ICST Conference
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ICST Conference

research conference europe communications workshop

The Footprint of European R&D Programmes
on Future Internet Developments

Author's Short Biography


Franco Accordino, scientific officer and assistant to the Director, Directorate F  “Emerging Technologies and Infrastructures” - European Commission, DG Information Society & Media

Franco Accordino is a scientific officer and strategy adviser to the Director of “Emerging Technologies and Infrastructures” within the European Commission's Information Society and Media Directorate-General. The Directorate's main goals are: promoting transformative and foundational ICT research with a view to identifying new research avenues beyond mainstream research, developing the technologies and services for the trustworthy internet of tomorrow and assessing their viability through advanced experimental facilities; building and deploying the future European research and education infrastructures; fostering new methodologies and the related programme mechanisms for the promotion of an open innovation space in Europe.

In FP6 (2003-2006) Franco he has been a scientific officer in the area on Grid technologies, Service Oriented Architectures and Network Centric Operating Systems. In FP7 (2007-2013), he works mainly on the development of a vision and strategy for future ICT, with particular focus on future and emerging technologies (FET), e-Infrastructures and virtual research communities including research networks, supercomputers, grids and data infrastructures, new paradigms and experimental facilities for the future internet, ICT for trust and security.

Before joining the European Commission, he worked at the ETHZ/CSCS National Supercomputing Centre of Switzerland, at Consorzio Pisa Ricerche and at the National Research Council of Italy where he conducted research on formal methods, languages and tools for concurrent systems and protocol specification. He has a long-standing experience in several information technology fields, including formal methods and software engineering, grid and distributed systems, operating systems, web-based applications and services and knowledge discovery in databases.


In the past few years, a major debate has started as to the ability of the current Internet to cope with the growing trends and challenges posed by the "ubiquitous Information Society" in terms of mobility, number of connected users, devices and services, security, resilience and trust, complexity of networks and services, and delivery of time-critical and high-bandwidth applications. The Internet as we know it today has not been designed with such massive functionalities and usages in mind.

The big technological challenge is to be able to harness such an immense network of computing and communicating "things" and ensure that it will meet the expectations of the applications and usage scenarios of tomorrow. This poses radically new S&T challenges requiring new theoretical foundations and conceptualization work at the level of networking, software and application development approaches, coupled with experimentally-driven research methods and test-beds to be able to assess the technical viability of new architectures and protocols, usage and business models, and their impact on economy and society.

The greater awareness of the limitations of the current Internet and the need to provide the future Information Society with a more sustainable, reliable and secure network and service infrastructure have stimulated, internationally, the flourishing of a variety of research programmes and activities. This presentation will provide an overview of the drivers and motivations for future internet research as well as a summary of the main initiatives funded by the European Commission under the ICT Theme of the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7), through an approach combining both advanced R&D and experimental facilities and test-beds.