UK government offers €1.17 million for 5G infrastructure innovation

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The UK government is offering a share of £1 million (€1.17 million) in funding to businesses that advance 5G infrastructure or user experiences.

The funding is provided through Innovate UK and the CELTIC-NEXT programme, which is part of the EUREKA network that aims to boost international partnerships in market-driven R&D.

To be eligible for the funding, projects must provide either innovative 5G infrastructure technologies that make use of artificial intelligence (AI) in network operation or multi-access edge computing, or applications that use 5G networks for new or improved user experiences. The government highlighted that this includes projects which feature satellite networks or services integrating satellites.

Within these guidelines, projects must focus on one or more of the following:

• AI in network operation
• Multi-access edge computing
• Internet of Things
• Tactile internet
• Mission-critical applications
• Infotainment and mobile services such as advanced media streaming
• Immersive content in industrial environments.

Projects can have total eligible costs between £400,000 (€467,000) and £2 million (€2.34 million), and organisations are advised to aim for grants around £500,000 (€584,000). Projects must start between October and December 2019 and last between 12 to 24 months.

The competition opens on 1 April 2019 and closes at midday on 29 May 2019. UK-based organisations of any size are eligible to apply.

A government statement said: “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 5G network.”