Ongoing CELTIC-NEXT signed collaborations

Memorandum of Intent signed with ESA to enable faster convergence and development between terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks & services


On November 22, 2021, Eureka Cluster CELTIC-NEXT and the European Space Agency (ESA) formalized a partnership through the signing of a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) in Porto, Portugal. This collaboration aims to strengthen ties between their respective communities and drive economic growth and job creation by coordinating research, development, and innovation (R&D&I) activities in integrated space and terrestrial systems enabled by 5G and 6G technologies.

This MoI emphasizes leveraging the synergies between ESA and CELTIC-NEXT to maximize investment returns and contribute towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In today’s dynamic political and economic environment, Space ICT has emerged as a critical pillar for sovereignty and resilience. The growing importance of Space ICT is evident as it becomes central to global industry and government agendas. From an economic standpoint, new non-European players are disrupting the sector with innovations like Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) satellites and High-Altitude Pseudo-Satellites (HAPS).

The collaboration between CELTIC-NEXT and ESA aims to address these challenges by fostering cross-fertilization and collaboration between their communities. This partnership will facilitate the convergence and development of terrestrial and non-terrestrial network and service technologies, including three-dimensional networking.

Signing the Memorandum of Intent (from left): Eureka Chairman Miguel Bello Mora,
Elodie Viau – Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications and Head of ECSAT
at the European Space Agency (ESA), and CELTIC Office Director Xavier Priem.

To implement this collaboration, both organizations will leverage their respective funding instruments, processes, and expertise while coordinating on specific themes such as network convergence, system development, business ecosystem models, and spectrum sharing. Joint activities will include roadmapping, advisory boards, knowledge networks, webinars, workshops, and testbeds/trial platforms to support common objectives and priorities.

Further collaboration to expect

This MoI marks the beginning of a series of strategic collaborations for CELTIC-NEXT, enriching its support and impact within the ICT community. The collaboration offers an ideal platform for the space and terrestrial ICT communities to collaborate on strategic initiatives and projects. CELTIC-NEXT looks forward to the space community’s contributions and engagement in upcoming joint initiatives focused on Space ICT and three-dimensional networking.

Memorandum of Understanding signed with the 6G-IA to establish ­synergies and complementary activities in collaborative ICT research


The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on ICT research between Eureka Cluster CELTIC-NEXT and the 6G Smart Networks and Services Industry Association (6G-IA) is now signed for a year now. As its aim is to enhance economic growth and job creation through joint R&D&I activities and the commercialization of outcomes, this collaboration leverages the strengths of both organizations to maximize investment returns and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In the context of today’s rapidly evolving social, political, and economic landscape, information and communication technology (ICT) plays a crucial role in ensuring national sovereignty and resilience. Recent global events such as the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic have underscored the critical importance of both terrestrial and non-terrestrial ICT services as essential components of a country’s infrastructure. To address these challenges, there is a pressing need to increase and optimize funding for R&D&I initiatives in European, with the goal of accelerating innovation and enhancing the competitiveness of the ICT industry.

This collaboration is for now facilitating cross-program discussions and soon workshops and joint projects will be organised to aim at advancing technology readiness and addressing key societal challenges outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals. It encourages cross-program discussions, workshops, and collaborative projects to advance technology readiness and achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Consultations on Strategic Research and Innovation Agendas (SRIAs), organize joint activities, and leverage resources to achieve common objectives are in discussion. Regular reviews will ensure effective collaboration and alignment with each community priorities.

Opportunities for the future

This MoU represents a new collaboration for CELTIC-NEXT and expands its impact within the ICT community. It provides a platform for the 6G-IA and CELTIC-NEXT communities to collaborate on strategic topics and projects.

To operationalize the MoU, the signatories have committed to several actions, including promoting collaboration within their respective communities, consulting on Strategic Research and Innovation Agendas (SRIAs), organizing joint activities, and leveraging their combined resources and expertise.


These two memorandums signed with two different big organisation in their domains are a significant milestone for CELTIC-NEXT, representing a strategic expansion of its impact within the ICT community. By fostering closer ties and cooperation, they provide valuable platforms for both communities to collaborate on critical strategic initiatives and projects that will shape the future of ICT.

They will also allow knowledge exchange and SRIA’s cross collaborations in the years to come, will help levering funding schemes across low TRL topics, support an easier pipelining for proposals and offer innovative entities the full panel between top-down programs and bottom-up spaces for their collaborative projects.