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5PRING, Ferrovial challenge UK 5G innovators to lead UK construction ‘revolution’

Leading UK 5G testbed provider announces partnership with global infrastructure operator to understand and assist in the development of the potential 5G has to take construction to a new level

After a series of moves to advance use cases based on next-generation networks in its home region of the West Midlands, 5PRING, the consortium delivering the UK’s first 5G commercial application accelerators, has partnered with leading global infrastructure operator Ferrovial to help startups and small businesses in the construction sector shape their future.

In developing their programme, the partners noted that with construction output in the UK valued at more than £110bn, accounting for 7% of GDP and employing around 10 million people, the sector is well positioned to benefit from the impact of deploying 5G solutions to increase efficiency and optimise processes in construction such as asset monitoring, as well as reducing costs and emissions.

The Future of Construction challenge will provide startups and other small businesses with the support needed in developing and scaling innovations targeted at the construction sector which harness what 5PRING and Ferrovial say will be the power of 5G to create a safe, dynamic and efficient construction industry. There will be a specific focus on health, safety and security, as well as logistics and site operations.

The Future of Construction challenge will offer successful companies’ access to cutting edge technology via a private 5G network, a tailored acceleration programme, as well as coaching, mentoring and expertise provided by experts from Ferrovial and the 5PRING consortium members Telefónica UK (O2), Deloitte, Wayra and Digital Catapult. A series of engagement events will run throughout the 5PRING programme, known as Engage, Explore and Exploit.

Commenting on the scheme, and what it could achieve for the construction firms, Javier Vaca de Osma, technology and processes director at Ferrovial Construction, said: “5PRING will give Ferrovial the opportunity to explore 5G potential to leverage innovation for our businesses by accessing a new ecosystem of start-ups and disruptive solutions.

“With this partnership we are looking to foster the digitisation of our construction sites integrating, through 5G, technologies such as augmented reality, edge computing or IoT systems to boost efficiencies while ensuring the safety of our working environments. 5PRING will allow us to identify and test cutting-edge solutions on a real test bed of innovation.”

Applications for the accelerator are now open and should be submitted by midnight on 14 May 2021. Successful applicants will start working with 5PRING from 5 July 2021. For participation in the Incubator, registration should be submitted by 7 May, ready to start on 10 May.

Read more about UK 5G accelerators

Applicants with 5G-enabled solutions which use augmented reality, computer vision, IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and robotics, and which are regarded as still relevant to the construction sector, are also encouraged to apply.

5PRING is a joint venture between West Midlands 5G (WM5G) and collaborators O2, Deloitte, Digital Catapult and Wayra.

Adding his opinion as to how the project will develop, WM5G managing director Robert Franks said: “It is through partnerships such as those that 5PRING is developing that we will truly be able to understand the real potential that 5G has to revolutionise the UK’s major industries.

“The guidance and expert advice that our 5PRING teams can provide both virtually and through our dedicated Accelerator hubs in Coventry, Wolverhampton and Birmingham are leading the way,” he said.

“Ferrovial’s decades of experience will be vital in helping to shape and guide the innovative solutions that we are hoping to see delivered through this programme, transforming their ambitions into reality,” said Franks.

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