5PRING: case study
5PRING committed to helping West Midlands firms harness the power of 5G
West Midlands based 5PRING, the UK’s first 5G commercial application accelerator and region-wide 5G test bed, has fulfilled a key role in helping local businesses unlock massive growth through advanced digitalisation.
5PRING brings Digital Catapult together with industry giants Wayra UK, O2, Deloitte and West Midlands 5G, and supports organisations with challenges or opportunities where 5G has the potential to be instrumental.
5PRING has been in the vanguard for one of the government’s headline aims of ‘levelling up’ the United Kingdom since its inception in 2020 – growing research, development and innovation outside of the south-east. As a dominant force in advanced manufacturing, the West Midlands is a region ripe for digitalisation.
Readying businesses for post-pandemic growth
Manufacturers UK-wide have become acutely aware of the benefits of incorporating advanced technology in order to build and sustain resilience.
Meanwhile, it’s clear that 5G is already helping businesses around the globe cut costs, slash their carbon footprint and make significant efficiency gains. Data from the World Economic Forum, for example, shows that digital technologies could help reduce global carbon emissions by up to 15% – or one third of the 50% reduction required by 2030.
Thanks in part to the programmes offered by 5PRING, the West Midlands has started to unlock this huge business potential for local companies and others throughout the UK.
Snapshot of key 5PRING successes
5PRING has provided bespoke masterclasses and workshops, partnering opportunities, access to technology and one on one sessions with world class business coaches and technical experts.
The 5PRING accelerator has run six different programmes across sectors over two years including manufacturing, transport and smart cities. Using its fully equipped and interlinked 5G testbeds in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry, 5PRING has enabled companies to bring solutions out of R&D for testing and early real-world deployment.
For example, as part of the 5PRING Construction accelerator, safety equipment supplier, PLINX secured a trial implementation to test out its ‘5G network in a box’ with international construction company Ferrovial, which has seen it boost its UK manufacturing base and supply chain. It developed and qualified its solution during the programme to offer connectivity to construction sites in remote locations. PLINX also developed 5G-enabled Internet of Things (IoT) tags to transmit proximity and health and safety data in real-time, and predict unsafe behaviour even before it happens.
PLINX CEO and founder, Tommy Williams was thrilled with his company’s involvement with 5PRING, and the technical and innovation support from Digital Catapult.
We were delighted to be part of the 5PRING accelerator with Digital Catapult. We continue to leverage insights and contacts as we scale PLINX globally,Tommy Williams PLINX CEO and founder
Similarly, the ‘Smart Cities’ accelerator enabled local authorities such as the City of Wolverhampton and Walsall to use 5G to create solutions for health and social care, public services and public safety.
Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands was full of praise for the project’s scope to boost regional growth.
These new centres will allow thousands of businesses and organisations across the region to experience 5G first-hand; this will be a great advertisement for the region as we look to encourage more businesses to relocate here.Andy Street West Midlands mayor
Vision Intelligence tested VIOLET AI, its computer vision solution as part of the Manufacturing cohort, using a simulated production line. Digital Catapult provided technical support to define the technical architecture and requirements, as well as connecting the VIOLET AI System with a 5G private network to provide low-latency feedback across the entire production chain.
5G will enable manufacturers to take advantage of big-data gold-mines, but in the context of exploring the full capabilities of industrial 5G we need to be looking for the gold dust and not relying on finding golden nuggets.Dr Krste Pangovski CEO Vision Intelligence
Taking dozens of businesses one step closer to commercialisation
In total, 480 unique organisations, both local and national, have participated in the 5PRING accelerator programmes over the course of the project. Of that number, 83% were SMEs or startups.
Impact assessment data compiled by Digital Catapult following all six 5PRING programmes shows that 60% of SMEs reported clear progress on their Technology Readiness Level (TRL), while 87% reported an increase in market readiness to launch their product/service after engagement with 5PRING.
480 unique organisations, both local and national, have participated in the 5PRING accelerator programmes
83% of participants were SMEs or startups
60% of SMEs reported clear progress on their Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
87% reported an increase in market readiness to launch their product/service after engagement with 5PRING
80% of companies were more aware of the benefits of 5G as a consequence of 5PRING
88% of the SMEs declared a positive inclination to commercialise the use case developed during the programme
More than 700 organisations attended activities delivered by 5PRING, with over 130 benefiting from its accelerator programmes
84 supply-side and 49 demand-side organisations participated
As well as Digital Catapult, consortium partners included:
Deloitte: free consultancy services
O2: 5G infrastructure
Wayra: coaching and mentoring
West Midlands 5G (WM5G): regional expertise and connections
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