UK positions for 6G with £100m fund

UK positions for 6G with £100m fund

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The UK is positioning for 6G standards that it expects to start development next year.

The 6G Strategy, set out in the Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, is supported by a new ‘national mission’ with initial funding of up to £100 million to pull together existing research programmes. This will include a feasibility study to explore the potential for new infrastructure provision to improve competitiveness and drive growth in the UK telecoms sector and foster UK capability.

A key element of the mission will be a series of Future Telecoms Research Hubs, where early stage research will be coordinated through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) via the Technology Missions Fund (TMF).

These Hubs will build on the springboard provided by EPSRC’s £6 million investment for three federated and connected platforms in the communications technologies space. Supported by the UK Telecoms Innovation Network (UKTIN), these platforms will engage with the telecoms sector, catapults and internationally around three broad themes: a network of networks; wireless and wired systems and spectrum; and, cloud and distributed computing.

The platforms will draw together the existing portfolio of EPSRC investments in telecoms-related areas into a coordinated approach. These Hubs will help to develop an Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and provide the foundation for spinout companies to attract further industry investment in the UK’s world leading research base.

“We will work closely with our international allies to deliver this mission – ensuring we are influential in shaping the global landscape, embedding our values into future telecoms technology, and protecting our security interests,” said Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

Funding opportunities for industry, researchers and others through this investment will be available throughout 2023 and into next year through UKRI.

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