The hub was established at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park, as part of the West Midlands 5G (WM5G) testbed to enable start-up businesses and SMEs to learn about and engage with 5G technologies, and to grow and develop new products/services using technologies such as extended reality, robotics, computer vision, and the Internet of Things.
It was instrumental in demonstrating the power of 5G as well as helping participants to validate their new applications over 5G in a controlled environment.
The funding of around £500,000 supported 59 businesses and in addition 16 mobile sites were upgraded to provide commercial 5G services across Wolverhampton.
Chair of the Wolverhampton Town Deal Board, Ninder Johal, said: “The Wolverhampton Town Deal Board recognised early on the importance of investing in 5G technology to deliver long-term benefits to the city.
“5G connectivity provides fantastic opportunities for businesses to enable them to develop new products and grow.
“Wolverhampton has a strong heritage of innovation, and through targeted work to accelerate the roll out of 5G it is ensuring businesses thrive and local people benefit from new jobs.”
City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Councillor Ian Brookfield, added: “Thanks to strong partnership working, Wolverhampton was one of the first cities in the UK to benefit from the rollout of 5G – opening up opportunities for people across the city to start to benefit from this new technology as the networks extend further.
“Our digital strategy is critical to driving our city priorities and we want to give our businesses access to the latest cutting-edge technology and a homegrown digital-savvy workforce.
“I am delighted so many city businesses have benefitted from this funding – boosting our local economy.”
The Wolverhampton 5PRING hub was also the catalyst for two long term innovation programmes:
• Smart Cities - Focused on harnessing the power of 5G to create safe, cutting-edge, and successful Smart Cities, with challenge areas in health and social care, public services, social & events, and public safety.
• Live Events - Focused on innovative solutions from across the events industry, covering topics including audience experience, venue management, improving interactivity of exhibits and other use cases.