The next 5G innovation hub location has been decided on Dundee, this hub will become part of a £4 million national network announced in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government.  

It will support innovation and growth in the games, virtual reality and interactive entertainment sector and co-develop solutions for diverse sectors such as healthcare and manufacturing.  The Dundee hub will also work in partnership to create new tools and services to combat cyber-crime activities. 

Dundee, already an ideal location for developing technology applications due to its concentration of highly skilled technology graduates produced by the city’s universities, is about to reach an even higher gear.  

The Scotland 5G Centre (S5GC) has announced the city as the location for its next innovation hub to ensure 5G technologies help drive growth and increase opportunities for employment and investment in the city and the wider Tay Cities region.

Businesses specialising in technology and entertainment in Dundee are poised to take advantage of a new innovation hub set up by the S5GC, in partnership with Abertay University, Dundee City Council and infrastructure experts Scottish Futures Trust to accelerate innovation and investment in this established and successful sector in the city.

The launch is part of the S5GConnect programme to deliver a network of hubs to drive economic growth across Scotland, as part of the Scottish Government 2020/21 Programme for Government. The Dundee hub will work with regional businesses and provide access to a 5G development platform, driving even more investment and interest to the area.  

Experts from the Scotland 5G Centre will lead work in the new hub in collaboration with Abertay University’s Emergent Technology Centre and the InGAME R&D centre, with the physical site location due to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

The hub will offer collaboration and partnerships to bring together industry, academia and government bodies, creating opportunities for businesses of all sizes. It will provide access to a Dundee City Council-led testbed, a unique demonstration and development environment, where organisations can test and develop new 5G applications and services for potential business models.

The Dundee hub will support research and development on enabling technologies for applications where mobile plays a key role such as service delivery, manufacturing, training and marketing by diverse industries and sectors. 

5G will open up opportunities to design products and services incorporating technologies such as immersive, interactive, AI, virtual reality, automation and IoT. The latter in particular allows for new innovative deployments of sensor-based systems and products across the area to deliver solutions such as better management of buildings and places and improved citizen experiences such as healthcare.

Another focus area will be cyber-security. The hub will encourage the adoption of proactive cyber security practices for SMEs who adopt 5G technologies through collaboration with Abertay University. New products, tools, services and software will be designed and developed to ensure secure access to the 5G network.  

The hub team will also work with SMEs in and around Dundee to be more digitally connected, helping increase employment and drive profitability.

This investment will align with and build upon work currently being undertaken by Dundee City Council, in partnership with Scottish Futures Trust and Abertay University, to create a 5G Testbed within Dundee Central Waterfront. The Central Waterfront Testbed, funded through the Scottish Government’s Growth Accelerator Model, will help deliver core infrastructure needed to meet the objectives of the 5G innovation hub. A total of £2 million of funding has also been ringfenced within the Tay Cities Deal to support the delivery and demonstration of 5G use cases. 

The Tay Cities Deal is a partnership between the U.K. and Scottish governments along with public and private organisations across Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross that together will invest up to £700 million in projects promoting sustainable and inclusive prosperity for the region.

Scotland’s Connectivity Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP said, “Dundee has already established a dynamic technology-based economy and the Scottish Government's investment of £4m through the S5GCConnect programme is providing the support to drive next-generation businesses in this sector. More widely, it will also create opportunities for the many SMEs across the city, including those in the services and public sectors.   

“This 5G Innovation Hub will support job creation, investment and skills development in key sectors where Dundee already excels, and crucially, it will support innovation in healthcare and manufacturing.”

Paul Coffey, CEO at The Scotland 5G Centre, said, “Dundee has a proud track record of partnership working with established tech networks to enable the city to flourish. The local team at the 5G innovation hub will support organisations, networks and communities to get involved in the acceleration of 5G deployment at an earlier stage. We will work closely with the city’s games industry to enable organisations to harness the many opportunities that 5G offers, such as truly simultaneous game play.”

Derek Graham, programme director at Scottish Futures Trust said, “The Digital Infrastructure team have been working closely with Dundee City Council to drive the development and delivery of its 5G testbed since its inception.  We are now looking forward to extending this collaborative approach with its partners to position the 5G testbed as a catalyst for future 5G innovation across the Tay Cities Region.”  

Professor Gregor White, Dean of the School of Design and Informatics, said, “Abertay has been helping to drive Dundee’s evolution as a leading U.K. tech hub for many years, and this 5G innovation initiative has the potential to further strengthen industries that are hugely important to the city and its future. The rollout of the 5G hub offers significant growth potential for Dundee’s business sector and we are keen to explore all business collaboration opportunities.”

Councillor Mark Flynn, convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee, said, "The business community in Dundee currently enjoy a high level of connectivity and ultrafast services with good upload and download speeds.

“But as the nature of doing business changes and there is an inevitable increase not just in demand, but in expectation, we want to ensure that more businesses in the city can enjoy a more uniform experience, with the greater performance and improved efficiency that 5G offers. I am delighted that Dundee will be the site of Scotland's latest 5G innovation hub.”

The S5GC Innovation Hub will be operational from May.