The event started with an introduction of the matchmaking tool, followed by a presentation by Eric Gaudillat, DG Connect, on the scope and advantages of the 5G for Smart Communities action. Eric cited some examples of how 5G networks can have a positive impact on different sectors of society, from healthcare to public services and education. With its stable and secure connectivity, 5G can, for example, allow citizens to stay connected and telework even in remote areas. Ensuring a more reliable network, as well as greater network capacity, 5G can also ensure remote patient monitoring or immersive learning experiences in classrooms. These are among some of the examples discussed, although many more exist. Representatives from four different companies (Nokia, Vodafone, Alsatis and Citymesh) also exposed best practices from projects they have developed or are planning to develop in the future.
After presenting the general scope of the 5G for Smart Communities action under the CEF Digital programme, the discussion focused on potential applicants of future calls and the funding mechanism. For 5G for Smart Communities calls, participation is reserved to companies who will operate the network infrastructure as well as the providers of the use cases. Under this action, it is the connectivity part of the connected projects that is funded; the funding rate is 75% (in the form of a grant). While services around the infrastructure are not funded, their level of innovation is assessed under CEF Digital.
The second part of the webinar focused on some of the lessons learned from the first call for proposals. Ms. Anna Grömer, European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA), described the lessons learned and invited potential future applicants to pay particular attention to the consortium composition, the starting date of the project and the scope.
The event then proceeded with 5G use cases and pitches, 14 in total (e.g., Cumucore, IS-Wireless, University of Vaasa, Ubiwhere, Anritsu, Netmore, the cyber security agency of Cataluña, L'Agència de Ciberseguretat de Catalunya, Ericsson, the city of Trikala, Nova, Goodmill, the Madrid city Council, PwC and TelekomSlovenjie). The scope of this session was to encourage the forming of new consortiums in the interest of new project proposals for the upcoming second call.
Mr. Franco Accordino, DG Connect, concluded the session reminding participants about the importance of the 5G revolution and the 2030 targets