The Malta Communications Authority (MCA) has recently participated in the Next Generation Internet (NGI) Forum 2018 in Porto, Portugal. The event was organised by HUB4NGI in collaboration with Porto Municipality and included a mix of specialist talks, open discussions and interactive working groups. The aim of the NGI Forum was to bring together those prominent actors that, through their work in various research and development areas, are paving the way towards the Internet of the future.
The NGI initiative, launched by the European Commission in autumn 2016, aims to shape the internet of the future as a powerful, open, data-driven, user-centric, interoperable platform ecosystem. The initiative will drive this technological revolution and ensure the progressive adoption of advanced concepts across different domains, such as that of artificial intelligence and Internet of Things. Moreover, it aims to contribute to making the future internet more human-centric. This vision requires the participation of Internet researchers and innovators to address technological opportunities.
The Forum featured a number of presentations delivered by different speakers on different topics related to the NGI. Speakers stressed about the importance of creating a human-centric internet which is open for all. They also spoke about the importance of ethics in designing the NGI to ensure accountability, responsibility and transparency of the internet. Louis Pouzin, an internet pioneer, also spoke about his own experience of how he witnessed the evolution of the internet throughout the years.
Additionally, three parallel workshops each debating out different themes were organised. The outcome of these workshops mainly highlighted the importance of involving citizen participation and creating a more human-centric internet aimed towards individuals rather than businesses.
The European Commission presented the two current EU funding open calls related to the NGI: an open internet initiative and EU-US NGI collaboration. The European Commission also revealed the NGI research and innovation actions of the 2019 calls.
The emphasis of the NGI Forum 2018 was on stimulating discussion and the free exchange of ideas between researchers, SMEs & start-ups, industry players, policy makers, and civil society. With more than 150 attendees, the Forum was an opportunity to share knowledge with leading experts from all across Europe and beyond.