MK:5G Accelerator Programme is now open for applications

The new MK:5G Accelerator launches today to assist SMEs and start-ups with innovative and sustainable ideas in the area of 5G to excel their business with wider economic benefits.

This 5G Innovation ‘MK:5G Accelerator’ is in partnership with the Milton Keynes Council led MK:5G project which is funded by its collaborating partners and South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) via its Local Growth Fund programme.

Focused around four key innovation challenges today’s launch of the accelerator programme is a call for start-ups and SMEs with innovative ideas to exploit the benefits of 5G technology.

These innovation challenges for this accelerator programme include  Mobility Data – Leverage real-time data and advanced analytics to increase sustainability,  efficiency and resilience of the transport system and reduce costs, improve traveller satisfaction and improve air quality; Health & Wellbeing – Increase the quality of care or the number of individuals that can be monitored, supported, diagnosed or treated outside of medical facilities; Low Carbon Energy – Accelerate mass uptake of low-carbon energy solutions by the wider population; helping to reach ambitious carbon reduction targets Energy Data – Capture more detailed data relating to energy usage to prioritise innovative  energy saving measures to implement in residential, commercial or industrial buildings, such that energy reduction is optimised.

Alex Weedon, Director of SME Development and Academic Engagement at Connected Places Catapult said:

“It’s great to see a new accelerator programme focusing on this new and fast-growing industry in the UK. If you have an interesting idea for one of our challenges, we really encourage start-ups and SMEs to apply and show us their innovative ideas.”

Applications are now open until 7th September, after which 10 applicants will be selected to take part in the programme.

Peter Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes Council said:

“This provides a unique opportunity to lead innovation in three challenge areas we believe are fundamental to the delivery of truly smart city of the future. Working with the SME and start up community will tap into the talent and creativity we have in the area, supporting economic growth at a time when it is perhaps required more than ever.”

Hilary Chipping, Chief Executive SEMLEP said:

“The South East Midlands, and Milton Keynes specifically, has a wealth of business expertise in smart technologies. As we work to rebuild our economy across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, innovation realised through MK:5G will help create better places, with greener and cleaner ways of working, travelling and living.

For more information on the programme and to register your interest by Monday 7th September, click here

Notes to editors

About MK:5G Project

The MK:5G project proposes the creation of a 5G development environment and testbed for Milton Keynes (MK) covering key urban areas and rural communities, paving the way for substantial benefits across the wider SEMLEP region and the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. Swift deployment of 5G technology will allow MK to capture an early adopter advantage, creating a technology cluster around this emerging technology and its applications making the region an attractive investment area for new businesses: growing or creating long term sustainable jobs in the region.

The project focusses on economic growth and development for Milton Keynes.  Central to the project is the 5G Testbed Accelerator Programme, which will be delivered by the Connected Places Catapult based on its existing Intelligent Mobility Accelerator model.  This will provide a programme of support and development opportunities for SMEs and start-ups, allowing them to develop new business propositions based upon the 5G infrastructure deployed under this project

Media Contacts

Natasha Moore

Connected Places Catapult

+44 7741 165015

About Milton Keynes Council

Milton Keynes Council is a Unitary Authority located in the South East Midlands, currently home to around 280,000 residents, the city is forecast to grow to perhaps close to double his number in the next 30 years.  The city recognises that to deliver this growth successfully it needs to address a number of challenges and the programme announced today highlight the innovative approach MKC is taking to work with SMEs and start ups to meet these challenges.

About the Local Growth Fund:

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone. That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing the LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Some additional key facts:

  • There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England
  • The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.
  • LEPs are investing in a wider range of projects including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.
About Connected Places Catapult

The Connected Places Catapult accelerates smarter living and travelling in and between the places of tomorrow. We focus on growing businesses with innovations in mobility services and the built environment that enable new levels of physical, digital and social connectedness. The Connected Places Catapult operates at the intersection between public and private sectors and between local government and transport authorities. We convene the disparate parts of the market to help innovators navigate the complexity of doing business, creating new commercial opportunities and improving productivity, socio-economic and environmental benefits for places. For more information visit