Welsh government developing 5G-led tech cluster in Ebbw Vale
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
Mobile phone showing 5G bars and Welsh flag 5G connectivity will help digitise rural businesses across Wales (Credit: uk5g.org)

The Welsh Government has announced the next phase of its £100m Tech Valleys programme which will see the development of a 5G ‘technology cluster’ in Ebbw Vale.

The new project within the Tech Valleys programme, entitled 5G Wales Unlocked, will see a technology cluster formed around a new campus for cyber testing and high-spec accommodation for start-ups.

The technology cluster in the county of Blaenau Gwent will centre around the ResilientWorks campus, a £7m joint project with Thales that will focus on testing cyber security for autonomous vehicles and digitally-connected energy infrastructure.

The cluster, developed on a former steelworks site, will also include research laboratories, a model street complex and 'The Box', where shipping containers will be converted into custom-designed flexible offices for technology start-ups.

Welsh deputy minister for economy and transport Lee Waters said the Wales Unlocked project will use “5G mobile connectivity to expand the base of technology-driven organisations [in the country] and show the world that [Wales is] a destination of choice for exceptional, innovative companies.”

5G Wales Unlocked builds on existing projects within the Tech Valleys programme including an AI-led smart bus and smart parking trial, a LoRaWAN network to enable IoT technology and augmented reality tours of Raglan Castle.

Tech Valleys forms part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport’s (DCMS) 5G Testbeds & Trials programme and sees the Welsh government collaborate with partners including Cisco, BT, Thales, Utterberry, AppWay and Cardiff University.

Peter Shearman, head of innovation labs UKI at Cisco, said: “5G infrastructure has the potential to help connect business-critical services and devices, and the [5G Wales Unlocked] project aims to help build the commercial case for increased investment to make this a reality for rural communities.”

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