5G Open Innovation Lab launches, focused on edge, AI start-ups

May 19, 2020
With a mandate to lead a global innovation ecosystem of technology, financial and community partners, the newly launched 5G OI Lab's founding partners include Intel, NASA and T-Mobile.

The 5G Open Innovation Lab (5G OI Lab), a global ecosystem of developers, start-ups, enterprises, academia and government institutions, today announced the opening of its lab and the launch of its inaugural program for start-ups and their founders, with the selection of its first cohort of companies utilizing 5G technology for the development of new applications and markets.

Founding partners Intel, NASA and T-Mobile are pooling engineering, technology and industry resources to provide the lab and selected start-ups with advanced access to platforms to develop, test and bring to market new use cases that unleash the potential of 5G networks both now and in the future.

The program launched earlier this month and will run through July 17.

"Our first program provides start-ups with virtual access to mentors and tools to collaborate directly with technology and business leaders to design and bring to life their vision and dreams for new 5G applications," said Jim Brisimitzis, general partner of the 5G Open Innovation Lab. "We've adapted our program into a virtual format in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful to our partners for stepping up their support to ensure our first cohort has the best experience possible in a virtual environment."

The lab has selected 17 companies as members of the first cohort that will participate in the 12-week program. In the program, start-up companies collaborate with 5G technology experts and business advisors through CEO and CTO round tables, private working sessions to explore challenges and opportunities, and virtual networking and social events.

Founders will also be introduced to leaders in the venture capital community. Content driving the program includes business planning, corporate development and engineering and will culminate in a "Demo Day" showcase to celebrate the accomplishments and milestones achieved.

"Ecosystem innovation is important to unlocking the potential of 5G, and as a founding member of the 5G Open Innovation Lab, we will help nurture start-ups developing 5G and edge applications that focus on digital transformation for industries," said Caroline Chan, vice president, Data Platforms Group and general manager, Network Business Incubation Division at Intel. "There is a breadth of opportunities across multiple industries, and to make them a reality it requires this type of industry collaboration to accelerate and bring innovative 5G solutions to market."

"5G has the potential to transform our world by enabling new, groundbreaking applications," added Neville Ray, president of technology at T-Mobile. "T-Mobile is building a 5G network unlike any other, with unmatched breadth and massive capacity nationwide. Through efforts like the 5G Open Innovation Lab, we're providing developers and startups with the tools to unleash transformative services for people across the country, benefitting everything from entertainment and gaming to education and public safety."

In addition to three companies that are currently in stealth mode, the first cohort includes the following startups:

The current cohort of selected start-ups and potential candidates for future cohorts are at various stages of development and have initiated fund raising including Series A rounds of $15 million or more.

The lab does not take an equity position in the start-up companies; rather, those selected have access to a unique partner ecosystem including 5G network and development tools, one-on-one engineering mentorships and knowledge sharing. Applications are currently being accepted online for the lab's Fall program at http://www.5GOILab.com.

The selection process is focused on identifying a class of companies that are applying 5G in diverse markets across agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare and entertainment, as well as other markets. In addition to improvements in mobile communications and networking for the consumer, 5G will enable wireless networks to deliver faster computation and analytics of massive amounts of data, accelerating the adoption of edge computing for enterprises and communities.

Founding partner NASA recognizes the power of 5G technology for space-based applications. The agency will support the lab with knowledge-sharing and requirements gathering for such applications as nanosat networking, space-based data analytics and processing, remote sensing, space-to-ground communications, weather data analytics and processing and ground communications.

Avanade, an Accenture/Microsoft joint venture and a leading digital innovator on the Microsoft ecosystem, has joined the lab as a business ecosystem partner to support founders as they develop their 5G development and integration strategies. The lab has also partnered with Google Cloud for Startups and AWS Activate to enable entrepreneurs to host 5G services and run and test code closer to the user to improve performance and reduce latency. More than 20 additional business, technical and community partners have joined the lab and serve as mentors and advisors.

Said Aaron Reich, global emerging technology lead at Avanade, "Avanade's clients are discovering how 5G will enable them to achieve new ways to transform experiences and deliver value to their customers and employees. The lab will enable us to build innovative solutions together with them."

Sponsored by the city of Bellevue, the 5G Open Innovation Lab is also a founding member of Washington's newest Innovation Partnership Zone (IPZ), a statewide initiative, administered by the Washington State Department of Commerce, to stimulate regional economic growth by strengthening industry clusters and intellectual capital, and to accelerate the development of new technologies, marketable products, company formation, and job creation. This unique public-private partnership includes Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Snohomish County, Washington State University (WSU), and the University of Washington.

5G OI Lab's Brisimitzis concludes, "The ability to move data and communicate across devices and platforms seamlessly and without latency will enable us to connect everyone, anywhere. 5G will enable enterprises to synthesize new knowledge, connect people and devices, and ultimately change their business and how they engage their customers. The result will be a world more connected through intelligence and shared experiences. We're focused on working with future application developers, industry leaders, and an ecosystem of partners to pursue what the future has in store."

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