Project purpose and Description
5G is an innovation enabler that represents a real opportunity to meet urban mobility challenges, as developing connectivity will enable a transition to smart and green mobility and bring safety to citizens through the deployment of innovative transport services. To achieve this, the project intends to create a cross-border ecosystem based on 5G-related technologies and to consolidate integration between disruptive start-ups, cities and rooted companies, to develop applications of 5G in urban mobility.
To ensure the impact of the project and its sustainability, the programme built on and re-dynamize an online open community based on the existing online network of the European project Impact Connected Car (959 members, 60% of them startups/SMEs, and 35 supportive partners from the industry), where consortium partners, cities and industry experts already work closely together. Thanks to this project, the consortium members CTAG, NextMove, MWC, and FundingBox organized 2 batches and accelerated 40 SMEs/Start-ups (20/batch) from 2017 to 2019. Over 450 proposals were received (i.e. 225/batch), which demonstrates the outreach capacity of this community and the sourcing capability of the partnership. The potential of this online network, as a way to engage Future Mobility Champions with the EIT Urban Mobility, will be further exploited through 5GTurbo.
Furthermore, the programme supported promising start-ups that need high-quality resources to develop TRL 4 to 7 innovations for technological and commercial validation in 5G. For each of the 2 batches, in the first phase, 10 start-ups (i.e. 20 per year) were selected and then supported through a 2-month tailor-made programme. This programme is composed of innovative acceleration and networking services, to foster cross-sectoral fertilisation and value chain innovation. Acceleration sessions (technical, business, funding/investment, industrial, and financing) of up to 25 hours per start-up were provided during this first stage. Furthermore, the 10 start-ups (i.e. 20 per year) participated in virtual networking events and a 3-day Bootcamp, after which, 5 of them will be selected to move on to the next stage. This second phase will allow them to benefit from more advanced acceleration sessions (up to 60 hours per start-up). Additionally, sessions were also held with companies already rooted in 5G technology, cities and investors. In this way, new MVPs were developed and validated in the living labs of 5G, such as the 5GLabBraWo in Germany, the 5GBarcelona and 5GMOBIX in Spain or the DIH5G in Poland, and also tested in urban territories on a European scale. These different phases of support generated new value chains with cities and industries for the different use cases of 5G in urban mobility. Finally, the 2 most promising investment candidates (4 annual) become Ambassadors of the project and were funnelled to EIT UM’s financial sustainability or investment activities.
Objectives and Outcomes
The first outcome of the programme is to provide theoretical and practical tools to SMEs and start-ups to help them consolidate their product, improve and validate their business model and bring them into partnership agreements with large companies and cities. Thus, the 20 selected startups get the opportunity to bring their innovative solutions faster to the market.
They also have increased links with rooted companies and cities and become part of a strengthened community of innovators working on 5G solutions for mobility in Europe.
The programme allows the deployment of new technologies and interfaces that had a considerable impact on the safety of citizens and VRUs (Vulnerable Road Users), but also on congestion or on the planning of public transport in cities. Road safety is a major issue for connected vehicles. The use of 5G on these vehicles makes it possible to carry out predictive analyses of mobility flows and to connect and manage them in real-time. Users thus benefit from safer cars. By opting for an approach with human and environmental considerations, 5G smart connectivity will gradually transform the way people travel in cities and all types of connected vehicles.
Furthermore, this programme enables the creation and/or the strengthening of new 5G ecosystems and ensures better European cross-border cooperation. 5G is an asset for Europe to be competitive in the global market for connected vehicles. It allows the creation of new services and revenues which contribute to relaunching a European economic dynamic in this pandemic context. It is therefore essential to create new 5G pilot markets in order to build a solid infrastructure that will then support the deployment towards 6G.