The University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) has announced the selection of the first seven SME Technology Partners to benefit from its SME engagement programme, aimed at widening the 5G opportunities to smaller enterprises.
The seven companies 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 small grant of up to £10,000 by the University to integrate their technology into the 5G testbed as part of showcasing 5G possibilities.
The seven selected companies are: Blu Wireless, CBNL, Cardinality, Eptomical, Estatom, Lime Microsystems, and Paramus.
Founder and Director of the 5G Innovation Centre, Professor Rahim Tafazolli, in welcoming the new SME Technology Partners, expressed his delight at the diversity of ideas. He said that the University has received a lot of public funding for the testbed from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and the University wanted to show good ‘value for money’ not just by delivering the contract in full but finding ways to spread the benefits to SMEs.
Professor Tafazolli added that the UK’s industrial future would be, in large measure, down to how well the UK can incubate and grow its SME base and universities had a role to play in this. The University of Surrey had limited the number of SME Technology Partners to seven in this initial step in order to learn how to work in-depth with technology SMEs in a way that could scale. The next step would be to test the interest of the 5GIC’s large industry member, the government and others to widening the initiative.