5G Innovation Centre

5GIC members and partners

The 5G Innovation Centre is committed to collaborating closely with a broad range of businesses and other partners to drive forward advanced wireless research, reduce the risks of implementing 5G (through our 5G testbed) and contribute to global 5G standardisation. The 5GIC has to date attracted an additional £68m from industry and regional partners.

Our member network

We have established strong relationships with a number of key global, national and regional players in communications.

Become a member

There are various membership categories of the 5GIC.

Who we work with

5GIC is actively seeking to work with national partners in developing large-scale use cases and trials of 5G technologies and services. In addition to global and national players in communications, we collaborate with other groups.

SMEs and start-ups

In addition to the core programme of research and development which is being progressed with major corporate partners, 5GIC connects with high-growth SMEs and start-ups within the wider region. The SME programme involves collaborations with a group of 6 LEPs known collectively as the Greater Thames Valley 6 (GTV6). These comprise, Enterprise M3 (The LEP 5G lead); Coast2Capital; Buckinghamshire Thames Valley; Hertfordshire; Oxfordshire; and Thames Valley Berkshire.

The Enterprise M3 region is home to around 100,000 SMEs, in addition to global businesses. It is a location that offers success and opportunities for growth to newly created businesses, whilst acting as a key workforce artery to London’s economy. EM3’s Growth Fund investment is focused on delivering connections to the 5GIC testbed that will be accessible to local businesses under quality controls designed to ensure effective and optimal use. Use of 5GIC facilities brings local business into contact with the mobile communications corporates who are founder members of the Centre.

The investment will:

  • support the interactions and connections between and across businesses and universities to deliver local growth through the adoption of new knowledge and know-how
  • drive local competitiveness by supporting an environment that enhances collaboration between large organisations and SMEs
  • by building the capacity of the EM3 area, to innovate and use innovation to improve productivity, help to lock in existing companies into the area and drive inward investment
  • through all of these initiatives, contribute to a GVA increase, creating jobs and new businesses

Outside of EM3, it should be noted that the extension project is an integral part of 5GIC which will involve other UK areas that have HE strengths in 5G mobile technologies.

Read more about our regional programme.

Working with Surrey Business School

Many technology start-ups are driven by people of vision. However, in many cases they require support in non-technology issues in order to turn their vision into profitable businesses. The Surrey Business School is running an "Agile Innovation Programme" to address this. Their concept is of a "Business insight lab" and "Impact acceleration lab" as two parallel bridges helping SME address the business issues of taking an idea and making it "product ready" for the market.

The service the Business School offers SMEs is technology-neutral. The 5GIC is technology-specific and routed in the telecoms market. The two centres are complementary and can be considered as two sides of a coin providing help and support to technology/application SMEs that engage with the University by either route.

Universities and research centres

The University of Surrey co-ordinates with other UK universities in the field of communication networks research under the auspices of the EPSRC through a programme known as "Commnet2". This is re-enforced with specific co-operation arrangements with some individual universities.

Enquiries from researchers concerning this opportunity should be sent to Bernie Hunt.

EU research programmes

The Institute for Communication Systems has been a successful partner in a number of EU collaborative research programmes in the general area of ICT. We will collaborate with very large enterprises, other academic and research institutes and with SMEs from other EU Member States.

If you are interested in exploring a partnership arrangement with a view to bidding into new EU projects please contact Professor Klaus Moessner.

International co-operation agreements

5GIC is open to proposals on international collaboration particularly where this could facilitate global standardisation. We are also willing to provide access to our 5G testbed to international partners, subject to the agreement of our 5GIC members.

Enquiries about new international bilateral co-operation agreements should be sent to Professor Rahim Tafazolli, the Director of the Institute for Communication Systems (ICS) and 5GIC.

Partnership with the Digital Catapult

The 5GIC and Digital Catapult formed close connections even before each was officially launched. The Digital Catapult’s vision is to rapidly advance the UK’s best digital ideas from concept to commercialisation to create new products, services, jobs and value for the UK economy.

The Catapult’s focus is on data and metadata – on the data value chain, the ways in which people and organisations create, collect, transport and analyse data.

This approach is highly complementary to the 5GIC’s primary focus on communications systems in addition to our own strong interest in Big Data and the Internet of Things. In addition the Digital Catapult and 5GIC are collaborating with other organisations - other catapults, large businesses, Universities and Local Enterprise Partnerships - to support Digital Economy start-ups and small businesses.

The Digital Catapult is a member of the 5GIC and has seconded a full time member of their team to the 5GIC in the role of 5G Fellow.

Enquiries about the Digital Catapult should be sent to Dritan Kaleshi.

National programme

5GIC is actively seeking to work with national partners in developing large-scale use cases and trials of 5G technologies and services. If you are interested in collaborating with 5GIC please contact Professor Rahim Tafazoli, Director 5GIC.

Read more about our national programme.

Regional programme

Enterprise M3 Growth Fund provided £1.75m to fund equipment and staff costs for the original 5GIC testbed facility and to pave the way for engaging local business with the wider project. To engage contact Michele Dodd.

Read more about our regional programme.

If you are interested in collaborating with 5GIC please contact Professor Rahim Tafazoli.

Working with us

The 5G Innovation Centre provides a research hub for the telecommunications sector with dedicated specialist laboratories for network management/operation and communications electronics. The Centre is connected to the Vodafone Core Network, the Fujitsu Cloud Computing facilities and to a 4km25Gwireless test facility’ encompassing motorway, rural, urban and dense urban radio environments.

With the aim of delivering innovation from the lab to the real-world, the 5GIC testbed is split into three key areas: mobile broadband radio, fixed core network and service platform based on software defined networking (SDN) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The plan is that these three testbeds will be integrated into one system which will become 5G. These will be open facilities where we welcome industry (large and small and start-ups) and academia to take advantage of our facilities for the furthering of communications technologies and applications as a whole. This enables us to translate research from the lab to a real-world environment, along with industry partners who will be able to work with us to translate technical breakthroughs to deliver 5G applications and continuously feed our work into standardisations of the 5G system.

Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Director of 5GIC