THE CRICHTON is set to put one foot into the future — as it’s announced the Dumfries campus will host Scotland’s first rural ‘5G connectivity hub’.
A superfast 5G network will be transmitted in the grounds for technological experts, academic researchers and local businesses to assess how accelerated internet speeds can further communities and economies in the region.
The S5GConnect Dumfries hub, part of the S5GConnect programme, will feature advanced capabilities including a test-bed that will enable small and medium-sized enterprises to test products, services and solutions.
Projects set to launch as part of the initiative include the development of agritech solutions, where sensors and drones are used to measure crop growth, animal behaviour and wellness. Furthermore, researchers will explore the possibilities of remote healthcare initiatives including the use of 5G technology to support assisted living.
Paul Coffey, CEO of The Scotland 5G Centre, said: “Our S5GConnect programme will equip businesses and entrepreneurs across Dum- fries and Galloway with the skills they need to understand how 5G can benefit their business. It is planned over three levels kicking off with raising awareness of the scope of 5G; followed by more detailed evaluation of the business possibilities; culminating in months of in-depth support to scale up and test using our dedicated 5G private network.”
Gwilym Gibbons, chief executive of The Crichton Trust, added: “This is a hugely exciting project which will have a significant impact on the South of Scotland.
“We believe that 5G connectivity will enable our rural communities to experience the power of fast connectivity and the opportunities this brings for innovation and the future economy, helping to generate the solutions and services we require to meet the challenges of our ageing society, the climate crisis and the fourth industrial revolution.
“Solutions that start in Dumfries but can scale and be replicated into our neighbouring rural and urban areas and ex- ported across the world.”
Jane Morrison-Ross, chief executive of South of Scotland Enter- prise, which has partly funded the project, said: “I am delighted Scot- land’s first rural 5G Hub will be in the South of Scotland, and that our organisation is a key partner in this landmark project. While our focus in our first year was to support our region to respond and recover from Covid-19, this significant announcement highlights our commitment to now looking to the future.
“With digital connectivity an issue in a number of areas of the South of Scotland, the 5G Hub will bring together industry, academia and government bodies on a series of projects to explore opportunities which offer considerable benefits to local businesses and communities, including Net Zero manufacturing, farming and agriculture and sustainable and connected housing.
“I look forward to working with our partners to help the South of Scotland lead the way in this transformational technology.”