5PRING and local authorities are and inviting start-ups and small businesses to submit ideas focused on health and social care, public services, social and events, and public safety.
The 5PRING 5G consortium is working with West Midlands’ local authorities to launch a smart cities challenge.
It is inviting start-ups and small businesses to shape the future of UK smart cities through the exploration of 5G applications in the West Midlands.
Organisations will be working with experts from local councils across the region, including Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, and Wolverhampton, as well as Black Country Consortium, Coventry and Warwickshire and Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnerships (Leps).
The challenge is focusing on the following areas:
Businesses are being asked to present solutions and ideas to one or more of the challenge areas, including: driving efficiency of public services such as rubbish collection and road monitoring; supporting the resurgence of the high-street using digital experiences; journey planning; and improving public safety.
5PRING said organisations with 5G-enabled solutions that leverage capabilities such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and edge computing are “strongly encouraged” to apply.
Successful applicants will have access to the latest technology via a private 5G network at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park and a tailored acceleration programme, as well as coaching, mentoring and expertise provided by experts from the seven West Midlands’ local authorities, three Leps and the 5PRING consortium members Telefonica UK (O2), Deloitte, Wayra and Digital Catapult.
“Our collaboration with 5PRING will give all of the participating local authorities in the West Midlands the opportunity to work closely with small business and start-ups to support and leverage 5G innovation”
Companies will be able to take advantage of Wayra’s investor network and start-up offers, a combined consortium customer network, business development with corporate firms, and including consultancy from Deloitte.
“Our collaboration with 5PRING will give all of the participating local authorities in the West Midlands the opportunity to work closely with small business and start-ups to support and leverage 5G innovation,” said Raj Mack, head of business engagement (information, technology and digital services), Birmingham City Council.
He added: “With this collaboration, we are looking to foster digitalisation of an array of services. 5PRING will allow us to identify and trial ground-breaking solutions in a real testbed environment, using technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and IoT systems to support the creation of smart cities.”
5PRING has been pioneered by West Midlands 5G (WM5G), which was established to accelerate the benefits of 5G throughout the region. It is supported by a consortium made up of Telefónica UK (O2), Deloitte, Wayra UK, and Digital Catapult.
Tim Pile, chair of Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP (GBSlep), one of WM5G’s partners, said: “Our investment of £1m to WM5G has enabled the smart cities programme to go ahead. We believe that the commercialisation of 5G offers fantastic opportunities for small businesses to scale-up and for start-ups to develop their ideas.
“5PRING will allow us to identify and trial ground-breaking solutions in a real testbed environment”
“As a business-led organisation, we are here to enable smaller companies to develop and thrive. GBSlep works in collaboration with local government, businesses and educational leaders to target investments in areas we believe will help grow our regional economy and we are proud to be backing the UK’s first 5G commercial application accelerator.”
Applications for the accelerator are open and should be submitted by midnight on 25 June 2021. For participation in the incubator, registration should be submitted by 18 June 2021. For further information visit: 5pring.org/programmes/smartcities.
A series of engagement events will run throughout the 5PRING programme known as Educate, Incubate and Accelerate.
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