The UK’s first 5G accelerator is off to a good start

16 July 2020

5G accelerator

Back in March the UK’s first 5G accelerator was launched in Birmingham, and now it has successfully carried out its first virtual workshop, which took the form of a business-orientated training programme, aimed at helping businesses use 5G to deliver growth and innovation.

The 5G accelerator, dubbed 5PRING and run by a consortium led by O2, Deloitte, Wayra UK, Digital Catapult and West Midlands 5G (WM5G), aims to make the West Midlands a 5G powerhouse, and while it’s got a long way to go on that front, it sounds like it’s seeing some early success despite the challenging circumstances it has launched under.

We’re talking of course about the ongoing pandemic, which is why its first workshop had to be virtual, but it seems that it went very well, with the involved firms able to deliver 12 hours of content over two days.

And while virtual, the event was designed to be as close to a physical one as possible, with attendees able to drop in and out of sessions, and network with tech experts and other businesses. And the event involved a lot of interactivity, with not just panels and presentations, but also workshops.

Robert Franks, Managing Director at WM5G, said: “The benefits 5G can provide businesses are unparalleled. Through 5PRING, we are providing everything innovators could possibly need to develop the next real-world applications for the technology. Our experts are providing the necessary insights and guidance to help businesses develop solutions to real-life problems. This is the start of an incredibly exciting chapter for the West Midlands and is one that I’m sure will leave a lasting, digital legacy.”

Reportedly the event was attended by everything from tiny to massive businesses, along with local authorities and academia, and this is just the start for 5PRING.

More accelerators and events to come

Two more accelerators carrying the same name are set to launch in Coventry and Wolverhampton later this year, and the next virtual event is already planned, with a COVID-19 ‘Hackathon’ programme set to run virtually for two weeks across July and August, with a ‘Demo Day’ at the end. So that sounds larger scale than this first event.

Beyond that, 5PRING is expected to continue for the next five years or more, with an aim of engaging more than 2,000 businesses across the West Midlands.

Sub-Editor at 5G.co.uk

James is sub-editor at both 5G.co.uk and TechRadar. Also works as a researcher/ technical writer for 5G.co.uk and several other websites including TechRadar, T3, Smart TV Radar, 3G.co.uk with work on the web, in print and on TV.

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