AI-NET Kick-Off Event

CELTIC Flagship Project for Intelligent Network Automation

Milon Gupta

On 1st June 2021, CELTIC flagship project AI-NET was officially launched at a high-level online event. Representatives from the public authorities of Germany, Sweden and Finland as well as representatives of the AI-NET project consortium, comprising major players from industry (large and SMEs), research organisations, and academia, presented the visions and goals of the ambitious European project to an audience of more than 150 participants.

Darja Isaksson, Director General at Vinnova, Sweden’s Innovation Agency

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ina Schieferdecker, Director-General for Research for Digitalization and Innovation at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

AI-NET aims at ‘Accelerating Digital Transformation in Europe with Intelligent Network Automation’. The project is addressing the challenge that the current centralised cloud infrastructure is not adequate for serving the requirements of the digital transformation in Europe. AI-NET is built on the premise that three technologies need to be combined to shape a new secure service and application platform: 5G, edge-centric computing, and artificial intelligence.

The main goal of the AI-NET project is to provide enablers and solutions for high-performance services deployed and operated at the network edge. AI-NET is using artificial intelligence for complementing traditional optimisation algorithms, in order to manage vastly increased network complexity.

The kick-off event was opened by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ina Schieferdecker, Director-General for Research for Digitalization and Innovation at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). She said: “AI-NET is an important step for Germany and Europe towards technological sovereignty.”

In the following presentations, the representatives of the funding agencies from Sweden and Finland – Darja Isaksson, Director General at Vinnova, Sweden’s Innovation Agency, and Heikki Uusi-Honko, Head of International Networks at Business Finland – shared their views on the importance of AI-NET from the perspective of their national innovation strategies. While Ms Isaksson pointed out that “AI-NET is a cornerstone in Vinnova’s strategy for digital transformation”, Mr Uusi-Honko highlighted the importance of AI-NET for contributing to sustainable growth in Europe. CELTIC-NEXT Vice Chair Jari Lehmusvuori, Head of Department at Nokia Bell Labs, completed the session by presenting the European innovation perspective of Eureka Cluster CELTIC-NEXT.

The next session was dedicated to presenting the AI-NET sub-projects AI-NET-ANIARA, led by Ericsson Research, AI-NET-PROTECT, led by ADVA, and AI-NET-ANTILLAS, led by Nokia Bell-Labs. Magnus Frodigh, Vice President & Head of Ericsson Research, Sweden, Dr. Christoph Glingener, CTO ADVA Optical Networking, Germany, and Patricia Layec, Research Department Head, Nokia Bell-Labs, France, presented the ambition of AI-NET to connect critical infrastructures and data centres through enhanced transport networks and improved networking concepts that will results in reinforced overall security.

The event concluded with a panel discussion on how Europe can accelerate the digital transformation with intelligent network automation. Panelists in the session moderated by Eurescom Director and CELTIC Chairman David Kennedy were Dr. Mohsen Amiribesheli, Research Technology Manager at Konica Minolta Global R&D; Dr. Markus Ohlenforst, Managing Director at IconPro GmbH; Dominik Flick, Project Manager for Energy Performance Management at Stellantis / Opel Automobile GmbH; Dr. Timo Lehnigk-Emden, Managing Director at Creonic GmbH; and Prof. Dr. Jan Juerjens, Director Research Projects at Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering.

Presentation by Prof. Dr. Jan Jürjens from Fraunhofer ISST

About AI-NET

AI-NET is a 74 million-euro public-private partnership project under CELTIC-NEXT, the EUREKA Cluster for next generation communications for a digital society. AI-NET comprises three sub-projects with 92 companies, research organisations, and universities from Germany, Sweden, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Poland. The CELTIC-NEXT flagship project is coordinated by ADVA Optical Networking SE, a European telecommunications vendor headquartered in Germany.

AI-NET is publicly co-funded by the public authorities of Germany (BMBF), Sweden (VINNOVA), Finland (Business Finland), and the United Kingdom (Innovate UK). The project will end in August 2024.

› Further information

› AI-NET Kick-Off Event Page –
› AI-NET Project Page –