As part of its new digital infrastructure drive, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced six 5G testbeds led by SMEs, universities and local authorities. Tony McDonough reports
Sensor City in Liverpool has secured a £3.5m Government grant to investigate how 5G technology can boost the health and social care sector.
As part of its new digital infrastructure drive, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced six 5G testbeds led by SMEs, universities and local authorities.
They will test 5G across a range of applications, including smart farming with drones, using the ‘Internet of Things’ to improve healthcare in the home, increasing manufacturing productivity and maximising the future benefits of self-driving cars.
Consortiums across the country receive between £2m and £5m government grants of a £25 million competition, as part of a total investment of £41m from private and public sector funding.
Sensor City is a £15m collaboration between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University which aims to establish a world class business and research hub around sensor technology.
It will lead a consortium made up of public sector health suppliers, the NHS, university researchers, local SMEs and a leading UK 5G technology vendor to explore fifth generation mobile communications technologies.
Funded for one year in the first instance, the project will see high value technologies including low-cost open source 5G networks, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the Internet of Things deployed across deprived communities in the Liverpool city region test bed
The consortium will use this technology to reduce the digital divide, while measuring the impact on patient monitoring and support, management of loneliness in older adults, aid to independents living in the home and the facilitation of communication between hospitals and the community.
Alison Mitchell, executive director at Sensor City, said: “The Government’s 5G strategy for the UK presents a fantastic opportunity to transform the lives of many, especially through health and social care, so I think I speak for all partners when I say we’re excited to see this work unfold over the next five years.”