The UK Telecoms Innovation Network (UKTIN) has launched a plan to boost research, development and innovation within the UK telecoms industry.
The aim of the inclusive industry forum is to help organisations accelerate R&D investment, collaboration and commercialisation of emerging technologies.
Nick Johnson, Head of UKTIN, said:
“The launch of our services is a pivotal moment for the UK telecoms sector. Fragmentation across the ecosystem has hindered innovation efforts for too long.
Working across fixed, mobile, and satellite telecoms, we can now effect real change, offering organisations the support, expertise and resources they need to thrive in a global marketplace.
And with that comes a unified long-term vision of the innovation roadmap that gives the UK Government the insight it needs to support the sector into the longer term.”
Initially funded by the UK government, UKTIN will bring together the ecosystem to boost collaboration and partnership, opening up new opportunities for innovation.
“We want the UK to be the best place in the world to research and develop cutting-edge technology,” explained Julia Lopez, Digital Infrastructure Minister in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
“That’s why we invested £10 million in the UK Telecoms Innovation Network, which will bring together the best minds in the country to accelerate the development of future telecoms tech, which will underpin some of the most important economic advances in the coming years.”
UKTIN’s services, developed in consultation with the sector, will help the UK build on its existing strengths, overcoming fragmentation within the innovation ecosystem so that suppliers have a smoother path to growth.
Delivered by a consortium of four partners – including Digital Catapult, Cambridge Wireless, University of Bristol, and WM5G – UKTIN will deliver tailored guidance and resources for organisations looking to enter the UK telecoms space or expand their existing footprint.
UKTIN’s industry-wide engagement programme, delivered through strategic and specialist working groups, convenes expertise from across the whole ecosystem.
The programme will also provide, for the first time, a comprehensive map of academic and technical capabilities throughout the UK. This insight helps identify opportunities for the UK to build future capabilities and allows UKTIN to signpost organisations to other bodies or individuals with expertise in emerging technologies.
“Whether building on existing telecoms capabilities or developing new opportunities, organisations need access to the right support and expertise to bring them to life,” explained Paul Crane, CEO at Cambridge Wireless.
“As a leading international community for companies involved in R&D, our role at Cambridge Wireless will be to establish and nurture the UKTIN innovation ecosystem and deliver our supplier specialist guidance service to help navigate the UK telecoms landscape.”
At the heart of UKTIN’s services is specialist support for R&D efforts. The network’s innovation platform supports an online community for entrepreneurs, startups, and university spinouts, and a framework for creating commercial products from early-stage technology.
UKTIN’s supplier specialist guidance service will help scaleups through to established corporates with identifying funding routes, opportunities to discover innovators, and access to testbeds, labs, and other testing facilities.
“Research and development is critical to success and forms a key part of our strategy at UKTIN. We will leverage our position at the heart of telecoms networks research to drive UKTIN’s work on future R&D capabilities,” said Jon Hunt, Executive Director, Research, Enterprise & Innovation at the University of Bristol.
“This means bringing together academia, government, industry and funding bodies to collate and deliver the ‘who, what, where’ across the UK telecoms R&D talent innovation ecosystem.”
UKTIN will also boost the UK’s talent pool and skills through a national telecoms entrepreneurship, employment, and training programme called UKTIN Talent. The initiative will bring together job seekers, employees, employers, education institutions, and vocational training providers.
“Delivering breakthrough telecoms innovation requires a strong talent pipeline as well as entrepreneurs and investors willing to take risks,” added Robert Franks, Managing Director of WM5G Limited.
“Through UKTIN, we will be working in partnership with key players across the ecosystem to help address skills gaps and talent shortages – with a view to boosting skilled employment.”
Finally, the UKTIN Clusters initiative will work across the UK’s regions and nations to ensure the whole country is able to benefit from a prosperous telecoms ecosystem.
(Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash)
Looking to revamp your digital transformation strategy? Learn more about Digital Transformation Week taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London.
Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.