Page updated 22.11.2016

European champion in research on wireless data transfer

How’s that sound? TUAS’ research group is one of the recent recipients of a prize awarded by the EU, worth half a million euros. The project brainstormed in cooperation with partners has led to the best research on wireless data transfer in Europe. Some of you probably already know the address: the Radio Lab at ICT City, C-wing, 2nd floor.

The top EU prize was received together with partners, which include King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission and a Finnish SME, Fairspectrum.

The prize is worth EUR 500,000 and it was awarded to the actors at the Second Global 5G Event, which took place in Rome on November 9.

“With the award money we will continue the research on radio technology and spectrum sharing”, says Principal Lecturer, Research Leader Jarkko Paavola happily. He thanks his Turku-based research team: Reijo Ekman, Arto Kivinen, Juhani Hallio, Jani Auranen, Mikko Jakobsson, Vesa Slotte and Marko Rikkonen are all members of the victorious team.

“Obviously this kind of research work is challenging. And we did hit some bumps in the road, but luckily our coordinator Oliver Holland from King’s College London was good at spurring us on”, Paavola says thankfully.

Top photo: Principal lecturers Jarkko Paavola and Reijo Ekman (to the right).

The jury had members from the US, Asia and Europe

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The EU Horizon 2020 programme searches solutions to critical future problems and funds European research and innovation projects.

“The frequencies are filling up, because the use of mobile data has undergone explosive growth. This constant growth of data to be transferred and the move to wireless networks are challenges of the future. We study methods to utilize the untapped frequencies”, Paavola explains.

The name of the winning project was “Collaborative spectrum sharing”. It means utilizing several telecommunications systems on a single frequency.

Earlier spectrum sharing systems have been managed in a centralized manner. In Turku, however, we developed a distributed autonomous system which optimizes its own operation.

TUAS has increased its competence in the field for 10 years

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Principal Lecturer Paavola moved from the University of Turku to TUAS’ RDI activities about five years ago. He praises the organization’s agility and ability to take risks in participating in this competition.

“We’re lucky to have received Tekes funding for our research here for about ten years already”, he reminds.

“The funding has also enabled cooperation meetings around the world. In this kind of work it is necessary to travel and meet the actors and companies in the field; you have to participate in creating ideas together.”

“When I received an email stating that we had won, I was in Valencia writing a new project application. I couldn’t believe it and the rest of the day was spent in a haze. We’ve known that we’re among the best in Europe, but still…

The funding received through the prize provides us a novel opportunity to develop our activities and start marketing our competence on an international scale”, Paavola says.

 

Text and photos taken in Turku: Anne Lehikoinen, Senior Publicist