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DSIT allocates £36 million for regional 5G projects


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Image source: Niam

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has announced a £36.5 million investment in 10 regional projects, including public service initiatives, to encourage innovation with 5G technology.

It has created 5G innovation regions (5GIRs) for the projects, saying the funding will boost digital connectivity and drive the adoption of 5G and other advanced wireless technologies.

The department has also launched a new Digital Infrastructure Advisory Group with representatives from around the UK to help local areas submit recommendations to government on supporting their connectivity goals and encouraging investment.

Glasgow City Region is to receive £3.2 million to deliver a project using advanced wireless and internet of things (IoT) technology to improve public services. It will focus on monitoring and maintaining assets, creating environmentally friendly social housing, and improving the monitoring of health and social care.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority will receive £3 million to deploy hundreds of 5G enabled air source heat pumps in social housing. This is intended to help to accelerate the creation of smart energy grids in the UK.

Shropshire and West Midlands

Shropshire Council has been allocated £3.7 million to embed wireless connectivity in its public services, along with water management and rural industries; and £3.8 million is going to the West Midlands Combined Authority to proven 5G applications for smart communities and advanced manufacturing through new adoption hubs.

Other allocations of £3.8 million each are going to: Oxfordshire County Council for the creation of 5G science parks; North Ayrshire Council to support manufacturing through wireless innovation hubs; Sussex County Council to develop and scale 5G applications in farming and food and drink production; Cumberland Council to help build the tourist economy and protect the environment; Sunderland City Council for port operations and road transport; and Belfast City Council to digitise port operations and support on-location filming and production studios.

Minister of Data and Digital Infrastructure Sir John Whittingdale said: “We’re channelling millions into local areas to unlock the potential of cutting edge 5G wireless and digital technologies which will reshape our public services, drive economic growth and boost innovation. This new fund will give local areas from across the country the opportunity to be at the forefront of Britain’s world leading 5G revolution.”

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