Creating the 5G network: apply for funding

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Although 90% of UK households have access to the internet, 2.7 million homes remain unconnected.

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.

A share of £1 million is available through Innovate UK and the CELTIC-NEXT programme for UK businesses looking to partner with international companies on 5G research and development (R&D) projects.

The CELTIC programme is part of the EUREKA network that aims to boost international partnerships in market-driven R&D.

Improving the user experience

The programme aims to help UK organisations become involved in the international development of 5G.

Projects must follow one of the following themes:

  • innovative 5G infrastructure technologies that make use of artificial intelligence (AI) in network operation or multi-access edge computing – cloud-based services on the perimeter of networks
  • applications that use 5G networks for new or improved user experiences, including features in satellite networks or services integrating satellites

Within this, projects must focus on one or more:

  • AI in network operation
  • multi-access edge computing
  • Internet of Things
  • tactile internet
  • mission-critical applications
  • infotainment – material intended to both entertain and inform – mobile services such as advanced media streaming
  • immersive content in industrial environments

Projects can have total eligible costs between £400,000 and £2 million, and organisations are advised to aim for grants around £500,000. Projects must start between October and December 2019 and last between 12 to 24 months.

Competition information

  • the competition opens on 1 April 2019, and the closing date is at midday on 29 May 2019
  • UK-based organisations of any size are eligible to apply
  • applicants must partner with at least 1 UK-based micro or small or medium-sized enterprise, and the project must involve at least 1 organisation from a EUREKA country
  • a briefing event will be held in London on 2 April 2019 where organisations can find out more about the competition and applying
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