Working Group: LEPs & SMEs - December Report

    Report Published on 6 Jan 2020
Written by Keith Robson - Co-chair

5G Industry 4.0 Regional “Train the Trainers” day – Birmingham region - The venue should be confirmed in January 2020. Once confirmed, we will be looking for speakers. The first event will aim to gather around 30 attendees (future trainers).

SME/LEP 5G roadmap: The activity is led by Peter Curnow-Ford with support from Andrew Lambert, Adrian Braine, Colin McLaughlin and Claire Caminade. The roadmap will provide context and orientation for SMEs, LEPs and Local Authorities on f on 5G in the UK and a sense of how they can best engage in their locality. It will include:

  • What the operators are doing, where they are at the moment and what they intend to do in 2020
  • What the Government is doing
  • International

The roadmap will help LEPs understand how they can play their role in assisting local organisations or local authorities, or both. Peter C-F. has already delivered a slide-deck that can be used as a basis for the roadmap.

Business layer engagement: 5G Innovation Centres & SMEs
The WG has highlighted the importance of finding ways of engaging SMEs via the setting up of regional Innovation Hubs and/or creating “business layer” access to local test beds (Enterprise M3 LEP/5GIC and Bristol are both looking at the latter and Digital Catapult has an exemplar in the Brighton Hub). The challenge is how to make interaction with the test beds more affordable and less technically complex.

ABC Life Force – Digital Health Industry Hub (Norther Ireland)
Health is one of the WG’s top three priority areas and Brendan Crossey has provided an outline for a Health Hub which is a very good exemplar of the type of activity we want to encourage. There are no LEP organisations in NI so Brendan has been working closely with his local council who are keen be branded as health and life science hub supporting SMEs in the region. The initiative is supported by the healthcare community in NI and the local healthcare innovation centre. This could be a big opportunity that no one has properly demonstrated especially using an open platform. Brendan would welcome input and direction from the UK5G programme to help shape what the hub/centre of excellence could deliver. This proposal might chime well with renewed UK Government focus on innovation.