Open Call 1

The CONFINE project is organizing two open calls to attract external experimenters to our facilities. This first open call will close on Friday October 19, at 17:00h Brussels time.
Extended deadline:  Wednesday October 31, at 17:00h Brussels time. Status: CLOSED

The CONFINE project is designing, building and operating a distributed testbed to support experimental research in community networking:  The Community-Lab testbed offers a group of computers and network links installed as part of existing community networks. The testbed is under development and we already have a small operational testbed with prototype software. As of January 2013 we plan to have around 40 nodes ready to run experiments, which are part of three community networks in Europe (  Similarly to Planetlab, each research project has a “slice” with access to virtual machines on the different nodes.  The nodes are x86 based computers (AMD Geode LX CPU such as Alix boards or Atom CPU) running a customized OpenWRT Linux distribution that uses Linux containers to run several slivers (i.e. a container assigned to a slice that can run its own Linux system). There is a wide range of links and technologies, mostly wireless but also wired (fiber), under diverse environmental conditions, link characteristics, node density, which enriches the research scenarios. There is a common testbed portal (with a Web and programmatic interface) to manage experiments, and our wiki contains lots of informal documentation about the project and the testbed. The operations team of Community-Lab will provide support (starting from 2013) to the researchers to set up and run their experiments on our testbed. We will also provide appropriate methods for configuring, deploying, managing, executing and measuring experiments.

External experimenters can use the CONFINE infrastructure for their experiments in the area of community networking or related topics that can benefit from that infrastructure. For these experiments, funding is available under this call. We would like to note that applying for funding is not necessarily a requirement: (unfunded) use of the infrastructure for small projects may also be possible if the testbed infrastructure is able to support your request (depending on availability and type of experiment), however unfunded use is planned for a later time of the project (around spring 2013) when we can assess the spare capacity of the testbed after this open call.

Topics of interest for this open call, but not limited to:

  • Wireless mesh networks
  • Wireless MAC and routing protocols
  • Services and applications
  • Cross-layer designs
  • Hybrid networks with wireless and optical fibre links
  • Tools for bootstrapping and running community networks
  • Performance modelling and evaluation
  • Quality of service provisioning
  • Quality of experience in community networks
  • Community network security and privacy
  • Large-scale management and data collection infrastructures
  • Incentive models for encouraging users and businesses to participate in community networks
  • Socio-technical-economic experiments for community networks

Check the expected characteristics of the testbed for 2013 to make sure experiments proposed can be supported by our testbed.

If you are interested in applying to this call and receiving funding for your experiments, please find the information for the first open call below. A (growing) list of frequently asked questions is available.

  • Budget available in the first open call: In the first call, EUR 250 K€ Commission funding will be made available. The requested funding per experiment should normally be in the order of EUR 50 K€.
  • Total number of experiments: The CONFINE project will offer funding for up to 5 experiments.
  • Number of partners per experiment: The target number of partners per experiment is 1 or 2.
  • Types of experiments: We are looking for experiments in the field of community networks, that make use of the existing Community-Lab testbed.
  • Duration of the experiment: The maximum duration of an experiment is 12 months, from January to December 2013.
  • Submissions: Proposals should be submitted in English and the submission is accepted only electronically, in a single PDF file, to the following email address:
  • Deadline: This first open call will close on Friday October 19, at 17:00h Brussels time. (extended) CLOSED
  • Extended deadline:  Wednesday October 31, at 17:00h Brussels time.
  • Contact: Felix Freitag, UPC, phone: +34 934011609, Email (preferably) for information (not submissions):

Yes, I’m interested!

If you are planning to submit a proposal in response to Confine’s 1st open call, please read carefully the following information on how to prepare your proposal:

General Information and Requirements
Call identifier: Confine-1
One of the Confine project objectives is to make the infrastructure available for execution of innovative experiments by users. It is required that these users come from organisations that are not part of the project consortium. To ensure this, the project is issuing this open and competitive call for innovative experiments, where independent evaluations of the submitted proposals will be performed, in order to select the most innovative experiments which will be executed within the project.
Once an organisation (or a group of organisations – up to two partners), is selected to perform the proposed experiment, it will be included in the project consortium for a time period corresponding to the duration of preparation, integration, execution, and evaluation of the experiment. The experiment duration (including preparation and evaluation) must not exceed 12 months and the planning must allow for at least 3 months of evaluation period at the end.
Proposals for user experiment have to demonstrate technological expertise, scientific novelty and quality. In addition, the participating organisations must be eligible for participation in the EC Framework Programme 7 (FP7) – related and further useful information can be found at Estimations of resources necessary for implementation and execution of the planned experiments have to be provided in the submitted proposal for user experiments. Following the selection of experiments, an updated resource and project plan will be developed through negotiations between the proposing partner(s), the project coordinator and the project General Assembly, as well as with the consent of the EC Project Officer. Successful negotiations with additional partners will lead to an amendment to the project Grant Agreement.
The selected partner(s) will be added in the project consortium as additional partner(s), which will be realised by signing the necessary accession forms to the project Grant Agreement and Consortium Agreement. Consequently, the additional partners will participate in the project in accordance with all relevant FP7 rules and procedures. In particular the additional partners will be required to respect the consortium management procedures, e.g., with respect to project meetings, reporting, etc.
The proposal must state precise costs for the experiment in terms of personnel and other costs following the financial rules for EC FP7 projects. Although the maximum EC contribution for individual experiments is set by the European Commission at 200,000 € per experiment, the requested funding per experiment should normally be in the order of 50,000 €. The additional partners will receive the contribution in accordance with standard FP7 payment rules: covering 50 or 75% of eligible costs, depending on the type of organization, and considering direct and indirect costs.
The proposals will be evaluated by independent experts, who will be briefed by the consortium about the selection criteria. Annex II of the Guide for applicants shows a template of an evaluation form. The selection criteria will include:
  • Degree of innovation
  • Scientific excellence,
  • Relevance to community networks or to the CONFINE testbed,
  • Degree of end-user involvement,
  • Qualifications of the organizations performing the experiment and previous results supporting the experiment
  • Consideration of socio-economic and other relevant non-technical aspects,
  • Openness of the results, including software licenses, that facilitate its public adoption,
  • Expected impact of the results.
The objective is to select around five proposals in this first call.
Summary of the main points:
  • Innovative experiments
  • Duration: max 12 months (with at least 3 month of evaluation period)
  • Contribution: typically 50,000 €
  • The proposer:
    • Must be eligible for participation in the EC FP7
    • Must respect the consortium management procedures

Contact: Felix Freitag, UPC, phone: +34 934011609, Email (preferably) for information (not submissions):