The Department for Science, Innvoation and Technology (DSIT) has launched a £40 million fund to spark local digital revolutions and unlock 5G benefits across the UK, with applications now open for local authorities to bid.
5G Innovation Regions' (5GIRs) is part of DSIT's wider programme to help drive 5G adoption, with a focus on key sectors where there is local capability and opportunities. Funding will enable places throughout the UK to unlock opportunities across the digital economy which utilise advanced wireless connectivity.
Local and regional authorities can apply for a share of the multi-million-pound fund, designed to accelerate innovation in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, transport, agriculture and public services, helping to create better connected places across the UK.
Successful 5GIR bidders will need to demonstrate how they will drive the drive the development and adoption of 5G and other technologies. Not only will this development and adoption benefit local communities and businesses, but further help accelerate private sector demand for advanced connectivity. This is something techUK has long called for, and we welcomed the earlier announcement of this funding in April's Wireless Infrastructure Strategy.
Applications of the technology could include connecting sensors that analyse and help to improve air quality by better managing traffic, and deploying 5G-enabled drones that can scan fields and crops, collecting data on weather and environmental conditions.
Running until March 2025, the successful 5G Innovation Regions will be supported by government through the DSIT Future Network Programmes team and UKTIN to develop their own digital ecosystems, take advantage of new and emerging technologies, and amplify local and national activities such as Project Gigabit, Investment Zones, and devolution deals to support local digital growth.
- Applications will close on 10 September, and winning bidders will be announced later this year.
- Further information on how to bid and application guidance for the fund can be found here.
- DSIT will be holding an online briefing event today 01 August at 10:00am. Register your interest via this form.
- For any queries relating to the fund, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications close on Sunday 10 September at 23:59 GMT.