Startups pioneer low carbon innovation with 5PRINGPosted 17 Feb 2021
Ten leading startups are working with 5PRING, Suez and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to pioneer green innovations using 5G – as part of 5PRING’s first three month startup acceleration event. Innovations include transforming home deliveries, reducing pollution through better traffic management, high-tech recycling. These green innovations could help the West Midlands reach its target to be net zero for carbon emissions by 2041.
Ten exciting startups are pioneering new green technologies with support from 5PRING and its Green Innovation Challenge programme, set up in partnership with Suez, a large utilities company, and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
Developing, proving and scaling major new green innovations utilising 5G technology could prove crucial in helping the WMCA deliver on its plans for reaching net zero carbon by 2041.
Driven by the WMCA’s WM2041 programme, the West Midlands region is committed to leading England’s low carbon transformation and 5PRING’s Green Innovation Challenge is a major part of this.
The 5PRING consortium is made up of Digital Catapult, Telefonica UK (O2), Deloitte and Wayra, and runs accelerator activities in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, with the aim to help organisations of all seizes harness the power of 5G to deliver growth and innovation throughout the West Midlands and beyond.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The Green Innovation Challenge is a key component of the region’s carbon neutrality ambitions and the WM2041 Five Year Plan. As part of our journey to carbon neutrality, it is absolutely critical we bring the region’s businesses with us, as they have a key role to play in both helping to reduce emissions and creating high-skilled, well-paid, jobs. The 5PRING programme – supported by West Midlands 5G – does exactly that and I am excited to see what our ten start-ups produce.
This first cohort has access to cutting edge technology and a private 5G network, supplemented by coaching, mentoring and expertise from the 5PRING consortium, and is made up of:
- Osmium: A remote monitoring service that can easily integrate with machines; currently Osmium is monitoring and maintaining 12 wind turbines with this service. The aim is to roll-out large numbers of low-cost 5G-enabled monitoring stations so that machinery can be more efficiently monitored, driving productivity in other areas. Only 5G provides the speed, ubiquity, cost and longevity to achieve this.
- KC Technology: A smart traffic control system that includes smart radar-based traffic detection to monitor vehicle and pedestrian flow. 5G’s ability to transfer data in real-time enables big data traffic control modelling, allowing traffic lights to change on demand, meaning congestion can be resolved more efficiently, reducing pollution levels in the process.
- CurveBlock: A platform that opens the door for people to invest in green real estate developments. All builds are carbon zero, energy positive, and A+ EPC rated. By implementing 5G into its sustainable housing, CurveBlock will be able to gather real-time data that will support its ability to gain insights to enable users to reduce energy consumption.
- Omniflow: A smart lamp post powered by wind and solar that transforms a regular street light into sustainable smart infrastructure. With this 5G solution, cities can transform a simple street light into a carbon neutral object that can be used for multiple IoT purposes in a single infrastructure – without the need for creating new ones.
- Electric Zoo: A seamless solution to help travellers go electric the easy way. Smart technology utilising 5G analyses journey data, the supply of electric vehicles and charging points, enabling an online platform to deliver an electric vehicle on a short-term rental to your door. If successful, this will decarbonise the transport network through the adoption of more sustainable forms of travel.
- Arrive.by: A platform that optimises the delivery of people, packages and things, providing a bespoke solution at scale for clients through the use of custom maps and vehicle profiles. 5G enables a better customer experience due to the ability to process high volumes of data and greater bandwidth, allowing a real-time proficiency.
- Everyware: An advanced tracking solution that provides valuable insight towards a customer’s business operations, improving operational efficiencies. 5G’s increased capacity will help to unleash an ecosystem of connected devices with improvements in latency, speed and energy consumption. This will reduce the energy, time and effort spent tracking and monitoring mission critical assets.
- Aistetic: A B2B technology platform for retailers to make fit and style more accessible to more people, leveraging computer vision and deep learning. Aistetic’s solution reduces online returns and increases conversion for retailers whilst improving the experience for consumers through a 3D avatar enabling them to try on clothes virtually. 5G will enhance the delivery of this solution, lowering latency and increasing processing speeds.
- Westfield Technology: The world’s first pure electric AI autonomous road sweeper that has a secondary job of conglomerating deliveries to houses, universities, places of work, hospitals, shopping centres and more. The vehicle uses face recognition and QR codes to access on-board lockers. 5G will enhance the remote stewarding technology, providing live asset/road/path monitoring, faster AI data set learning, faster stream related insurance data, and provide data on the road sweep and vehicle control systems.
- Greyparrot: A graduate of Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage programme, Greyparrot uses AI-powered computer vision software that could increase transparency and automation in recycling. 5G enables the real-time transfer of information on waste flows that can be used to optimise recycling plant performance. This real-time, visual information on waste flows allows for a more efficient plant and more optimised market for secondary materials, crucial for the circular economy.
These organisations are at the outset of a three-month long tailored programme where they will experiment with their specific 5G use cases to develop proof of concepts and importantly a scaling plan to drive real-world 5G opportunities.
5PRING was pioneered by West Midlands 5G (WM5G) Limited, which is a multi-million-pound programme that both the WMCA and DCMS set-up to develop the UK’s first region-wide 5G testbed. DCMS expects to invest over £20m in this programme, in addition to substantial West Midlands public sector and private investment (October 2018 to March 2022).
Robert Franks, Managing Director at WM5G, added: “We’re pleased that the Green Innovation Challenge response was oversubscribed, and we are working with eleven of the brightest start-ups to drive forward 5G innovation. We’re fully aligned to the WMCA’s vision for a greener future and look forward to seeing these businesses continue to develop, prove and scale their respective applications and services. It’s an incredible time to be investing in 5G and we’re proud that the West Midlands is leading the way in terms of 5G innovation.”
A series of engagement events for businesses outside of the Green Innovation Challenge are running throughout the 5PRING programme. For more information or to get involved, visit: https://5pring.org/.