Information for Researchers, No. 58 | June 24, 2021

Priority Programme “Resilience in Connected Worlds – Mastering Failures, Overload, Attacks, and the Unexpected (Resilient Worlds)” (SPP 2378)

In April 2021, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme “Resilience in Connected Worlds – Mastering Failures, Overload, Attacks, and the Unexpected (Resilient Worlds)” (SPP 2378). The programme is designed to run for six years in two phases. The present call invites proposals for the first three-year funding period.

Vision and Goals

The goal of the Priority Programme is to disrupt fundamental limits of connected worlds by adding resilience as a core building block. Resilience is the ability of a system to provide and maintain an acceptable level of secure and safe service delivery, even in case of failure or compromise of some of its components, and also under completely unexpected situations. Machine Learning (ML)-based solutions help making our complex network infrastructures more resilient but at the cost of reduced controllability – and with reduced abilities of experts to help in critical situations. Thus, we are faced with even more challenges in terms of resilience in critical network infrastructures.

Resilience, as an emerging research field, is strongly required as a core property of the network infrastructure, from the global internet to the internet of things (IoT), from connected cars to complex cyber-physical systems (CPS); and resilience will be a primary research objective for the coming years. Resilient Worlds will provide resilience throughout the complete protocol stack, from the hardware layer to wireless communications and to applications. We expect that in modern communication networks unknown and unforeseen events could be handled both from the network as well as utilising external capabilities to prevent a collapse of this critical infrastructure. This requires a holistic approach to resilience, leading to appropriate, understandable, and easily applicable solutions.

In Resilient Worlds, the focus will be on the investigation of a resilience-by-design approach, which is already very challenging; however, adding resilience to (legacy) systems that were not designed for it can be even more demanding. It is therefore the goal of the Priority Programme to address resilience from a new, multi-disciplinary perspective including, but not limited to, communications and networking, semiconductor electronic hardware systems, information security, and machine learning.

Research Programme

The Resilient Worlds approach foresees projects following a “Resilience meets ...” concept. In particular, we see resilience at the core of next generation networked systems, thus requiring an integrative domain-oriented research approach. In addition, we solicit research on fundamental properties of resilience such as metrics, anticipation, understanding own state properties, etc. In the following, we outline a number of such meeting points, where current state of the art solutions have to be revisited and extended to focus on resilience as a core property.

Resilience meets Silicon

  • tunable chip design; self-aware hardware – anticipating and monitoring of changes/attacks
  • AI-driven reconfigurability for optimised resilience, energy, and performance trade-offs
  • synergetic and holistic methods for addressing reliability and security of hardware systems

Resilience meets Communications

  • resilient coded communication and computation
  • novel information theory approaches like “Post Shannon” / “identification channels” / “guess work”
  • adaptivitiy / support for heterogeneity / scalability in case of dynamic unexpected changes

Resilience meets Machine Learning

  • federated / distributed learning strategies for connected systems
  • explainable and controllable AI for connected systems
  • AI-driven software and hardware testing for networked systems

Resilience meets Security

  • novel protocol designs, including post-quantum secure protocols
  • scalable and sustainable security concepts for virtualisation
  • distributed threat detection and response, decentralised security for networks

Proposals seeking funding are required to follow an interdisciplinary “Resilience meets ...” approach and must clearly demonstrate the necessary capabilities and novelties that will enable the Resilient Worlds programme strategies and visions described above. Projects pursuing research for the sake of understanding networking only, without connection to one or multiple of the above-mentioned research fields or seeking only incremental improvement to their existing state-of-the-art are not in the focus of this Priority Programme.

Proposals must be written in English and submitted to the DFG by 22 November 2021. Please note that proposals can only be submitted via elan, DFG’s electronic proposal processing system. To enter a new project within the existing Priority Programme, go to Proposal Submission – New Project/Draft Proposal – Priority Programmes and select “SPP 2378” from the current list of calls.

In preparing your proposal, please review the programme guidelines (form 50.05, section B) and follow the proposal preparation instructions (form 54.01). These forms can either be downloaded from our website or accessed through the elan portal.

Applicants must be registered in elan prior to submitting a proposal to the DFG. If you have not yet registered, please note that you must do so by 5 November 2021 to submit a proposal under this call; registration requests received after this time cannot be considered. You will normally receive confirmation of your registration by the next working day. Note that you will be asked to select the appropriate Priority Programme call during both the registration and the proposal process.

With the submission of a proposal within this programme, the applicants agree that DFG shares all necessary information (applicant names, affiliation, email-addresses and proposal title) with the coordinator of the Priority Programme after the call deadline.

Further Information

More information on the Priority Programme is available under:

The elan system can be accessed at:

DFG forms 50.05 and 54.01 can be downloaded at:

For scientific enquiries please contact the Priority Programme coordinator:

  • Professor Dr.-Ing. habil. Falko Dressler
    TU Berlin
    Institut für Telekommunikationssysteme
    Fachgebiet Telekommunikationsnetze
    Einsteinufer 25
    10587 Berlin
    phone +49 30 314-28227

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:

Programme contact:

Administrative contact: