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Brussels, 20 June 2011

Digital Agenda: EU and Japan agree to strengthen cooperation in Future Internet research

Senior officials from the EU and Japan have agreed on a common area for research in Future Internet and New Generation Networks. This will be the subject of the first ever EU-Japan coordinated calls for ICT research proposals in 2012-13. The EU and Japan share many similar goals in designing the Internet of the future.  We have the Internet of connected computers, and connected people, and the Internet is now going mobile. In the near future it will connect a whole range of machines and objects, generating ever-increasing volumes of data (see IP/11/525). But the internet needs to adapt to manage future data streams, and provide the associated levels of accuracy, resilience and safety. Challenges of this magnitude require a global response and global cooperation. A firm understanding on developing coordinated calls for research in Future Internet was reached at a meeting between the European Commission and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan.

The conclusion of an EU-Japan dialogue held on 17 June 2011 was a firm understanding on cooperation in Future Internet/New Generation Networks research. Coordinated calls for research proposals are planned for launch in 2012-13. This is the first time the Commission has worked to launch coordinated ICT research calls with Japan. They will be the first enhanced research cooperation under the recently ratified signed EU-Japan Science and Technology agreement (see IP/09/1844)


Today Vice-minister Tetsuo Yamakawa, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan, and Zoran Stančič, European Commission Deputy Director General for Information Society discussed, as a key part of their regular ICT research and policy dialogue, how to strengthen the cooperation in the field of Internet research.

The Internet connects over 1.5 billion people today and billions of objects are expected to get connected tomorrow. EU-funded research aims to make the Internet of the future a dynamic place for innovation, growth and jobs. Building on this existing EU-funded research, a €600 million "Future Internet" Public-Private Partnership was launched on 3rd May 2011 to develop new ways of building better services and improving business innovation for the Future Internet (see IP/11/525). Boosting the EU's research, development and innovation efforts is a key element of the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200).

For more information

Preparatory work leading to this cooperation:

Japanese research in this field:

Neelie Kroes' website:

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