NGI Forum 2021, 18-19 May: Building the Internet of Humans

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 18/05/2021 | 15:32

The Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative invites all interested parties and media to the NGI Forum 2021 taking place on 18 and 19 May. As Europe enters the Digital Decade with a focus on recovery from a global pandemic, take the opportunity to discover Internet innovations which consider people’s privacy concerns first and foremost, as well as learn from high-level policy makers and gain insights on European funding for an Internet we can trust.


The Next Generation Internet Initiative

At a time of greater online connectivity due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, discover the ground-breaking Internet technologies, policies and financing for privacy, data governance, identity management, blockchain and safe search engines that are showcased at the NGI Forum. NGI is backing the creators of a brighter future, laying the groundwork of a Europe that is fit for the Digital Age. Support goes beyond financing, to mentoring and the journey from an idea to a real business. Initial EC investment in NGI research and innovation of more than €250m (2018-2020) has supported more than 600 Internet researchers and innovators involved in more than 400 projects, covering a wide range of technology areas. Projects are presented by the innovators themselves at the NGI Forum.


Championing Human-Centric Internet Innovation as Europe Enters the Digital Decade

In March 2021, the Commission presented a vision and avenues for Europe’s digital transformation by 2030 including secure and sustainable digital infrastructures, digital transformation of businesses and public services and digital skills.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market at the European Commission opens the NGI Forum and highlights an Internet of humans as a key component of the green and digital transformation of the EU in the Digital Decade.

Trust, openness and sustainability are the key features of Next Generation Internet. I’m looking forward to seeing the NGI community deliver key technologies, contribute to global internet standards and open source developments, participate in the policy debate and be part of the larger vision that Europe is pursuing for the future of the internet.”, Thierry Breton says.

Unprecedented levels of funding are being made available through the Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme (2021-2027), with a budget of €95.5 billion to tackle climate change, achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boost EU competitiveness and growth. The NGI Forum features insights into upcoming funding opportunities for top Internet innovators to continue their work and to join the growing NGI community.


Highlights of the NGI Forum 2021

The Next Generation Internet Forum 2021 takes place online over two mornings (09.00 – 13.00 CET) on 18 and 19 May and features Europe’s top Internet innovators, the open source community and senior EC experts supporting the development of the technologies of the future Internet around people’s needs and European values and norms, building an Internet that guarantees trust, privacy, and inclusion, while empowering people and addressing global sustainability challenges. Access the full agenda here.

Speakers are top of their field in public institutions, research, innovation, and business.

  • Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market at the European Commission who gives the Opening Speech
  • Eva Kaili, Member of the EU Parliament who gives a keynote speech on European policy for a future Internet of Trust
  • Professor Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, who gives a keynote on the future of internet.
  • Sachiko Muto, Chief Executive Officer at OpenForum Europe who participates in a panel open source model

Panel sessions and workshops feature the main issues faced in building an Internet of Humans and highlights include:

  • NGI Internet innovations. Meet members of the NGI community – the new generation of developers of applications and infrastructures essential to address challenges resulting from the pandemic as well as technological, societal, and economic gaps exacerbated by the crisis.
  • Panel discussion on Internet Architecture. Expert views on upgrading Internet infrastructure for better security and privacy; ways to increase network performances and make the Internet more energy efficient; and the choice between centralised and decentralised models.
  • Open source session. Open source software powers 86% of smartphones, is at the heart of many NGI projects and will continue to play an important role in the future NGI agenda. This session looks at the main trends in open source, future prospects and the contribution NGI can make to open source and the open source community.
  • Digital Principles session. Digital Principles should help shape future Digital Citizenship and drive action by EU decision makers who will sign an inter-institutional declaration by the end of the year to ensure that EU values are upheld in the digital space.
  • Internet of Trust At the heart of the NGI human-centric vision for the future Internet lies the objective to increase security and privacy for end-users so they experience a trustworthy online environment. This is backed by the rules that the EU has set in the areas of data protection, cybersecurity and electronic identity, some of which are currently being reviewed to make them fit for the Digital Decade.
  • NGI International. Successful cooperation with the US in areas such as privacy, trust and decentralised data governance will be further strengthened and new collaborations with key international partners will be launched in the next programming period.


Participation in the NGI Forum 2021 is FREE. Learn more at

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