Innovative 5G Infrastructure and Applications

Key Features

UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £2 million for 5G collaborative R&D projects in the EUREKA CELTIC-NEXT programme.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £2 million

Opens: 14th Oct 2019

Closes: 11th Dec 2019

! This scheme is now closed


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

EUREKA is an intergovernmental organisation for market-driven transnational research and development projects. EUREKA’s clusters are long-term strategic industrial initiatives. The CELTIC cluster deals with telecommunications. CELTIC-NEXT is the cluster’s programme for the next 8 years (2019 to 2026).


Your project must focus on one or both of the following themes.

5G infrastructure technologies

For this theme, they are looking for projects related to artificial intelligence (AI) in network operation or multi-access edge computing (MEC).

  1. AI projects can be about cognitive or zero touch operation, intent-based networking, automated service instantiation, agile provisioning or scaling, auto-resiliency, automated customer service or virtual digital assistants.
  2. MEC projects can deal with content distribution, location services, neutral hosting or edge analytics.

5G use cases

For this theme, they are looking for applications and services that make the best use of 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. Your project must focus on one or more of the following use cases:

  1. Internet of Things (IoT), which includes narrow to broadband cellular IoT such as NB-IoT or LTE-M and dealing with the massive deployment of connected objects or their deployment in rural areas or industrial settings.
  2. Tactile internet, which is haptic feedback across a wide area network, for instance in industrial applications or the health sector.
  3. Mission-critical applications that require a high level of reliability and resilience.
  4. 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).

Immersive content in industrial environments, for instance augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) or mixed reality (MR) applications for factories or warehouses, or field services.

Please note: 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 no later than 10 days before the application closing date.


To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • collaborate with other 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 other organisation from a EUREKA country
  • have submitted a CELTIC proposal before applying to this competition

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic institution, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • be invited to take part by the lead applicant

The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding and enter their costs in the application.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, whether they are UK or non-UK organisations. Their costs will not count towards the total eligible project costs.

Funding Costs

Up to £2 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £400,000 and £2.5 million.

UK applicants can claim up to £700,000 total grant per project.

Projects must start between January 2020 and March 2020. They can last between 12 and 24 months.

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

The research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum is shared between them.