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5G Create: Winning projects announced by government

The next wave of government-funded research and development projects aiming to put Britain at the forefront of 5G technology have been announced.

Six research and development projects utilising 5G technology have been awarded government funding as part of the recent 5G Create competition. Projects in Sunderland, Preston, Liverpool, Manchester, Brighton and Suffolk will test what revolutionary high-speed connectivity can do for UK industries, with use cases in healthcare, sport and entertainment, and manufacturing. 

Through 5G Create, the projects will receive a share of £30 million in funding as part of the wider £200 million 5G Testbeds and Trials programme (5GTT), which has now funded 24 5G testbeds across the country, trialling almost 70 different 5G technologies, products and applications. 5GTT aims to unlock new economic benefits and productivity boosts from 5G while commercial rollout continues at pace.

Seventeen UK SMEs are involved in the 5G projects, including those that government aims to help open up the UK’s telecoms supply chains. The six projects are:

  • 5G FoF (Factory of the Future): BAE, Advanced Manufacturing Catapult and IBM will lead a large project in Preston that ultimately aims to deliver the Tempest fighter jet at half its current cost, and to drive UK global manufacturing competitiveness. The project aims to develop integrated solutions to some of the key challenges to deploying 5G technologies in manufacturing, using 5G to test use cases such as robotic assembly, reconfigurable product assembly lines and distributed and shared VR/AR. 

  • 5G Festival: The 5GF project will demonstrate how 5G can enable the empowerment of the music industry to bring live festivals and music events to audiences no matter where they are in the world. For example a music fan in Edinburgh could experience their favorite artist live in LA, collaborating with another artist in London, all without having to leave their front room.

  • Smart Junctions 5G: Visionable, Weaver Labs and Transport for Greater Manchester aim to deliver AI traffic control systems to reduce congestion and pollution as well as improving productivity by cutting waiting times at traffic signals. 

  • 5G Edge-XR: BT’s Media and Research teams are working with TheGridFactory, Condense Reality, Dance East, Bristol University and Salsa Sound, on developing virtual and augmented reality experiences to complement BT Sport’s services. 5G Edge-XR will demonstrate how 5G networks, coupled with cloud graphics processing units, could enable people to view immersive sporting events from all angles across a broader range of devices including smartphones, tablets, AR and VR headsets and TVs.

  • Liverpool 5G Create: Building on the existing 5GTT funded project in Liverpool, a group of local healthcare bodies, the University of Liverpool, BluWireless, and Broadway Partners will build a 5G network designed to benefit local NHS, social care services and other public bodies in a post-Covid-19 world. It will use private 5G networks to develop affordable connectivity for remote health and social care, improving future resilience and reducing inequalities that arise from lack of affordable access.

  • 5G CAVL: As with 5G FoF, this project aims to drive operational efficiencies and improving productivity in the operational manufacturing environment, Nissan, Sunderland Council, the North East Motor Manufacturers Group and Three will deliver 5G-connected, autonomous 40-tonne trucks to distribute parts and assemblies across the Nissan plant, linking to many local SMEs in their supply chain

Three of the six projects - 5G Edge-XR, 5G Smart Junctions and Liverpool 5G Create - will involve British SMEs trialling the use of open access 5G infrastructure and network solutions. A second round of new projects to receive funding through 5G Create will be announced in the autumn.

techUK members interested in finding out more about the next generation of mobile technology and the specific use cases it enables are welcome to join our 5G Ecosystem Working Group, which is currently focused on the specific opportunities that 5G can provide for Industry 4.0 with a current focus on manufacturing and logistics, the creative industries sector, and to explore the barriers and opportunities of 5G in the rural economy.

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