Project proposals should be in line with the NGI vision and the topic of trustworthiness and technical assurances. They should have research and development as their primary objective, and should be complete and concise (no longer than two pages for the main application). Proposals should have a clear European dimension.
NGI Assure, co-funded from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 957073, foresees as an eligible activity the provision of financial support to third parties, as a means to achieve the objectives of the "Next Generation Internet" initiative - and thus to contribute to a resilient, trustworthy and sustainably open internet.
The internet lies at the heart of our modern economies and societies, but it was not designed to be used in the way we use it now. Additional innovations are needed, in particular to make usage of remote resources on the internet more trustworthy and secure. The goal of NGI Assure is to support projects that design and engineer reusable building blocks for the Next Generation Internet as part of a complete, strong chain of assurances for all stakeholders regarding the source and integrity of identities, identifiers, data, cyberphysical systems, service components and processes. Furthermore contributions can be made to address underlying real-world challenges in deploying and validating such building blocks, such as energy efficiency and sustainability, scalability and throughput, security, privacy/confidentiality, plausible deniability, robustness and crypto-agility, side-channel resistance, interoperability, governance and compliance to regulatory frameworks - where needed to turn the above into reproducible and trustworthy end-to-end solutions that can withstand the hostile battle grounds of the modern internet.
NGI Assure is looking for building blocks that contribute to providing such assurances include (but are not limited to) quantum-proof cryptography, public key infrastructure, (augmented) authenticated key exchange, ratchet mechanisms (such as the Noise protocol) that securely chain key material, distributed hash tables and DAGs to make P2P interaction more secure, conflict-free replicated data types, mixnets and onion routing mechanisms, consensus protocols, distributed ledgers and (post) blockchain technologies that create redundant data sets managed independently by mutually distrustful parties, a priori usage control, symbolic and formal proofs, and tamperproof open hardware implementations of core cryptographic primitives. The work needs to become available under free and open source licenses.
We are looking for deep tech components; the outcomes of NGI Assure shall contribute towards identifying and solving current issues, but do not need to provide a complete solution by themselves (although they may). NGI Assure strengthens the means we have for collaboration among all humans, replacing assumptions and potentially unjustified trust with uncompromising safeguards and verifiability where possible.
The following types of activities qualify for financial support, provided they are cost effective and have a clear link to the topics directly relevant to NGI Assure mentioned above - providing - and the objectives set out in the call: