Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, the Academy of Finland and the USA's National Science Foundation (NSF) have agreed on the foundation of a virtual institute aimed at solving mobile data transmission problems and developing competence and innovations. Planning of the WIFIUS institute is being co-ordinated by Professor Matti Latva-Aho from the University of Oulu's Centre for Wireless Communications (CWC) unit.
"Finland has a lot of top level mobile competence and a long history of wireless system development – from NMT all the way to LTE technologies. We expect to the NSF co-operation to provide significant opportunities for developing future network technologies in Finland,” explains Matti Latva-Aho.
The high-level of Finnish competence convinced the National Science Foundation (NSF) to reinforce its current collaboration by means of the Wireless Innovation between Finland and US (WIFIUS) virtual institute. The institute's activities will include close research co-operation, researcher exchanges, joint meetings and the creation of joint demonstrations. A teaching portal for the use of the researcher network will also be built in conjunction with the institute.
WIFIUS is one of three global projects through which the USA is striving to internationalise its own research via the virtual institute model. Others are Virtual Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (VI-MSS) ja Physics of Living Systems Student Research Network (PoLS SRN).
Rapid growth in smart phones, tablets, USB modems and especially in the number of videos watched via them presents major challenges for communications networks. The increase in the number of users and other wireless communication may require as much as a 1000-fold rise in the capacity of mobile systems. Solving this bottleneck will be the most important challenge for research and development activities over the next few years.
A total of six joint projects will be starting up in the initial phase. Other members involved in the projects include Aalto University, Tampere University of Technology and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
"For Tekes, activities in the initial phase are mainly related to the Trial Environment for Cognitive Radio and Networks programme but are not entirely limited to it. WIFIUS activities may be extended later," says programme manager Katja Ahola from Tekes.
Academy of Finland Science Advisor Kati Sulonen is satisfied with the very quick progress of the concept and the high level of enthusiasm among researchers. "We had high expectations for this new opening at the Academy of Finland."
Last updated: 7.10.2011