Mobile communications

Thinknet 6G

26. Juli 2021, 14:45 Uhr   |  From Kimberley Trommler

Thinknet 6G
© | shutterstock

With a new initiative, focused on next generation of wireless communication 6G, Bayern Innovativ invites all interested stakeholders to join a new ecosystem.

5G cellular is currently attracting a lot of attention, because it provides the basis for new customer experiences such as augmented reality games or for networking industrial equipment (Industry 4.0). This 5th generation is the first to move the focus away from individual end-user communications, placing more emphasis on industrial applications such as advanced manufacturing (Industry 4.0), logistics, transportation and eHealth, where machine-to-machine communication dominates.

The follow-up generation, 6G, will expand the capacity and speed of the networks further to enable applications with significantly higher networking requirements, such as real-time digital twins, full autonomous driving, or personal body-area networks. 6G moves the focus from machines to human beings and to their interaction with the environment around them, by supporting highly available, reliable, and secure communication with a dynamic, intelligent infrastructure.

Each new generation of cellular technology takes approximately ten years to develop, implement and roll out. While the 5G deployments are still underway, research for 6G has already begun. Since 6G is expected to hit the market around 2030, companies and research institutions need to begin their work on 6G without delay.

To ensure that all relevant stakeholders in Bavaria are involved in the research and development of 6G early in this cycle, the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy founded Thinknet 6G in March 2021, to create an agile ecosystem of industry players, research institutions, associations, innovators, start-ups, and incubators. Thinknet 6G is both a think tank and an agile community for all organisations and stakeholders who are interested in any aspect of 6G development.

Thinknet 6G is part of the Centre for Digitalisation Bavaria (Zentrum Digitalisierung.Bayern) at Bayern Innovativ and will pursue the following main goals and activities:

  • Establish a vibrant ecosystem of 6G stakeholders in Bavaria, Germany, Europe, and internationally
  • Act as a central point-of-contact and point-of-information for 6G topics and questions
  • Stimulate networking and exchange between the relevant stakeholders, to enable collaboration, cooperation, and knowledge transfer
  • Cooperate and network with 6G organisations in other states and countries
  • Support pre-competitive consensus building and reciprocal exchange
  • Promote Thinknet 6G and its activities, for example via the annual Thinknet 6G summit
  • Provide expert input and support to define calls for research funding 

Two chairs provide expert technical guidance to the Thinknet 6G platform: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Kellerer, head of the Chair of Communication Networks in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Technical University of Munich represents the research community, and Peter Merz, Vice President of Standardization & Research at Nokia Bell Labs represents industry stakeholders.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Kellerer

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kellerer von TU München
© TU-München

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kellerer, Technical University of Munich

heads the Chair of Communication Networks at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the new 6G Future Lab Bavaria: »Experience shows that the development of a new generation of mobile communications takes around ten years. To be ready for a big rollout in the early 2030s, those of us doing basic research want to work with the other key actors right from the start to lay the groundwork for success. This networking is taking place on the Thinknet 6G platform.«

Prof. Kellerer's research area includes methods and systems for radio as well as wireline communication networks. Prior to his appointment at TUM, he had an industrial career of more than ten years at DOCOMO Communications Laboratories Europe, most recently as head of the research department for radio communications and networking. He received his Dr.-Ing. and Dipl.-Ing. degrees from TUM in 1995 and 2002, respectively. Prof. Kellerer has published more than 200 articles in relevant journals, conferences and workshops and holds more than 40 patents and patent applications in the field.



Peter Merz

Peter Merz, Nokia
© Nokia

Peter Merz, Nokia

Vice President Standardization and Research at Nokia: »As the Thinknet 6G community, we believe that 6G begins with balancing one's own interests with the common good. In the case of 6G, the common good can be achieved through open and collaborative dialogue and joint actions by interested parties. Our goal is to shape, guide and drive the development of 6G in order to create significant value for society, industry and humanity.«


Logo des Thinknet 6G von Bayern Innovativ
© Bayern Innovativ

Thinknet 6G

is one of the three pillars in the Bavarian 6G Initiative, which the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy is funding with at least five million euro. The additional two pillars are a lighthouse 6G Future Lab at the Technical University of Munich and funding calls for joint 6G research projects. Thinknet 6G at Bayern Innovativ will work closely with the other two pillars as well as with 6G organisations and stakeholders in the rest of Germany and internationally.

Working together with researchers…

The cooperation between Thinknet 6G and the research & academic community will focus on the joint determination of research needs and the transfer of knowledge from research to industry. The research focus in the 6G Future Lab at TUM is mainly in ​​flexible, dynamic networking based on software defined networking (SDN) and network (function) virtualization as well as resource management in wireless networks. Results from 6G researchers at other universities and Fraunhofer institutes are also included in the Thinknet 6G ecosystem.

And with industry…

In the cooperation with industry stakeholders, Thinknet 6G will focus on pre-competitive consensus building between industry players, knowledge transfer from research to industry, and the initiation of new joint projects and partnerships. Emphasis will be placed on including smaller companies and start-ups who would otherwise have limited access to results from research or large international projects such as the Hexa-X project. Innovative use cases from all sectors will be included in the 6G discussions from the very beginning.

Thinknet 6G invites all interested parties to participate in the new ecosystem! You can find more information and register for the newsletter at And you can reserve October 28th, 2021, for the inaugural Thinknet 6G Summit – we’re looking forward to seeing you there!

The Author

Kimberley Trommler von Bayern-Innovativ
© Bayern-Innovativ

Kimberley Trommler, Bayern Innovativ.

Kimberley Trommler

holds a master's degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Waterloo in Canada. She has since gained extensive expertise in communication networks as well as international experience through positions at Loran International Technologies (now part of HPE), OpenText, BMW Group, and Paessler.

She joined Bayern Innovativ in 2017, as a group leader in technology in 2020 and as head of Thinknet 6G in early 2021.

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