Calls: Send in your ideas. Deadline February 1st, 2023.

NGI Zero Core

Moving the internet forward

More about: Guide for Applicants | Who is behind this? | Eligibility | FAQ

The first call of NGI Zero Core will open on February 1st 2023, with a deadline of April 1st 2023 12:00 CET (noon).  Check out the guide for applicants and the frequently asked questions.

Submission will open on February 1st


The next generation internet initiative envisions the information age will be an era that brings out the best in all of us. We want to enable human potential, mobility and creativity at the largest possible scale – while dealing responsibly with our natural resources. In order to preserve and expand the European way of life, the programme helps shape a value-centric, human and inclusive Internet for all.

The internet was never designed with our modern usage in mind. Important decisions that shaped how the internet works today were made in the distant past, and we continue to run into the consequences — cascading effects and limited resilience, scalability issues, lack of strong privacy and security and a blind spot for energy efficiency. These may have seemed less important at the time, but currently they certainly are not, and we need to act.

We want a more resilient, trustworthy and open internet. We want to empower end-users. Given the speed at which the 'twin transition' is taking place, we need a greener internet and more sustainable services sooner rather than later. Neither will happen at global scale without protocol evolution, which — as the case of three decades of IPv6 introduction demonstrates — is extremely challenging. NGI0 Core is designed to push beyond the status quo and create a virtuous cycle of innovation through free and open source software, libre hardware and open standards. If we want everyone to use and benefit from the internet to its full potential without holding back, the internet must be built on strong and transparent technologies that allow for permissionless innovation and are equally accessible to all.

We work towards better technologies to restore and maintain European sovereignty and to secure democratic ownership of the digital society. NGI Zero actively works towards digital commons and trustworthy technological building blocks for the next generation of the internet. The goal is to help set the course of the evolution of technology, provide people with concrete new tools and more reliable infrastructure, which provides better overall security and allow them more agency and choice.

A greener, more secure and resilient global Internet.

We need your contributions to help reshape the state of play, and to help create an open, trustworthy and reliable internet for all. This includes developing alternatives and improvements to core internet hardware, software and protocols removes gatekeepers, choke points and surveillance capabilities. But also improving issues of security, privacy, interoperability, high availability and scalability of decentralised technologies to allow us to benefit from both 'local first' and from economies of scale without unnecessary centralisation. And we want to enable you to make such contributions. This is why between now and 2026 we will award 8.8 million euro in small to medium-size R&D grants towards solutions that bring the next generation of the internet closer.

We are looking for troubleshooters that help society tackle the ossification of the internet and other hard but very very important challenges, each of which has significant social and economic consequences. We need new ideas and disruptive core technologies, while at the same time evolving and growing existing technologies that are still enough future-proof. The project results become available under an open source license, so anyone can read and validate the source code, and anyone can use the code to create technology that fits their own purposes. The right to reuse and right to repair not only allow for unrestricted scrutiny and permissionless innovation, but also help to reduce e-waste. And the use of standards enables interoperability and redundancy in implementation to reduce the risk of compromise and failure.

We are seeking project proposals between 5.000 and 50.000 euro's — with the possibility to scale them up if there is proven potential. Reliability, confidentiality, integrity, security, and resource efficiency should be the 'new normal' of the internet, something ordinary users should not have to worry about — users should be in control. So let's make it happen.

We assist independent researchers and developers to create powerful new technologies, and to help them put it in the hands of future generations as building blocks for a fair and democratic society and a sustainable and open economy that benefits all. Have a look at other NGI Zero programmes to see the kind of efforts we mean, but don't be afraid to send something completely different if you think you can contribute to the topic — it really is an open call.

The first call of NGI Zero Core will open on February 1st 2023, with a deadline of April 1st 2023 12:00 CET (noon).  Check out the guide for applicants and the frequently asked questions.

Submission will open on February 1st

Next Generation Internet

A human centric Next Generation Internet shall reflect the openness, diversity and the inclusion that are at the core of European values - Roberto Viola

The overall mission of the Next Generation Internet initiative is to re-imagine and re-engineer the internet for the third millennium and beyond to shape a value-centric, human and inclusive society for all. How we share and retrieve information is an essential part of that equation. The internet can and should bring out the best in all of us. It should enable human potential, mobility and creativity at the largest possible scale — while dealing responsibly with our natural resources. Doing so is essential to preserve and expand the European way of life. The Next Generation Internet initiative aims to mobilise the best ideas to improve how we find and connect people, devices, services and ideas.

The internet can and should bring out the best in all of us.

Acknowledgements

NGI0 Core is made possible with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101092990.