04 June 2018
The University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) has announced the selection of its first seven SME Technology Partners.
This is the first step in the university’s 5G SME engagement programme which is aimed at widening 5G opportunities to smaller companies.
The seven partners are: Blu Wireless, CBNL, Cardinality, Eptomical, Estatom, Lime Microsystems, and Paramus (see table below).
They were selected through procurement for the 5G testbed, or through either academic research engagement or an open competition amongst the SME members of the 5GIC.
Amongst the criteria for the competition was ‘doing something special’, as well as showing the diversity of opportunity 5G is bringing about.
Each company was offered a grant of up to £10,000 by the university to integrate its technology into the 5G testbed as part of showcasing the technology’s possibilities.
5GIC founder and director Professor Rahim Tafazolli said the university has received a lot of public funding for the testbed from the DCMS and wanted to show good ‘value for money’ not just by delivering the contract in full but finding ways to spread the benefits to SMEs.
He added that the UK’s industrial future would largely be down to how well the country can incubate and grow its SME base and that universities had a role to play in this.
The University of Surrey has initially limited the number of partners to seven in order to learn how to work in-depth with technology SMEs in a scalable way. It says the next step will be to assess the interest of the 5GIC’s large industry membership, the government and others in widening the initiative.