this revolution. To achieve 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 issues that need to be researched and negotiated. “6G-life” deals comprehensively with this topic. Around 40 Chairs at Technische Universität Dresden (lead) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are involved. 120 members of staff are to be hired at both locations. The new research hub is coordinated by Prof. Frank Fitzek, Deutsche Telekom Chair of Communication Networks at TU Dresden.
Communication Networks with a focus on human-machine collaboration
With 6G, the focus is on humans and their communication and interaction with machines and the virtual world. To this end, innovative concepts in the areas of scalable communication, novel methods, flexible software concepts and adaptive hardware are being researched holistically. Important fields of application include Industry 4.0 and healthcare. Four key points are always considered: Latency (Delay – how do we make communication even faster?),
Resilience (How do we maximize resilience?),
Security (How do we protect privacy and defend against attacks?) and Sustainability (How do we decisively reduce the extreme energy consumption of digital communication?). The requirements for 6G entail technical challenges that can only be overcome by innovative, theoretical approaches. Therefore, basic research is an important component of the project.
There is growing concern in Germany and Europe about being too dependent on international companies when it comes to digital technologies. From a political, economic and social perspective, it is therefore necessary not only to get on board with the fast-moving, digital transformation, but also to active shape it. “6G-life” will sustainably strengthen Germany’s digital sovereignty with the development of key technologies and numerous industrial collaborations.
Accompanying the Change in Society
For society, the change brought about by the digital transformation offers completely new opportunities, but also raises a number of questions: How will our children learn in the future? How will we structure our work? How will we receive medical care and be looked after with dignity in our old age? Even though digitalization offers a lot of potential and the need for new technologies is evident, society must be accompanied on this path. “6G-life” also involves the Humanities and Social Sciences in research, in order to address ethical issues and to be able to appropriately counter concerns – such as possible radiation exposure. Science communication and public relations will consequently play a pivotal role.
10 Million Euros for Start-ups
6G-life is specifically focusing on the innovative strength of start-ups: 10 million euros have been earmarked to support young businesses. At least ten companies are to be newly created with this money over the next four years, and numerous existing start-ups are to be supported in the field. Building on the research results, “6Glife” will be involved in the global standardization of 6G in follow-up projects in cooperation with technology companies and network operators. https:/
Technische Universität Dresden is one of the top universities in Europe and has been one of eleven Universities of Excellence in Germany since 2012. With the Cluster of Excellence CeTI – Center for Tactile Internet, the 5G Lab Germany and numerous other lighthouse projects, TU Dresden has proven itself a pioneer in the field of mobile communications research. With the new 6Glife hub, Dresden will further expand its leading position in the research and development of the mobile communications of the future.
With around 32,000 students and 8,000 members of staff – including 600 professors – TU Dresden is the largest university in Saxony. It is strong in research, first-class in diversity and the quality of its degree programs, while being closely networked with culture, business and society. Five Schools including 17 faculties offer a broad scientific spectrum like few other universities in Germany.
With more than 600 professors, 45,000 students and 11,000 employees, the Technical University Munich (TUM) is one of the most competitive technical universities in Europe in terms of research. It was awarded the title of University of Excellence in 2006, 2012 and 2019. The challenges of the sixth generation of mobile communications are being researched at TUM in the Bavarian 6G Lab, among other places. TUM is home to one of the leading institutes on the topics of human-machine interaction and embodied artificial intelligence, the Munich School of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MSRM). Every year, around 80 technology-oriented companies are founded at TUM. TUM and UnternehmerTUM, the Center for Innovation and Founding, support start-ups with programs tailored precisely to the individual phases associated with founding a business – from the conception of a business model, management training, market entry, to a possible IPO. Since 2020, TUM Venture Labs has been a unique initiative in Europe for start-ups from research.
The BMBF’s funding measure “6G Research Hubs; Platform for Future Communication Technologies and 6G” is part of the implementation of the Federal Government’s Future and Economic Stimulus Package and is funded with around 200 million euros from the Future Package. With its research on 6G, Germany is setting itself the goal of assuming a leading role among the world’s top technology providers and helping to shape technological change at an early stage. This also contributes to the implementation of the German government’s High-Tech Strategy 2025.
Further information from the BMBF: https:/
Prof. Frank Fitzek
TU Dresden / Deutsche Telekom Chair of Communication Networks
Tel.: +49 351 463-33942
Prof. Holger Boche
TUM / Institute of Theoretical Information Technology
Tel.: +49 89 289-23241