CELTIC NEXT: Innovative 5G Infrastructure and Applications

Key Features

UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £1 million for 5G collaborative R&D projects in the EUREKA CELTIC programme.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £1 million

Opens: 1st Apr 2019

Closes: 29th May 2019

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is to invest up to £1 million in collaborative R&D projects in the CELTIC programme, which is part of the EUREKA Network.

The aim of this competition is to encourage the development of 5G in an international collaborative environment by helping UK organisations take part in the CELTIC programme.


Your project must focus on one of the following 2 overall themes:

  1. Innovative 5G infrastructure technologies, and in particular artificial intelligence (AI) in network operation or multi-access edge computing (MEC).
  2. Applications and services that use 5G networks to offer a new or improved user experience. This includes the development of 5G features in satellite networks or 5G applications and services integrating satellites. These projects are expected to consider security aspects.

The scope of this competition is deliberately broad to ensure industry-wide interest. If you would like to submit a proposal under a different theme within the wider scope of CELTIC-NEXT, email support@innovateuk.ukri.org for advice before you apply.

Within the 2 overall themes your project must focus on one or more of the following:

  1. AI in network operation (such as cognitive or zero touch operation, intent-based networking, automated service instantiation, agile provisioning or scaling, auto-resiliency, and automated customer service or virtual digital assistants).
  2. Multi-access edge computing (such as content distribution, location services, neutral hosting, edge analytics).
  3. Internet of Things, which includes narrow to broadband cellular IoT dealing with the massive deployment of connected objects or their deployment in rural areas and industrial settings.
  4. Tactile internet, which is haptic feedback across a wide area network, for instance in industrial applications or the health sector.
  5. Mission-critical applications that require a high level of reliability and resilience.
  6. Infotainment (a mix between information and entertainment) mobile services such as the use of advanced media mobile streaming and broadcast services (for instance services dealing with 4K, 8K, 360 or 3D videos, or holographic and volumetric transmission).
  7. Immersive content in industrial environments, for instance AR, VR or MR applications for factories or warehouses, or field services.


To lead a project you must:

  • be a UK based business of any size
  • collaborate with other UK businesses, research organisations, public sector organisations or charities
  • be, or involve, at least one UK based micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • involve at least one organisation from a EUREKA country
  • have submitted a CELTIC proposal before applying to this competition

The lead and at least one other UK organisation, applying as a partner, must claim funding.

All project work must be carried out in the UK and you must intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.

Funding Costs

Your project’s total UK eligible costs must be between £400,000 and £2 million. It is advised to aim for a grant of around £500,000 as 2 projects are expected to be funded.

SMEs must receive at least 30% of the grant.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 50% if you are a large business

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 25% if you are a large business

Projects must start between October 2019 and December 2019 and end by October 2021. They can last between 12 and 24 months.


Projects will not be funded that:

  • are feasibility studies
  • deal with connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV), specifically road vehicles