Call for Proposals: 5G logistics support solutions requested by UK Space Agency, European Space Agency (ESA) and DCMS

Call for Proposals: 5G logistics support solutions requested by UK Space Agency, European Space Agency (ESA) and DCMS

A joint venture has been formed by the UK Space Agency, ESA and DCMS to ask the industry to submit proposals for how they can use 5G terrestrial and space technology to boost the United Kingdom’s logistically businesses. Such as railways, ports, and deliver services.

Logistic complexity has increased as digitalisation grows, and more companies are forced to adapt to the need for greater connectivity. Many services have been forced to adopt new technology while old physical infrastructures have been phased out.

The need for this adoption of technology has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic which has increased the demand for online solutions and services. COVID-19 has undeniably reinforced the importance of the health industry but also of logistical companies. Logistic businesses have played a vital role in making lockdown possible by supporting communities and catering to their needs such as food, domestic supplies, and medicinal deliveries.

5G networks are supporting connectivity providing new solutions across the UK. These solutions primarily consist of Internet of Things (IoT), the way devices communicate with each other to improve technology transfer and information sharing. In December 2019, a Memorandum of Intent was signed by ESA and DCMS in support of products and services brought about by the new 5G terrestrial and space networks.

ESA, UK Space Agency, and DCMS have now requested Proposals that use space technology to support logistical services in the 5G environment. With the aim being to increase connectivity and help close the gap between physical infrastructure and digitalising to online services.

Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, ESA, commented saying:

“This is a great opportunity for ESA to join forces with DCMS and UK Space Agency and prove the key role that satellite communications will play in the future converged 5G networks. In the context of the ESA 5G Strategic Programme Line, this Call for Proposals is intended to stimulate the emergence of sustainable applications relying on innovative 5G solutions, starting from the logistics sector”.

Director of Growth at the UK Space Agency Catherine Mealing-Jones added:

“This is a great initiative to show how together we can work to help close the digital divide. Access to constant connectivity regardless of location offers huge benefits. We've seen through the current pandemic, that logistics are vital to keeping the country going and space technology is a key part of making that happen.”

The United Kingdom has announced its plans for a new ‘space technology incubation unit’ situated in Leicester which will support space start-ups with expertise, in everything from university research to large company ventures. These business incubation centres support innovators and entrepreneurs who seek to join the growing space industry. It is becoming increasingly clear the vital role that space-enabled technologies play in improving the lives of UK citizens and people everywhere.