The government has opened a multi-million pound challenge to manufacturers to demonstrate ways in which ultra-fast 5G can be used to improve productivity in manufacturing and logistics.
The new funding was announced by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which is overseeing the UK’s drive to accelerate adoption of 5G across all sectors of the economy.
DCMS says the competition makes available UK government investment to trial new 5G services and applications in the vertical industry sectors of manufacturing and logistics.
The aim of these projects, they say, is to demonstrate the value of 5G beyond enhanced mobile broadband, by targeting industrial uses that can help deliver efficiency, productivity, and other benefits in the UK economy, and help the UK lead the development of enterprise applications for 5G.
A DCMS spokesperson added: “The competition is aimed at consortia led by private sector companies and requires the participation of at least one small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).
“The application should be submitted by the lead project partner. Leading a consortium will include development and leading the delivery of the project and proactively encouraging participation from small and medium sized enterprises. The details of project roles and eligibility are provided in the Competition Guidance and supporting documents.”
The spokesperson added: “These projects will explore 5G deployment and industrial use cases in the areas of manufacturing and logistics. We are seeking involvement from a range of companies that have the potential to contribute to the test-beds and trials, such as manufacturing and logistics companies, system integrators, mobile and fixed network operators, and equipment suppliers. Public sector, academic, and research and technology organisations may also be involved.”
The full details were announced at a briefing today in London.
Any manufacturer who has questions about the competition has until 30 August to submit them. The competition closes at 12pm on 10 October.
The Digital Catapult is a delivery partner for the government’s 5G Testbeds and Trials programme.
Made in 5G – a new report published by the Digital Catapult – outlines the main challenges to 5G adoption for UK industry, and sets out key usage and adoption recommendations for British manufacturing.
“Made in 5G sets the wheels in motion for the journey towards Industrial 5G. It’s a long road, and as with all leading-edge technologies, it’s essential for manufacturers to engage early so as not to be left behind,” said Jeremy Silver, CEO of the Digital Catapult.
“There’s a real business case for getting skin in the 5G game right now, helping to shape the use cases for a technology which promises to be revolutionary for output and productivity across the UK’s manufacturing industries,” he added.
Steps taken now by manufacturers will dictate the direction of UK industry within the increasingly competitive global landscape, 5G will prove vital to the future success of the industrial industry.
The report found three key areas within industry that 5G will help to accelerate: on-site and in-factory production optimisation; monitoring and management of goods across the supply chain; and product lifecycle management.
However, adoption of 5G will only become a reality if collaboration happens between all players in the manufacturing and connectivity value chains.