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The 'epicentre' of all networks

Source(s): 
El Mundo/Innovadores/R. F. Madrid

All connections around converge into an epicentre that operates as an information hub. Mobile networks are one of the cornerstones of the digital revolution our modern society is experiencing, and the IMDEA Networks Institute has become an innovation powerhouse in this area. The organisation, created at the behest of the Madrid Regional Government, is one of Europe's leading research engines in the telecommunications field.


The 'epicentre' of all networks

  • The Institute focuses on the transfer of technology to society

  • They work with Spain’s major telecommunication operators

  • Their staff includes researchers from 18 different nationalities

  • Their targets span the internet of the future and the 'smart grids'

All connections around converge into an epicentre that operates as an information hub. Mobile networks are one of the cornerstones of the digital revolution our modern society is experiencing, and the IMDEA Networks Institute has become an innovation powerhouse in this area. The organisation, created at the behest of the Madrid Regional Government, is one of Europe's leading research engines in the telecommunications field.

As explained by Arturo Azcorra, Head of Imdea Networks and Professor in the Carlos III University of Madrid, «Every network is a distributed system based on different control mechanisms. And we apply knowledge to these systems in order to improve their performance».

The sphere of activity of the Institute’s researchers is as broad and varied as the typology of the networks around us. «We run three distinct lines of research: Wireless networks, like the future 5G mobile network, Energy-Efficient Networking, and Network Systems and Algorithms», Azcorra said.

The recent removal of several DTT channels demonstrates how important is to explore new approaches enabling the swift communication of data packets that are becoming larger and larger, considering the transmission spectrum constraints.

The Intelligent City idea is gaining ground among public administrations, and IMDEA Networks is working on the implementation of the technologies needed to make power grids smarter. «We apply the latest ICT breakthroughs to save energy, by fully leveraging all the information we have at our disposal. Our aim is improving our own efficiency, as well as that of ICT at large».

IMDEA Networks is committed to convey to society all the breakthroughs we may achieve in our fields of research. «Most of our researchers have previously worked for big enterprises, since we focus on the transfer of technology», Azcorra explains.

One of our patent-pending projects is a novel approach to energy efficiency in computer networking, based on the reduction of the number of active nodes involved in a given communication, which enabled us to achieve power savings of up to 40%. Researchers from our Institute are also involved in the Searchlight project, aimed at creating ultra-fast wireless networks.

As a mixed public-private undertaking, the Institute is responsible for channeling telecommunication advances to the enterprises making up the innovation ecosystem in the Madrid region. Some of IMDEA Networks’ industrial partners rank among the world’s leading players in the telecommunication industry, such as Nec, Cisco, Fujitsu, Intel or Telefónica, to name just a few.

«70% of the telecommunication industry is concentrated in Madrid. This sector does not only move money, but also empowers other sectors, such as the automotive and aeronautical industries», Azcorra concludes.

Towards 5G

Imdea Networks is one of the players involved in the EU-sponsored PPP 5G project, a plan that aims to allocate 7 billion euros to the creation of the data transmission networks of the future. Branded as 5G, it will be the new foundation of the internet of the future, and is expected to withstand data connections 1,000 times heavier than today's.

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