Recognizing that communication networks are important engines of growth in the green global economy, Alcatel-Lucent has embarked on a path of “extreme green” innovation spearheaded by Bell Labs. Bell Labs has organized a formal approach to this green research, aiming to realize dramatic improvements in end-to-end network energy efficiency and services through out-of-the-box thinking, development of “clean slate” architectures, and open innovation.
Bell Labs green research involves more than 75 scientists around the world, collaborating with more than 50 companies, research institutes and universities. This represents a doubling of researchers and a five-fold increase in green university collaborations over 2010. Bell Labs also more than doubled its number of research projects with green as a major benefit (e.g., work on spatial division multiplexing for increasing the capacity and energy efficiency of optical transport systems, and on efficient storage and network coding for content delivery) over the same period. Almost 10% of all patent filings from Bell Labs today are green-related, and its researchers are on the technical program committees of, or presenters to, most of the major green conferences and workshops.
With this research highlighting some of the longer-term barriers to sustainable network growth — and the urgent need for innovation to address them — energy considerations have become an important concern in all new Bell Labs research. More than 30% of the projects in its pipeline have energy benefits as direct or indirect impacts.
The eco-sustainability challenge is too broad for any one organization to meet on its own, so Alcatel-Lucent has made open innovation a strategic priority, assuming active or leading roles in numerous collaborative initiatives — from consortia such as GreenTouch to partnerships, standards bodies and industry groups. Open innovation will allow us to move towards realizing a truly global, end-to-end network approach that will fully address all facets of the eco-sustainability challenge.
At the end of 2011, we doubled the number of researchers working on green research. A focus on energy efficiency has been incorporated into more than 30% of the projects in the research pipeline. This number is expected to further increase over time.
We increased the number of research projects that have environmental sustainability as an indirect consequence (or as one benefit of many): three new projects were in place by the end of 2011 — smart grid, spatial division multiplexing and green DSL — up from zero in the previous year.
We also multiplied by five our green university collaborations. In December 2011:
Our objective is to maintain this high level of commitment to extreme green innovation for the next three years in terms of internal research efforts, external collaborations and university funding.
Alcatel-Lucent is transforming communications for a sustainable planet…