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What we do

The EU-China-FIRE Project was a 2 years (Aug. 2013 - Aug. 2015) EU-funded project, facilitating coordination and support to EU-China cooperation on Future Internet Experimental Research (FIRE) and IPv6.

China is a very large country pursuing its ICT infrastructure development which could lead to pioneer the implementation of Future Internet advanced technologies as well as being a force to promote large scale IPv6 deployment more critically than EU due to lack of IPv4 resources.

Since Europe is investing substantially in Future Internet Research and Experiment (FIRE) and could benefit from exchange and experience from large scale deployment requirements in China, the EU-China FIRE project explored mutual benefit cooperation activities.

In addition to an interactive web portal, two large conferences and workshops were organised and many public reports helped to increase awareness of benefits of cooperation between EU and China in the area of Future Internet research and experiments.

Main goals

The EU-China FIRE project aimed in particular to explore EU-China mutual benefit cooperation activities in:

  • Strengthening EU-China joint research efforts on the Future Internet by developing interoperable solutions and common standards. Federation of test beds was explored and interoperability initiatives were undertaken.
  • Reinforcing academic and industrial cooperation on Future Internet experimental research, through a better networking between European and Chinese actors. The EU-China FIRE web portal, linked also to leading social networks and with dedicated helpdesk services, offered an efficient exchange platform stimulating cooperation between EU and China researchers. Five common research areas were identified and documented.
  • Exchanging good practices for IPv6 deployment and support the creation of interconnected IPv6 pilot(s) between Europe and China.

Main activities and outcomes

To achieve these goals, over the last two years, the EU-China FIRE project implemented the following actions:

  • Analyse FIRE research topics in Europe and China to identify at least five common topics for cooperation.
  • Document technical topics for common interoperability between Europe and China and demonstrate at least two interoperable solutions during related events.
  • Contribute to standards in the domain of the Future Internet.
  • Identify and exchange good practices in IPv6 between Europe and China, including the set-up of a common pilot.
  • Ensure a better networking and enhance cooperation between European and Chinese organisations, through the creation of a cooperation web portal, the provision of helpdesk services and the organisation of dedicated events.

Background

In 2009, the first EU-China Information Society Dialogue between the DG Information Society (DG INFSO, now DG CONNECT) and the Chinese Ministry for Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) took place. The Dialogue focused on topics of policy-making in the area of the telecommunications and information society framework.

In 2010, one of the key topics of the Dialogue was the exchange of experiences and plans on further developing the overall policy framework for the Information Society. This strategy was continuously developing on both sides. The European Commission was working on the policy framework succeeding the i2010 programme, and the Chinese government conducted its research and internal consultations on the Information Society-related elements of the 12th 5-Year-Plan (2011-2015), which will guide the Chinese industrial and social policy over the next years. During this period of important strategic decisions, both for the EU and China, the Information Society Policy Dialogue sought to improve mutual understanding of the respective approaches and support the development of global strategies for global information and communication networks.

To help providing elements for the dialogue, a EU-China F3I expert group (F3I) was established in 2010. The main area studied by this group was the “Internet of the Future” and especially, the  “Internet of Things” (including sensor networks) and protocols to be defined and deployed. Particular attention was dedicated to the IPv6 deployment as difficulties have been identified, both in Europe and in China. Societal aspect and cooperation in research were also addressed. The expert group, which involved all EU-China FIRE project partners, met twice in July and September 2010 and had regular exchanges which led to recommendations in important areas such as the Future Internet, including FIRE and IPv6.

The EU-China FIRE project implemented the recommendations of the EU-China Future Internet, IPv6 and IoT Expert Group.

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