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Awarded projects of the 2024 GÉANT Innovation Programme

Interest in this year’s edition of the GÉANT Innovation Programme increased significantly, six projects were successful with awards of up to EUR 50,000 each. The geographic expanse of awardees has increased, with three countries represented for the first time. As we seek to ensure improvements in gender equality in our activities we’re delighted that four out of the six awarded projects were led by females, an increase from previous years.

Business Platform for OpenStack Clouds
Georgian Research and Educational Networking Association – GRENA – Georgia
Category: Cloud

The objective of the project is to develop BP-OSC (Business Platform for OpenStack Clouds), an all-in-one solution for OpenStack cloud management. This platform aims to offer a turnkey system that eliminates the need for organisations to develop their own web UIs, billing systems, payment gateways, and reporting tools. These interfaces empower administrators with robust tools for efficient cloud management, while simultaneously providing clients with user-friendly access to cloud resources. The platform is open to all interested organisations planning to utilise OpenStack cloud as their preferred cloud solution.

Effective Multi-Laser-Beam Transmission for Satellite-Airborne Backhaul Networks
University of Bradford – UK
Category: Network

To satisfy the requirements of B5G/6G, achieving high-speed/long-distance wireless communications is crucial for efficiently transmitting extensive data traffic in satellite airborne backhaul links. However, current radio frequency and microwave backhaul links face challenges such as limited transmission range and interference with exi­­sting terrestrial services. Laser communications (lasercom) could provide a compelling alternative. Lasercom operates in the near infrared band enables Gbps data transmission over long distances. Lasercom also allows for the generation of pencil beams, effectively minimising interference and crosstalk issues with terrestrial services. In this project, they will explore a novel satellite-airborne backhauling based on multiple laser beams to enhance the flexibility and capacity of future communication networks.

Mobile App Network trAffic Nutrition fActs (MANANA)
Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II – Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica e delle Tecnologie dell’Informazione – Italy
Category: Network

End-users of mobile applications hardly know which enterprises and countries are involved in their online activities, and the implied rights and risks. Researchers and regulators need actual usage data to verify data sovereignty compliance. MANANA aims at providing the former with understandable characterisations of infrastructure usage, and the latter with a monitoring system of actual mobile apps usage. The user will be enabled to choose among similar apps and report her data exposure (providing visibility to authorities). The app and the collection server will be released as open-source.

Explainable AI for DNS Security in Privacy-aware NREN Federations – FedXAI4DNS
Institute of Communication and Computer Systems – ICCS – Greece
Category: Security

Machine learning (ML) algorithms addressing cybersecurity applications have seen limited operational adoption within large-scale multi-domain federated network environments (e.g. NRENs and GÉANT). FedXAI4DNS will build and pilot ML-based Domain Generation Algorithms (DGA) name classifiers that differentiate between legitimate and malicious DNS requests, blocking botnet communications and stopping the propagation of malevolent activities.

The objective is to extend traditional cybersecurity approaches, raise NREN awareness on Federated Learning methods that may be used to establish privacy-aware collaborations and raise GÉANT awareness of eXplainable Artificial Intelligence methods, which may be used to interpret the functionality of complex, black-box ML classifiers in a systematic manner. The project is expected to expedite the adoption of ML within large-scale federated networks, including GÉANT and NRENs. 

Croatian Academic and Research Network – CARNET – Croatia
Category: Education, Security

The Zi4PH – ZoomIn4PinkHats project will promote cyber security skills among young women in the education system. Their aim is to empower female mentors to implement activities for popularising cyber security among students, educate them through workshops on different cyber security topics, and initiate the creation of peer-to-peer learning projects in the mentoring community. This project will benefit all women who weren’t sure how to enter the field of cyber security, by providing materials and support from the newly established community.  

Design User Experiences for Digital Identities
University of Málaga (UMA) – Spain
Category: Trust and Identity

The number of digital identities that users need to manage are increasing due to the diversification of actors offering digital services and identity provision. The main objective of this project is to explore the user experience during the users’ decision processes about the digital identities they choose for accessing digital services in the contexts of research and education. This will contribute to solving frequent mismatch adoption problems between technical solutions and user experiences with digital identities, both federated and decentralised. The aim is to develop solutions that are truly inclusive and address the unique challenges faced by these individuals.

To find out more about projects from previous years which were awarded funding visit the Funded Projects webpage:

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