Nokia and Inria extend research partnership to address future challenges of networks and distributed computing

Nokia and Inria announced the renewal of their Common Research laboratory for the next four years. The new stage it was launched at an event in Paris On 14 November into the presence of Thierry Klein, President, Nokia Bell Labs solutionsSt Research and Bruno sporty, Inria CEO.

Launched in 2008, the joint research laboratory brings together permanent scientists from the two partners with a new pool of PhD and post-doctoral scientists, with the strategic aim of solving key scientific challenges related to the evolution of networks and network applications. The focus of the joint research is on the benefits of the network and distributed resources for contextual and personalized experiences in the digitally connected world.

Future networks will have to connect digital, physical and human worlds to unleash the innate potential of humans in the metaverse era. Networks will need to be able to optimize for a wide range of specific customer needs, for example in industrial applications. The network will develop enhanced sensing capabilities and greater contextual awareness of user status and intent, dynamically and automatically adapting connectivity to meet user needs.

The networks will be 100% cloud-native, supporting a distributed architecture. Efficiency, resiliency, and agility are core attributes, with zero-touch management and orchestration achieved through autonomy driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Devices may not be able to meet all computing needs and will rely on a combination of cloud edge and local computing near the device, resulting in a widely distributed computing architecture. Diversified applications and services will need stringent quality of service requirements, enabled by native data/AI networks in a highly distributed data and computing environment.

The Nokia Bell Labs-Inria collaboration will help solve these challenges by addressing three aspects:

  • Distributed learning on 6G: with the aim of enabling different AI applications that operate in a distributed and cooperative way throughout the system (core, network, edge, device), continuously learning and evolving.
  • Intelligent network management based on artificial intelligence: with the aim of providing analytics and reliable AI/ML for 5G-Advanced and 6G zero touch mobile network asset management.
  • Grid-sensitive industrial applications: with the aim of optimizing and scaling industrial applications, such as cloud-based robotic applications based on network performance and availability.

Thierry Klein, President of Nokia Bell Labs Solutions Research, said: “Inria and Nokia Bell Labs have enjoyed a rich and fruitful relationship for more than 20 years. Inria is part of the Bell Labs Distinguished Academic Partners program, engaging the best and brightest minds from the world’s top universities and academic organizations to partner with us in transforming human existence. This new phase of our collaboration addresses the strategic challenges of the future infrastructure and applications of the connected digital world, and we are excited about the collaborative benefits of this ongoing partnership for Nokia, our industry and society to enable enhanced experiences in a digitized world.”

Bruno Sportisse, CEO of Inria, said: “Nokia Bell Labs is one of our main strategic partners and I am delighted that we are strengthening our partnership. For Inria, working with a world leader with a European footprint like Nokia is one of our priorities, both to position ourselves on key scientific topics, to maintain joint scientific and technological excellence, and to have an impact on the scope of our work. The gradual evolution of our partnership also shows the importance of building long-term relationships based on trust, within a common strategy and roadmap. Together with Nokia we will work on the new frontiers of 6G mobile networks, which pose new technological and theoretical challenges, where software design and data exchange must be addressed jointly.

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