The new Scotland 5G Centre is a key part of the Scottish Government’s aspiration to position Scotland as a leader in 5G technology.

Announced as part of the Government’s Programme for Scotland 2019-20, the S5GC will be the national platform accelerating the adoption of 5G while realising its economic and societal potential for Scotland. It will play an instrumental role in delivering the Scottish Government’s 5G strategy.

Located in the heart of the Glasgow City Innovation District, we are working closely with businesses, researchers and the public sector across Scotland. The centre has kicked off three major projects, led by our founding partners University of Strathclyde, University of Glasgow and the Scottish Futures Trust.

These projects will focus on three different key elements in Scotland’s adoption of 5G technology:

  • bringing connectivity to rural and remote areas to support businesses and communities
  • creation of 5G testbeds in urban districts, to explore potential for business growth
  • mechanisms for improving access to 5G infrastructure and assets

The executive team

The Scotland 5G Centre is hosted at the University of Strathclyde, with an interim team led by Director Dr Derek Boyd and Operations Director Dr Malachy Devlin. Both have a distinguished track record in driving new technologies.

Welcoming the setting-up of the Scotland 5G Centre in November 2019, Dr Derek Boyd said:

“5G will be a critical enabler for a host of new applications and will dramatically change the communications landscape; it’s great news that there is now a centre to provide a focal point in Scotland. It’s an exciting time as we now bring the Scotland 5G Centre into existence and start on a path to realise the benefits for Scotland.”

His colleague Dr Malachy Devlin added:

“This is an exciting time for wireless communications and in particular, 5G, which brings more than surfing the internet faster. 5G opens up the capability for new applications and more importantly the opportunity for new business models for operators and enterprises. I am delighted to be part of the Scotland 5G Centre to bring these benefits to Scotland at this pivotal time.”

Derek & Malachy are also supported by Sarah Eynon (Scottish Futures Trust) leading on public sector engagement and Michael Burns (University of Glasgow) leading on business development, and have also entered into a novel resource-sharing agreement with CENSIS (Scotland’s Innovation Centre for sensing, imaging and IoT technologies) on communications and marketing.

A £17bn boost for Scotland’s economy

A recent analysis by Deloitte, for the Scottish Futures Trust, showed that enhanced digital capability relating to wireless and mobile technologies such as 4G and 5G could add £17bn and around 160,000 net new jobs to the Scottish economy by 2035 and increase productivity per worker by £1600 pa.

According to the research, which helped shape the Scottish Government’s 5G strategy, launched in August 2019, a number of key economic sectors in Scotland could benefit from adoption of 5G technology, including:

  • healthcare
  • transport
  • education
  • public services
  • agriculture and aquaculture
  • immersive content
  • energy and resources

The S5GC’s work to deliver these benefits to Scotland and its businesses, communities and public sector now begins in earnest.

For more on the Scotland 5G Centre’s initial activity and aspirations, read Dr Derek Boyd’s blog: Getting our sleeves rolled up.

Want to know more?

  • To see, the Scottish Government strategy on Forging our Digital Future with 5G, click here
  • For the Deloitte Report on Scotland’s Digital Potential with Enhanced 4G and 5G Capability – including its economic impact analysis and more information on how it could benefit key economic sectors – click here
  • For more info about 5GRuralFirst – the forerunner to one of the initial projects, and an early-stage testbed project for delivering 5G connectivity to rural businesses and communities, go to https://www.5gruralfirst.org
  • A good general source of information on 5G news, events, opportunities and other developments is https://uk5g.org/