Extra funding for Imperial 6G communications hub


Illustration of a cloud with upload and download arrows floating above a network

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A Department of Computing research hub has been given a £10.5m funding boost from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The Communications Hub for Empowering Distributed Cloud Computing Applications and Research (CHEDDAR) was launched with £2m funding from the EPSRC and aims to research the communications technologies of tomorrow. The hub brings researchers together to drive innovations in cloud computing systems, linking Imperial experts with the wider academic, business and international communities.

UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) £70m Technology Missions Fund (TMF) Future Telecoms Mission is supporting the development of technologies that will be crucial to future telecoms networks such as 6G. CHEDDAR is working alongside two other platforms, TITAN and HASC, in the Federated Communications Hub, a £40m research investment.

Research at CHEDDAR strives to investigate and design proofs-of-concept of the 6G technologies that will enable interconnection between people and devices at all scales. It is crucial for these technologies to underpin and be reinforced by communications infrastructures that are safe, secure, trustworthy and sustainable.

Next generation technologies such as AI and the Internet of Things, do not operate in isolation but are underpinned by the communications infrastructures that support them. CHEDDAR aims to better understand the protocols, optimisations and network decision making that will enable the near-instant connection required of a truly digital society. Research on intelligent connected telecom management and control, dynamic programmability, and integrated sensing and communication are as central as is the reduction of its energy footprint.

CHEDDAR lead Professor Julie McCann said: “The CHEDDAR research programme was already ambitious, however the UKRI/TMF uplift enables us to strengthen our research portfolio to not only advance core 6G research technologies, but to explore how AI enabled 6G supports super low-latency applications such as autonomous driving and holographics, how the network becomes a sensor, and what security and privacy means in this 6G world. Through our extended open funding calls, we will bring new academics, stakeholders and industries into the hub.”

Professor Weisi Guo, co-investigator, said: “The uplift funding represents a focused research intensive effort to identify and synergise the best UK research in cloud and distributed computing to both enable future 6G and its application domains.

“CHEDDAR will develop cross-disciplinary innovations across 12 exciting research projects in the thematic areas of 6G: emergent, sustainable, and human-centric systems. It will conduct fundamental research and integrate new technologies into 6G spanning Intelligence-as-a-service, to trustworthy AI, to integrated sensing and communications.

“Along with the other hubs and the UK national 6G infrastructure fund (JOINER), we expect to make serious impact in critical application areas such as autonomous transport, meta-verse, and cybersecurity.”

The CHEDDAR Hub is being led by Imperial College London, and its core partner universities include the Universities of Cranfield, Durham, Glasgow, Leeds, and York.



Helen Wilkes

Helen Wilkes
Faculty of Engineering

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Contact details

Email: h.wilkes@imperial.ac.uk

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