If the UK is to increase economic competitiveness and improve the delivery of social services post Covid-19 and Brexit there needs to be a step change in digital connectivity across the country. 5G technologies will be a vital part of this and it is essential that we accelerate the uptake from small and medium size enterprises (SMEs). These companies make up approximately 99% of all UK businesses, and 52% of UK business turnover. However, the challenge is how to achieve meaningful engagement with this very widespread and disparate community.
Fortuitously, the UK already has some strong industry-led networks such as regional Combined Authorities, and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), which exist to stimulate and support business-led R&D and investment across England and similar, analogous networks in the nations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Many of the members of UK5G - Advisory Board members, delivery partners (KTN, Cambridge Wireless), associate partners (Catapults) - have excellent existing relationships with these regional networks The UK5G Regions and SME Working Group aims to leverage these relationships to share the benefits of 5G with SMEs and other local businesses, with particular attention as to how to best align with regional strengths and challenges already identified in Local Industrial Strategies.
Our objective is to facilitate links with organisations at a regional level with existing national 5G initiatives to ensure that knowledge is disseminated as widely as possible to create maximum and social and economic benefit.