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The project has ended in February 2023. A new platform is coming soon.


Project Coordinator (EU) :

Fairkom Gesellschaft

Country of the EU Coordinator :


Organisation Type :


Project participants :

Team members fairkom (EU):
Roland Alton: CEO, IT professional with focus on management of open source  projects, member of the board, also teaching at Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences. Role in the project: supervisor.
Armin Felder: CTO, IT professional with focus on programming, large scale deployments, identity management systems. Role in the project: technical consulting, mapping of groups in ID management systems.
Dimitri Hofer: support technician and key account manager: coordination of experiments.
Christian Fischer: UX specialist
Florian Koller: user experience evaluation

Team members Rocket.Chat (US):
Sing Li: Chief Opportunities Officer. Role in the project: supervisor.
Milton Rucks, product manager of Rocket.Chat’s team collaboration vertical
Rodrigo Nascimento, core developer
Renato Becker, core developer
Gabriel Engel: Rocket.Chat Founder. Role in the project: approver.

State of US partner :


Starting date :


Experiment description

Both the Rocket.Chat and fairkom team are players in the open source world and promote and live openness. Global and fair cooperation on a professional level is part of our common business ethics. We offer cloud based tools that can compete with closed source services and pave the way for organisations to escape from proprietary software usage by migrating to open source software stacks.

This usually consists of SingleSignOn identity management, a collaborative file, contacts and calendar suite and a powerful messenger. The open source messenger from Rocket.Chat is an important tool to organize collaboration within organizations, institution, association, companies or privates. Through the NGI experiments, the fairteam would like to detect further user hassle in respect to team function, synchronization or roles and permissions. Thereby we deliver a contribution towards a better mapping of real working environment to the non-proprietary network.

Through the NGI initiative, the fairteam got the big opportunity to improve the transatlantic network and collaboration. This enables both sides to focus on individual strength, share work and benefit from the usage of available resources. In the frame of this experiments, our vision is to detect issues, find solutions, implement them as open source code and pass them on to the community. Millions of daily users of now benefit from the enhanced team feature, which we had specified and tested in this transatlantic project.

Implementation plan :

In the preparation phase of this experiment, the Rocket.Chat API is being extended with functions for managing teams. This allows us to connect various group management systems.

The experiments will be performed with selected Rocket.Chat instances and group management systems. This requires us to set up either staging copies of this instances or work on the production platforms to experiment with, depending on the willingness of the invited leads to take a little risk in the experiment, that it may fail. Recovering procedures will be prepared, in case something goes badly wrong.

As group management systems Nextcloud and Keycloak will be used. In the experiment we will try to align the APIs so that creating or deleting a team or adding and removing team members in Rocket.Chat is being synchronised with the groups in the IDMs.

The experiment will be starting with a laboratory set-up to be classified as TRL 4 and it will be moving quickly on to a TRL 5 simulation of a real world setting. Experiment 1 is to be classified as a demonstration of a relevant environment (TRL 6) whilst experiment 2 is a system prototype demonstration in operational environment (TRL 7).

After the successful completion of this project, the experiment ideally can enter TRL 8 and qualify the results soon as system complete to be applied also in customer projects.    


Impacts :

Impact 1: Enhanced EU – US cooperation in Next Generation Internet, including policy cooperation.
Through the NGI project, the fairteam project offered the great opportunity to create more trust in our mutual transatlantic work. We were able to deepen our technical cooperation. This can be recognized, for example, by the fact that we continue to report issues on GitHub. or submit pull requests to enhance the funtionality e.g. with SingleSignOn or the RocketChat app.

Furthermore, the fairteam cooperation was a door opener for a beginning exploration of opportunities in respect to commercial cooperation. We are discussing several business opportunities with our US partner and hope to work more closely together in future. fairkom for example is an expert in providing BigBlueButton and Jitsi services, such as installation, hosting or development of features. A BigBlueButton or Jitsi server can be configured as a video conferencing tool in Rocket.Chat. We expect a closer collaboration in this field in future.

Regarding policy cooperation fairkom can offer Rocket.Chat hosting on its kubernetes Cluster to customers that need GDPR compliant hosting in the EU.

Impact 2: Reinforced collaboration and increased synergies between the Next Generation Internet and the Tomorrow's Internet programmes.
Collaboration is really critical for knowledge and data sharing as well as in advancing research. Our fairapps ecocystem allows for the seamless management of teams in different systems. For example, “circle admin service” allows the seamless self-management of teams in both nextcloud and Rocket.Chat. Moreover, an increasing number of governmental agencies and civilian organizations throughout the EU and US are already actively using Rocket.Chat for their own internal collaboration and communications needs. With the result of this experiment we contribute to improve the users’ ability to collaborate with one another, explicitly or anonymously, across the US and EU, via the ad-hoc federation of Rocket.Chat servers and the dynamic formation of distributed teams.

Team work at its best results in a synergy that can be very productive. With the seamless amalgamation of Rocket.Chat & NextClouds circles and groups and keycloak as an IDM, a more productive ecosystem ensues, giving leverage to users to easily automate and manage communication between individuals and groups.

Impact 3: Developing interoperable solutions and joint demonstrators, contributions to standards.
With the current migration to automated, open and cloud-based services, the need for high levels of adaptability also emerges. This should enable users to adjust their networks and systems dynamically to address new services and other revenue opportunities. The vertical and horizontal integration of Rocket.Chat and NextCloud Circles brings about interoperability allowing for self-management of public, closed or hidden groups.

One major contribution of these experiments is the promotion and standardization of cloud- native architectures as well as multivendor interoperability which maximize the effects of automation.


Impact 4: An EU - US ecosystem of top researchers, hi-tech start-ups / SMEs and Internet- related communities collaborating on the evolution of the Internet.
Rocket.Chat Ltd’s engineering team has experience in creating secure and private messaging platform for team collaboration over the last 5 years. Rocket.Chat also has expertise in deployment, tuning, and adaptation of such systems over diverse network and hardware topologies from the smallest Raspberry Pi deployment to large cluster of distributed servers servicing millions of global users. Project management staff in Rocket.Chat has accumulated experience in managing large projects involving globally distributed teams. During the hottest phase of this NGI Atlantic project, Rocket.Chat raised a Series A funding of $19M in February 2021. The evolving team feature probably was an important asset in convincing the investors.

fairkom is running its own server infrastructure, virtualized with KVM and partially containered with Docker and on a high availability and scalable kubernetes cluster. In 2018, we have made part of our favorized open source tools, which we use for internal communication and customer coordination available as a public service with the brand "fairapps". All services are available via fairlogin, our identity provider for Single-Sign-On based on keylcoak. On, we are offering a suite of open source based solutions, available for testing or for free for any inteersted, and offering packages or integration to existing IT infrastructures. Working with the maintainers as we did within this NGI Atlantic of great open source projects is indeed a USP when talking to potential customers.


Results :

The initial plan was to conduct one round of experiments with two testbed partners, wechange and Energieinstitut. The Deliverable 2 describes the set-up, the implementation and the results of this first round of experiments in details. They were conducted in November 2020 - January 2021.

During these experiments in round one, the fairkom team analysed various usability problems when working and communicating in multiple team contexts. We wanted to map the team semantics to open-source tools in use at the experiment partners. After an intense specification phase, the developer team was able to implement team channels for better collaboration with the RC 3.13.0 release in March 2021.

Future Plan :

The collaboration between fairkom and Rocket.Chat was a great success. The NGI Atlantic program allowed us to focus on enhancing team funtionalities, which can be considered as mature and production ready at the end of this project. Experiemnts in two round with two committed partners helped us to define the use cases and refine requirements. A (originally not foreseen) specification and implementation phase helped to bootstrap and present the features really needed. The feedback both from the experiment partners and customers was good and they make already heavily use of the team feature implemented into RocketChat and available since the March 2021 release 3.13.

Future work will be on fine tuning the Team channels mapping for various IDM scenarios. Currently we have been looking at keycloak and oAuth, but we may be confronted with other settings when it comes to real world deployments at customers.

During our meetings with Rocket.Chat we have identified also potential new fields for collaboration. fairkom is hosting a Jitsi Meet cluster and offers white labelled video conferencing services. Rocket.Chat is in need of a partner, who offers that kind of service independently of (maintainers of Jitsi Meet). We agreed to continue talking on potential collaboration on this service element, that can be easily integrated into RocketChat. Furthermore, as fairkom is also an active maintainer of BigBlueButton, we will be looking into making this second video conferening tool a better user experience for users.

Besides the above mentioned experiments and outputs we have taken advantage of the wide range of opportunities within the NGI networt. We have attented the NGI Tetra boot camp in March 2021. Thanks to the camp we could gather and improve our ideas and bring them on a higher level. This process is still ongoing due to the boot camp coaching sessions we were offered.

Expected TRL at experiment completition :


NGI related Topic :

Privacy and Trust enhancing technologies

Call Reference :


The 30-months project will push the Next Generation Internet a step further by providing cascade funding to EU-based researchers and innovators in carrying out Next Generation Internet related experiments in collaboration with US research teams.

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