The Australian 5G Innovation Initiative will test technologies that make use of 5G to drive productivity and growth across Australia in key sectors.

The Australian 5G Innovation Initiative will test technologies that make use of 5G to drive productivity and growth across Australia in key sectors.

About the Initiative

The 5G Innovation Initiative will fund trials demonstrating different future 5G uses, including Internet of Things applications, which will help build Australia's 5G ecosystem. The Initiative will support the rigorous, commercial and replicable testing of 5G uses and showcase the productivity boosting applications of the technology.

The Initiative is an open, competitive grants program with two rounds of funding over three years to encourage private sector investment.

These projects will assist businesses of all sizes to test and develop 5G applications, services and products. Funding recipients will pilot ways of using 5G in their businesses that will help create the commercial incentive for other businesses to adopt 5G solutions and for carriers to accelerate their 5G rollouts.

The potential for new and improved products and better efficiency in production, means that 5G will have an economic effect well beyond any short-term commercial return. The Bureau of Communications, Arts and Regional Research has estimated that 5G will add $1,300 to $2,000 in gross domestic product per person after the first decade of the rollout.

The scope of the Initiative

We will consult on the scope and design of the Australian 5G Innovation Initiative until 11 December 2020 and are seeking a wide range of views.

We will hold a stakeholder forum on 26 November 2020 and want to talk to peak bodies who represent sectors interested in trialling 5G uses. If your organisation has insights about the opportunities and barriers for sector participation contact us at 5Ginitiative@communications.gov.au.

The release of the grant opportunity guidelines and the opening of round one of the Initiative are planned for the first quarter of 2021.

The Initiative is part of the Government's JobMaker Digital Business Plan and will support businesses to trial new 5G uses.

Uses of 5G?

5G can support a range of commercial outcomes in sectors like mining, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, logistics, medical and tech. The potential applications where 5G will bring significant benefits include smart manufacturing solutions, smart farming (including on farm machinery, sensors and drones), telemedicine, robotics, augmented reality, and freight and logistics management solutions. The Initiative aims to further explore and demonstrate the productivity benefits of 5G in real time, such as:

  • Farming—sensor nets to provide information about soil moisture or water levels on farms to help farmers make data-driven crop management decisions. 5G can also be used to support automated farm equipment to perform tasks faster and more accurately such as spraying chemicals or picking fruit.
  • Industry and manufacturing—monitoring to predict equipment wear, schedule maintenance and provide feedback on the performance and operation of machinery.
  • Medicine—providing diagnostic imagery to specialists, giving doctors vital and timely information about their patients.
  • Transport—tracking goods and food freshness with connected smart tags and digital labelling providing enhanced information about place of origin.
  • Construction—providing workers with on-site visualisation through augmented reality glasses. 5G's enhanced mobile broadband can enable video streaming that could be paired with edge computing to track onsite personnel, for example to make sure workers on a site have received health and safety inductions. Sensors can be placed in buildings to provide data on construction as well as the ongoing structural performance.

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