Federal Ministry of Education and Research Approves 6G Research Hubs


Successful joint proposal by four universities and four non-university research institutions


The 6GEM open – efficient – secure – safe research proposal, submitted jointly by RWTH, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, TU Dortmund University, and the University of Duisburg-Essen, has now been approved for funding by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).

From August 1, 2021, the four universities will join forces with four research institutions to explore technologies for future sixth-generation (6G) wireless communication networks. The partner institutions are the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits and Sensor Systems, the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques, and the Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy.

As part of the economic stimulus package of the federal government – Combating the Consequences of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Securing Prosperity, Strengthening Future Competitiveness – the BMBF is seeking to support technology hubs for research and development in the area of communication technology. The aim of the initiative is to position Germany as a leading technology provider. In total, four research hubs have been approved. The research activities of 6GEM, funded with 43 million euros, will be coordinated by Professor Haris Gačanin, Chair for Distributed Signal Processing at RWTH Aachen University.

Mobile Communications Expertise from North-Rhine Westphalia

The 6GEM consortium pools expertise in the areas of networks, materials, components, microelectronic circuits, and modules, all of which are relevant to wireless network technologies. The consortium members are also experienced in the implementation of technology solutions and boast a global network of partners. 6GEM follows a holistic approach, from production to logistics to the end-user with their need for self-determination, privacy, and safety in times of climate change.

Furthermore, the consortium will seek to demonstrate the value of future 6G systems for highly relevant societal and industrial use cases. To this end, seven test areas will be equipped with 6G systems: a virtual operating room at the University of Düsseldorf, a smart hospital ward at Essen University Hospital, the German Rescue Robotics Center in Dortmund, the High-Speed Infralogistics Infrastructure of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics in Dortmund, the highly automated production environments of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology in Aachen, the large scale harbor logistics system in Duisburg, and the city center and highway road traffic scenarios in Aldenhoven. The findings of the research activities are expected to result in a large number of patents.

The RWTH teaching and research areas “Mobile Communications and Computing” headed by Professor Marina Petrova and “Information Theory and Systematic Design of Communication Systems” led by Professor Anke Schmeink are project partners in the Open6GHub coordinated by the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)   The Open6GHub is designing a holistic 6G system that will be resource-saving and energy-efficient, ensure the protection of personal data and guarantee high network availability. “6G will serve as an infrastructure for future mobile and highly secure applications based on artificial intelligence and machine learning,” stated the project’s coordinator, Professor Hans Schotten of DFKI.

The teaching and research area “Information Theory and Systematic Design of Communication Systems” headed by Professor Schmeink is also a project partner in the 6G-RIC research hub coordinated by the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI). The 6G Research and Innovation Cluster (6G-RIC) hub team seeks to develop sixth-generation mobile communications systems with open interfaces across all technological boundaries. “In the 6G-RIC consortium, we can contribute our expertise in several research fields at once, from basic research to implementation: mobile communications, artificial intelligence, and optical data transmission and compression,” said Professor Slawomir Stanczak of Fraunhofer HHI.


6GEM – Coordinator

Chair for Distributed Signal Processing at RWTH

Chair of Digital Communication Systems at Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Department of Optoelectronics at the University of Duisburg-Essen

Faculty of Electrical and Information Technology of TU Dortmund University


Chair of High Frequency Electronics

Institute of High Frequency Technology

Institute for Networked Systems

Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL)

Visual Computing Institute

Institute for Automotive Engineering


Lehr- und Forschungsgebiete Mobile Communications and Computing

„Informationstheorie und Entwurf von Kommunikationssystemen


„Informationstheorie und Entwurf von Kommunikationssystemen