Government earmarks £1m to fund 5G R&D projects

Companies are advised to apply for £500,000 to be in with the best chance of receiving funding


The Government has earmarked 1 million to help businesses develop 5G technologies in the UK, via its Innovate UK and CELTIC-NEXT initiatives. 

The money can be snapped up by businesses working on projects that are making use of 5G technologies to support AI applications and services. These could be for cloud-based services on the perimeter of networks, for example.

The funding can also be used for user experience-focused projects, such as satellite networks or services or integrating satellites into projects.

Although they both seem quite generic applications, the projects must focus on a more precise set of use cases, with services such as infotainment, mission-critical applications, the Internet of Things and the next stage of the IoT - the tactile internet, which focuses on providing a low latency, highly available connection for connected devices.

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Businesses can bid for grants between 400,000 and 2 million, although Innovate UK is suggesting they should aim for around the 500,000 mark if they want to be in with more of a  chance of being granted the money.

"Although 90% of UK households have access to the internet, 2.7 million homes remain unconnected," Innovate UK said in the competition announcement.

"Smartphones, which are the most widely-used means of accessing the internet, could provide the solution, connecting the entire country through the fifth generation wireless (5G) network."

The competition opens on 1 April, and businesses with projects due to start between October and December can apply. They must be scheduled to run for between 12 and 24 months to be eligible for a share of the funds. 

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