Exclusives : Ericsson, NEC, and CEA Top EU 6G Research Funding

Ericsson, NEC, and CEA Top EU 6G Research Funding

According to a 6GWorld™ mapping of the CORDIS database, Ericsson, NEC Laboratories, and CEA (Commissariat a L’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives) received the most funding from the European Union to carry out research on Beyond 5G and 6G.

Since 2017, the EU has granted over €95.1 million for 20 initiatives across Europe to advance the next generation of mobile connectivity in the continent.

Overall, there are 156 organisations involved in at least one of these initiatives – companies under the same name or management but located in different countries were considered as one (learn more about the methodology at the end of this article).

Most of them are headquartered in France, Germany, and Spain, respectively, but there are representatives from 23 countries – including Israel, the only non-European country on the list.

The vast majority of the participants (118) have joined only one initiative, while 38 are involved in multiple projects.

Just seven organisations are engaged in more than three initiatives: Orange (6), Telefonica (6), NEC Laboratories (5), Nokia (5), CEA (4), Ericsson (4), and Atos (4).

It comes as no surprise that they are in the top 10 institutions that received the most funding from the EU: a combined €17.9 million, representing 18.8% of the entire budget.

The following table shows each organisation and the programmes they are or were involved with, as well as the amount of funding they received. Names are as they were registered with the EU.

France, Germany, and Spain leading the way

France is home to the most funding recipients: 24 participants are registered as French in the CORDIS database. Germany (22) and Spain (20) follow, closing the top three. Three institutions are located in several countries and do not appear in this statistic.

Combined, companies from these three countries have been granted €44.3 million, a sum that represents almost half of the overall EU investment (46.5%).

It’s important to note that national governments themselves do not receive the funding. The money goes to the organisation.


This mapping was made using European Commission’s CORDIS database, the official data hub containing all research and innovation contracts signed by the European Union.

Following the CORDIS team’s directions, we considered projects under the following categories: 5G and beyond; Networking research beyond 5G; and 5G PPP – Smart Connectivity beyond 5G. We also we performed a query with terms like “beyond 5G” and “6G” to increase the pool of results.

We selected only initiatives that explicitly mentioned Beyond 5G or 6G as their primary focus. Projects that, according to our understanding, included these topics as secondary objectives were dismissed so that the database would reflect more accurately just the Beyond 5G- and 6G-focused research.

Because some companies have branches across Europe, we have unified all their entities under one common name when calculating funding by organisation. For example, CORDIS listed three different names for Ericsson: one for its headquarters in Sweden, another for the office in Turkey, and a third for the Hungarian office. They were all counted as one company in our mapping.

When accounting by country, however, we considered each branch individually: the funding for the headquarters was allocated under “Sweden,” but the sum granted for the Turkish office was allocated under “Turkey”. The same applies to the office in Hungary.

Because the database is constantly updated, information and graphs in this article may be outdated depending on when you read it. The data were gathered on March 15 and 17, 2021 and updated on March 30, 2021.




To reserve your ticket please fill out the registration form