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Mike Short announced as chair of advisory board of £10 million telecoms innovation forum established to boost R&D and telecoms ecosystem

Staff Reporter
April 27, 2023

Government reveals advisory board and action plan for telecoms industry forum to accelerate R&D investment, collaboration and commercialisation of emerging technologies

The advisory board for  UK Telecoms Innovation Network has been announced. The UKTIN is funded with £10 million by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology to boost research, development and innovation in the UK telecoms ecosystem part of the £250m Open Networks Research and Development Fund to transform the UK telecoms innovation landscape, boost collaboration and partnerships, and open up new opportunities for innovation.

The Advisory board is chaired by UK telecoms industry pioneer Dr Mike Short who was Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for International Trade from November 2017 to February this year. The other members are:

UKTIN is delivered by a consortium of four partners Cambridge Wireless, University of Bristol and WM5G who will help organisations looking to enter the UK telecoms market or expand their existing footprint.

Digital Catapult is an authority on advanced digital technology, accelerating the adoption of new and emerging digital technologies to drive regional, national and international growth and opportunity across the UK economy.

Cambridge Wireless is the community for companies involved in the research, development and application of wireless infrastructure and mobile, internet, semiconductor and software technologies.

The University of Bristol  has expertise in telecommunication and networks (5G & 6G); cryptography and information security; robotics & autonomy; data science & AI/ML; energy & climate change

WM5G specialises in connectivity, IoT, data and AI solutions,

The UKTIN is the  line into the government to inform future policies for UK telecoms.

UKTIN’s services include specialist support for research and development, an online community for entrepreneurs, start-ups and university spinouts, and a framework for creating commercial products from early-stage technology.

UKTIN will help with funding routes, opportunities to discover innovators, and access to testbeds, labs and other testing facilities.

It will also facilitate access to training and jobs.

“The launch of our services is a pivotal moment for the UK telecoms sector,” said UKTIN head and director at Digital Catapult Nick Johnson.

“Working across fixed, mobile and satellite telecoms, we can now offer organisations the support to thrive in a global marketplace. With that comes a unified vision that gives the UK Government the insight it needs to support the sector”.

Paul Crane, CEO at Cambridge Wireless, commented:

“Whether building on existing telecoms capabilities or developing new opportunities, organisations need access to the right support and expertise to bring them to life. Our role at Cambridge Wireless will be to establish and nurture the UKTIN innovation ecosystem and deliver our supplier specialist guidance service to help navigate the UK telecoms landscape.”

Jon Hunt, Executive Director, Research, Enterprise & Innovation at the University of Bristol, comments: “Research and development is critical to success and forms a key part of our strategy at UKTIN. We will leverage our position at the heart of telecoms networks research to drive UKTIN’s work on future R&D capabilities. This means bringing together academia, government, industry and funding bodies to collate and deliver the ‘who, what, where’ across the UK telecoms R&D talent innovation ecosystem.”

Robert Franks, Managing Director of WM5G Limited, comments; “Delivering breakthrough telecoms innovation requires a strong talent pipeline as well as entrepreneurs and investors willing to take risks. Through UKTIN we will be working in partnership with key players across the ecosystem to help address skills gaps and talent shortages – with a view to boosting skilled employment. In addition, we will be convening entrepreneurs, investors, operators vendors and others to help accelerate telecoms innovation – leveraging the UK’s telecoms and tech clusters.”



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