RIFE results build community spirit in rural Catalonia
Recent headlines about Catalonia have often been more focused on division rather than connection. However, the field trial of RIFE, a Horizon 2020 research and innovation project coordinated by Martel, which tested a new type of internet architecture in the Catalonia region of Tarragona, was all about coming together and connecting people.
To demonstrate the results, Martel created a short documentary about the RIFE field trial, which features an interview with Roger Baig, a technology partner from Guifi.net, as well as footage and interviews with locals from the area, covering five villages outside Barcelona, who have been involved in testing and creating the RIFE community network.
RIFE: AchitectuRe for an Internet For Everybody was a three-year research and innovation project, funded by the European Commission and the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) in Switzerland. It comprised a consortium of Aalto University, the University of Cambridge, InterDigital Europe, Guifi.net, Thales Alenia Space, Avanti Cyprus, Technische Universität München and was coordinated by Martel Innovate.
RIFE addressed the major societal challenge of digital inclusion by providing affordable, reliable internet access to remote areas that, for cost and operational reasons, are not served well by mainstream Internet Service Providers (ISPs). RIFE solves the technological challenge to provide connectivity in the first place, and then increases the efficiency of the underlying transport networks and the involved architectures and protocols.
The field trial in Tarragona was the first to deploy an Information Centric Networking (ICN) protocol network with real end-users. RIFE also deployed Delay-Tolerant Networking (DTN) which, combined with ICN, meant that the network could provide a more reliable service in areas where connectivity is scarce and/or fails intermittently.
Locals, including a switched-on local group from the HacklabValls, responded positively to the benefits of better, more reliable internet access and RIFE enjoyed widespread acceptance and take up. As a matter of fact, some of the team of volunteers who installed the local networks in Tarragona have gone on to set up their own Internet Service Provider as a cooperative, to continue maintaining and expanding the network after RIFE ended.
“This synergy between new technology and a willing, well-informed, active local population is one focus of the EC’s Horizon2020 programme, and will certainly be a theme of future Framework Programmes. Such collaboration has specific challenges, but also brings rewarding results when all parties have the same goal,” said Martin Potts, RIFE project manager and director at Martel Innovate.
The RIFE project ended in March 2018 but the findings will be rolled into further developments and projects to provide greater connectivity both in this region of Catalonia and across Europe in general.
The entertaining video demonstrates the positive impact of the RIFE H2020 project, showing how this type of EC- funded ICT endeavor engages local communities and bridges the gap between lab research and real people, delivering tangible benefits.
The RIFE project and video were also presented during the DSI Fair 2018 in the success stories panel on day 2.
RIFE addresses the major societal challenge of providing affordable Internet access to those who cannot afford it by solving the technological challenge to increase the efficiency of the underlying transport networks and the involved architectures and protocols.
The Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 of the EU’s Research and Innovation funding programme was launched by the European Commission on the 27 October 2017. The Calls of the Work Programme 2018-2020 represent a major investment of €30 billion. Are you ready to make your bid?
At Martel, we’re always ready. With more than 20 years of experience and more than 100 successful projects under our belts, we understand the needs and processes of H2020 inside and out. If you’re planning on proposing a project for the 2018 calls, we can help you maximize your chances of a successful response through practical training programs and practical assistance with preparing your bid.