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5G Innovation Programme

Source: BMDV

The requirements to be met by mobile communications in a totally interlinked society will be much more comprehensive than in the past. The digital transformation that is made possible by 5G will allow progress in all societal, economic and administrative areas and will sustainably contribute to an improved quality of life in Germany.

In order to satisfy the quality requirements of the future in relation to availability and latency as well as to meet the increasing need for bandwidths, we are intensively working on introducing the next mobile communications generation.

The Innovation Programme is to enable the trialling of 5G applications under real-life conditions. In this way, potential consumers and providers of innovative 5G mobile communications solutions are to be brought together and the potential of 5G mobile communications is to be made visible locally. In total, the German Bundestag has decided that around 66 million euros will be made available for funding the introduction of 5G. With this initiative, we intend to contribute towards making Germany the lead market for 5G.

Step I – the 5G research regions

In the context of the 5G research initiative, in 2019, six special funding grants were awarded to research establishments and universities.

5G-Innovations-Wettbewerb

Source: BMDV

Step II – the 5G innovation competition

In addition to providing research funding, the innovation programme of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport also aims to activate the innovation potential of local communities and companies. In order to introduce them to the opportunities of 5G mobile communications step-by-step and with the necessary expertise, strategic funding was provided during the second step. The aim of the strategic funding was to develop project ideas to test and research 5G applications in the corresponding regions.

In total, 67 cities, regions and associations have received around 6.2 million euros for the development of 5G strategies. The deadline for submission for the funded projects was 30 August 2020. However, also projects where the application for strategic funding could not be considered were given the opportunity to participate in the innovation programme, even without funding.

An overview of the projects funded can be accessed here (in German).

Gruppenfoto zum 5G-Innovationsprogramm

Source: BMDV

Step III – the 5G implementation funding

During the third step of the 5G innovation competition, 71 cities and regions all over Germany have developed innovative and creative strategies for 5G applications and business models – tailored to the local needs and in cooperation with regional businesses and research establishments.

The first 10 projects have received implementation funding in December 2020 and thereby been given green light. With a view to the great and nationwide interest, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport has considerably expanded the 5G implementation competition: up to 60 projects had the chance to receive implementation funding. Every project represents a consortium of local authorities, businesses and research establishments. All in all, there are funds available for several hundred committed businesses and institutions. It is this nationwide commitment in particular which makes it possible to widely use the opportunities of 5G mobile communications and make Germany the lead market for 5G.

An overview of the projects funded can be accessed here (in German).