Innovate UK has revealed plans to invest up to £1m in 5G research and development projects to uncover applications and services for the next version of mobile broadband.
Companies wanting to snap up a share of the fund will need to enter a competition launching on 7 December and submit projects for consideration before noon on 20 January 2016.
Each applicant will be required to have collaborative projects that work with academic or research institutions, or communication services providers, and have a lifespan of nine to 12 months. The projects will be allowed to feature a mix of industrial research and a technical feasibility study.
Successful projects will receive a share of the cash as a grant to part-fund their development. Small businesses can have up to 70 percent of an eligible project funded, while medium and large organisations can have 60 and 50 percent of their costs covered respectively.
A spokesperson from Innovate UK told V3 that the money could be used to fund a consortium of companies or smaller groups.
The cost of the projects is expected to range from £150,000 to £220,000, although Innovate UK said it would consider projects outside this range.
Innovate UK explained that the fund will be used to identify and stimulate use cases for 5G, which is being developed at a infrastructure level in the UK.
"The purpose of this competition is to stimulate this capability and enthusiasm so that the UK is well placed to be an early exploiter of 5G and a leader in its applications and services," the organisation said in documents outlining the scope and ambitions of the competition and funding.
"Projects should focus on 5G use cases and the user experience of 5G applications and services. This will involve considering the utility, usability and desirability of such applications and services, as well as issues such as security and privacy."
Innovate UK also noted that it has kept the scope for project submissions broad to pique the interest and innovation of multiple organisations and projects.
"The projects we fund may be related, for example, to the Internet of Things [IoT], the tactile internet, mission-critical applications, new handset services, new mobile applications, connected media/broadcast services, immersive and interactive content or content distribution," it said.
Innovate UK has already allocated a solid amount of funding to the UK over the past 10 months, having launched a £10m IOT smart city competition in July and a £210,000 fund in January to fuel wearable technology innovation.
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