In 2011, Wireless@KTH, the cutting edge center for research in the area of wireless networks and services conducted by academica, industry and public sector, concluded its 10:th year of operations. To celebrate this a a full day event with 150 guests was arranged on June 8th. The year brought about some changes – a new strategy and focus of the center´s activities, an expansion of partners as well as a new Center Director, Professor Claes Beckman. In deep contrast to the positive development of Wireless@KTH, the center also lost a much appreciated colleague and source of inspiration – Professor Östen Mäkitalo.
In 2011, the Swedish mobile communication traffic volume increased by 100 %. The mobile data explosion started in the summer of 2007 and the annual doubling of mobile data traffic volume has continued since. According to Wireless@KTH estimates this will continue until and probably beyond 2020. The trend in the mobile communications development – the design of complete systems and services, including technology, market, energy and business – has continued. This is well in line with the activities of the Center.
As mentioned, 2011 was the year of celebrating a decade of operations. It was also a year of a major upgrade of the partner handling in order to add more partners. Vinnova encouraged the center to improve its innovation support for SME’s. The 2020 “Mobility Foresight” vision developed 2010 was matured and served as a guideline in these matters.
The website took its final form in 2011 and reached out to a wider global audience, also through social media. Another online channel was launched – the public blog forum called The Unwired People.
By the end of 2010 Wireless@KTH ceased to be a VINNOVA Industry Excellence Center. After a review process that ended 2011 VINNOVA decided to continue their support of the center, although in another format. That new direction was finalized by the end of the year and an agreement on an enhanced center operation was settled.
Tragically and totally unexpected Wireless@KTH lost a prominent member of staff in the beginning of the summer, Guest Professor and PhD of Honor Östen Mäkitalo. He passed away after a short leave while he was in the middle of ongoing projects and activities. Following his death, a number of events in honor of his memory have taken place at i.e IVA, KVA and TeliaSonera and an annual award in his name has been instituted by TeliaSonera. The loss of Östen Mäkita caused a major loss of capacity and impact. The center was reinforced by the return of the first Director, Professor Claes Beckman.
The center administration and documentation was moved to the online project management tool “Meltwater” in the beginning of 2011. It has worked well and increased the efficiency of sharing information and planning of operations. The Center formed and financed projects mainly at the same resource level as earlier years.
The partner management was much improved during 2011. Wireless@KTH has still mainly two partner categories, the “core” partners (Ericsson and TeliaSonera) and several “Project” partners. The Project partner definition has changed- they do not contribute with significant funding to the center but are merely organizations that are involved in different kinds of R&D projects together with Wireless@KTH. The number iof project partners have thus increased significantly from only four the previous year, 2010. More SME’s are expected to join in the year to come.
Wireless@KTH is a part of EIT ICT Labs. The fact that the Centers are co-located improves the establishment of a deeper co-operation between the entities.
Our industrial partners are very active. We experienced strong participation from our partners as well as from academic researchers in Wireless@KTH projects and other activities during 2011. The academic teams inside KTH, as well as in other Universities, are also part of the partner sphere.
Funding and Economy
The total research spending amounted to about SEK 16 million during 2011, most of which was transferred directly to participating research groups. Although he contracted project volume has increased significantly compared to 2010, the total funding and project volumes remains the same as last year. A part of the research budget consists of overall research management, application activities, research conferences, and other related activities as well as to Center and KTH overhead. As mentioned, the total 2011 cash flow was about the same compared to 2010.