$10m up for grabs in 5G trial grants

Friday, 05 February, 2021

$10m up for grabs in 5G trial grants

The federal government is calling on businesses to demonstrate innovative industrial solutions using the powerful capabilities of 5G.

A total of $10 million in grants is being made available under the Australian 5G Innovation Initiative, which aims to trial commercial uses of 5G technology and, by extension, support investment in telecommunications infrastructure and create jobs.

The Initiative, which will run over three years, is part of the federal government’s JobMaker Digital Business Plan.

“I encourage Australian businesses across all sectors to consider how 5G can benefit them and apply for funding through this Initiative,” said the Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher.

“Whether it is the use of sophisticated sensors on farm animals to provide information about their welfare in real time or using 5G in factories to monitor machinery to detect faults and do maintenance, reducing breakdowns and increasing efficiency: the opportunities are endless and I encourage all sectors to tell us how 5G can make a difference to their business.”

To be eligible, projects must conduct trials that “undertake rigorous, commercial, and replicable testing of technologies that make use of 5G, as well as identify solutions that demonstrate 5G’s capabilities”.

Those eligible activities must make use of at least one of three core 5G capabilities:

  • Enhanced mobile broadband.
  • Ultra-reliable, low-latency communications.
  • Massive machine-to-machine communications.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications has suggested the following areas as examples for which 5G’s capabilities could be applied:

Agriculture: 5G sensor nets deployed for on-farm monitoring, providing real-time information about soil moisture or water levels. This data can support farmers make data-driven decisions in farm management.

Manufacturing: Live device monitoring over 5G to predict equipment wear and schedule predictive maintenance in manufacturing and industrial locations and provide real-time feedback on the performance and operation of machinery.

Healthcare: 5G networks could connect diagnostic imagery to specialists in real-time. Through wearables, doctors could have real-time information about patients’ conditions.

Transport and logistics: 5G connected smart tags can provide real-time tracking for goods as well as providing insights on food freshness. Enhanced digital labelling could improve place of origin information.

Construction: 5G could provide workers with building visualisation onsite through augmented reality glasses. Sensors can be placed in building components to provide real-time data on construction as well as the ongoing performance of buildings.

An online noticeboard has been set up to enable businesses to connect with potential partners with whom to deliver projects, propose ideas or find potential projects.

Businesses can apply for between $100,000 and $2 million in grant funding. Applications open on 19 February 2021 and close at 5:00 pm AEDT on 31 March 2021.

Full details are available at https://www.business.gov.au/A5GII.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Vink Fan

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