5G Create

Key Features

DCMS have launched a £30 million open competition to develop new uses for 5G in a variety of industries.

Programme:     DCMS

Award:     Share of up to £30 million

Opens: 6th Apr 2020

Closes: 27th Jul 2020

! This scheme is now closed


5G Create seeks to fund projects that explore 5G deployment and use cases from all sectors, industries and UK regions.

In the 5G Create competition we are keen that projects should address the question of how the 5G capabilities being developed will deliver sustainability after government funding finishes. Applications should look at the new opportunities and markets from the perspective of the new business models that 5G might enable.


The recent Government Telecoms Supply Chain Review identified the need to support market diversification in the telecoms supply chain and highlighted the important role that the 5G Testbeds and Trial Programme can play in this.

Section 5 of the review identified key areas where the 5G Testbeds and Trial Programme can have a positive impact, in summary these are:

  • Stimulating R&D and encouraging new entrants into the UK market
  • Supporting the development and adoption of open standards and demonstrating interoperability between vendors
  • Exploring the need for a security testing capability to help lower the barrier to market.

In addition, some examples of the cross-cutting challenges that we hope will be addressed – and which we think could lower barriers to entry and accelerate development of new products – are:

  • Practical implementation of secure networks – including security assurance, resilience of services
  • Exploring ways of diversifying the UK Telecoms supply chain
  • Access to spectrum – e.g. spectrum sharing, neutral host networks, private networks
  • Intelligence and optimisation – the combination of big data, AI and connectivity
  • Innovative virtualised and open RAN architectures
  • New human interfaces – e.g. voice recognition, AR/VR, conformable screens, neural interfaces;
  • Interoperability between hardware and software
  • Management of services across heterogenous network types (including 5G NSA and SA, public and private networks).


This competition is open to applications from consortia from across the UK.

Consortia must:

  • Have a lead partner which can be any type of organisation from the public, private, third or research sectors
  • Have at least 2 organisations receiving funding
  • Include 1 or more organisations capable of providing access to 5G infrastructure and services
  • Include at least 1 micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)


More information on this competition and how to apply can be found by using this link.

Funding Costs

There is up to £30 million of funding available from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) 5G T&T Programme in this competition.

Your project can apply for project funding from £250,000 to £5 million.

You must complete all grant funded activities by 31 March 2022. Non-grant funded activities can continue beyond this date. Projects are not required to undertake funded activities up to 31 March 2022 if they are shorter by their nature.

Firstly, for experimental development involving collaboration under Article 25, the maximum grant allowed towards each individual organisation’s eligible project costs are:

  • up to 60% if you are a small business
  • up to 50% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 40% if you are a large business

Research organisations undertaking non-economic activity will be funded as follows:

  • universities: up to 80% of full economic costs
  • all other research organisations: up to 100% of eligible costs

Public sector and charitable organisations undertaking non-economic activities may claim funding up to 100% of their eligible costs.