The digital infrastructures research community continues to face numerous new challenges towards the design of the Next Generation Internet. This is an extremely complex ecosystem encompassing communication, networking, data-management and data-intelligence issues, supported by established and emerging technologies such as IoT, 5/6G, cloud-to-edge computing. Coupled with the enormous amount of data generated and exchanged over the network, this calls for incremental as well as radically new design paradigms. Experimentally-driven research is becoming worldwide a de-facto standard, which has to be supported by large- scale research infrastructures to make results trusted, repeatable and accessible to the research communities.
SLICES-RI (Research Infrastructure), which was recently included in the 2021 ESFRI roadmap, aims to answer these problems by building a large infrastructure needed for the experimental research on various aspects of distributed computing, networking, IoT and 5/6G networks. It will provide the resources needed to continuously design, experiment, operate and automate the full lifecycle management of digital infrastructures, data, applications, and services.
Based on the two preceding projects within SLICES-RI, SLICES-DS (Design Study) and SLICES-SC (Starting Community), the SLICES-PP (Preparatory Phase) project will validate the requirements to engage into the implementation phase of the RI lifecycle. It will set the policies and decision processes for the governance of SLICES-RI: i.e., the legal and financial frameworks, the business model, the required human resource capacities and training programme. It will also settle the final technical architecture design for implementation. It will engage member states and stakeholders to secure commitment and funding needed for the platform to operate. It will position SLICES as an impactful instrument to support European advanced research, industrial competitiveness and societal impact in the digital era.