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Digital Catapult inspires 5G 5pring into Formula 1

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Motor sports comms creatives to invent new channels of engagement

Consultancy Digital Catapult is working with motorsport body Formula 1 to see how 5G can engage fans with new heights of excitement.

Engineers, scientists and media experts at Formula 1 will work alongside Digital Catapult and a handpicked team of creative technology start-ups. Their joint mission is to engineer 5G inventions that will solve the challenges of the motor sport events industry.

The project has three main objectives: to test the latest emerging technologies and quantify the value through Digital Catapult’s 5G lab and demonstrators: explore new ways to captivate fans and foster a creative culture among the start-ups and scaleups.

Green track for new competitors

The creative small to medium sized enterprises were nurtured by 5pring the UK’s first 5G commercial application accelerator. 5pring is based in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands, the heartland of Britain’s car industry.

It was pioneered by a partnership between a Virgin Media O2 led consortium including Deloitte, Wayra UK and West Midlands 5G Limited. It is supported by Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) Local Growth Fund.

There is a massive crossover between employment in IT and comms and fans of Formula 1 and events organisers are keen to tap into their expertise and passion to make the experience more interactive and inclusive. This will be an ideal initiative to stimulate invention and explore all the creative possibilities that 5G offers, according to Pete Samara, director of strategic technical ventures at Formula 1. 

There are so many gears 5G can engage

“F1 is thrilled to be exploring with the start-ups and scaleups focused in this area,” said Samara, “knowing 5G it’s a technology that will transform and hugely impact event experiences globally.”

Jeremy Silver, Digital Catapult’s CEO, claimed that the 5pring programme is firing on all cylinders to unlock 5G’s potential. The addition of industry heavyweights from the events industry is a pit stop change that will take their performances to the next level.

The brief is to explore how 5G can help to elevate the experiences of auto racing fans and unlock new commercial opportunities for their stakeholders. 

“Bringing together the repute and expertise of Formula 1 with the entrepreneurialism of the start-up community will result in powerful collaborations, that can stimulate exciting new solutions for the events sector,” said Silver.

The 5PRING Live Events programme kicks off in January 2022 and includes 5G Vista, 5G Festival and 5G Testbed Accelerator, which aim to make more creative ways to deliver content and create interaction between sports fans and the teams.