Cutting-edge European telecommunications research infrastructure unveiled with a node in Madrid

UC3M and IMDEA Networks are part of the Spanish node

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and IMDEA Networks have presented SLICES-ES, a European infrastructure for experimenting with future information and communications technologies that will be based in Madrid, most likely at the Madrid university's facilities. This scientific instrument, which will become operational during 2024 and with some initial services already underway since October 2023, will be made available to the research community to carry out complex experiments in the area of digital sciences.

We are currently experiencing a major technological revolution in the area of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). The scientific community is constantly researching new solutions to support this transformation and, thus, contribute to an improvement in our lives. Therefore, several scientific infrastructures have emerged that offer experimentation services with cutting-edge resources, which are otherwise only offered in industrial R&D laboratories with limited functionality. To combat these problems, the ESFRI SLICES research infrastructure has been launched, providing high quality experimentation services with emerging technologies in the area of information and communications technology sciences, such as 5G/6G, Internet of Things (IoT), Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) or Cloud Computing, for example.

UC3M, IMDEA Networks and the University of the Basque Country are participating in the Spanish SLICES node (SLICES-ES). Specifically, the first infrastructure open to the European scientific community for testing in the field of telecommunications and with a very powerful Internet of Things (IoT) satellite service with Europe-wide coverage will be established in Madrid. "It is therefore a very important milestone because what it represents is that Europe is aware of the need to have strategic autonomy in information technologies. We must join forces to improve our R&D capabilities in this regard," says Arturo Azcorra, director of IMDEA Networks and a professor at UC3M. He also adds: "This is great news, therefore, for the academic and business world, and for society. We can consider it to be a global milestone in the field of open experimentation via satellite".

During the official presentation of the national Spanish node, which took place at the Hotel Riu Plaza de España, researchers working in areas and platforms related to the Spanish SLICES node at different levels took part. For example, Carlos Jesús Bernardos, professor at UC3M, and Joerg Widmer, research director at IMDEA Networks, spoke about how it will be used in the development of 6G and in experimentation with millimetre wave networks.

Another of the researchers who has driven this project, Carmen Guerrero, from UC3M's Telematics Engineering Department, highlights the usefulness that this infrastructure will have for the research community in the area of future networks. "They will have access to cutting-edge deployments to carry out experiments that are currently not readily available to scientists in general, or that do not even exist today. In fact, there is currently a lack of access to experimental facilities and SLICES will provide these services to the research community in Europe".

About IMDEA Networks and UC3M

IMDEA Networks is a research institute for computer and communication networks, whose multinational team works on fundamental science and cutting-edge technology. As a growing, English-speaking institute based in Madrid, Spain, IMDEA Networks offers a unique opportunity to pioneering scientists who aspire to develop their ideas. IMDEA Networks has established itself internationally at the forefront in the development of future network principles and technologies. Our highly-reputed research team is designing tomorrow's networks today.

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) is a Spanish public university that excels in research, teaching and innovation. It is among the best universities in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2024 and among the best universities for the employability of its graduates, according to the latest edition of the Times Higher Education (THE) Global University Employability Ranking. UC3M is the first university in Europe to obtain ACEEU dual accreditation for its contribution and impact on the industrial and social fabric, and it also has other accreditations and quality awards, such as the EUR-ACE seal in the field of engineering or the AACSB accreditation in business and finance programmes.