Announced by Digital Secretary
Nicky Morgan a competition which has the aim of sparking a tech revolution in
countryside communities has been put into place. This will see up to ten rural
locations chosen for trails of innovative 5G applications. This is the latest
wave of a £200 Million batch of funding to pioneer 5G across the UK this technology
offers 10 to 20 times faster speeds than the previous generations.
One place which is
already using 5G technology is the Orkney Islands where is it monitoring the salmon
fisheries and wind farms. Another is in Shropshire where farming is been aided
using the technology for targeted crop spraying and soil analysis using both
conventional farming equipment and drones for the monitoring.
The biggest problem
however with 5G is having a signal in order to use the technology as well as
this competition which aims to bolster growth and development, the government is
seeking to reform planning laws in order to allow the expansion of infrastructure
quicker and better. Changes could include lifting of restrictions to allow
quicker upgrades and also construction of bigger masts by raising the height
limit so less masts have to be built.
A government funded small grant scheme where famers can buy the equipment required for growth and improvement on their farms is still open, but the deadline is fast approaching. There is still plenty of money available for the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme, which can be used for purchases that either improve technical efficiency, resource management, nutrient management and animal health and welfare.
These grants can be
used to cover 40 percent of the cost of purchase (50% if you are in Cornwall or
the Isles of Scilly) for equipment that matches the criteria and for a value of
between £3,000 – £12,000. Famers who have already applied in the first round of
applications can do so again providing the total of both applications still comes
below the value of £12,000. The deadline for all applications is Midday on Tuesday
3rd September. Once an application has been made and the deadline
passed the Rural Payments Agency will contact famers to inform them on if it
has been successful or not.
It is advised that
famers check with the suppliers regarding delivery for the Items as any
approved applications must be claimed within 150 days of been accepted to
order, receive and pay for the equipment before the claim becomes invalid. Any
equipment on the agreement would have to also be ordered after the agreement was
made as well as evidence Invoices and Bank statements provided in order for
farmers to successfully be repaid the money for their investment.
£150,000 has been awarded to three universities for projects related to Internet of Things technologies aiming to boost agri-food production. These technologies are been exclusively developed foe the agri-food industry.
The Universities are the University of Aberdeen, the University of
Sterling and the University of Nottingham. It is expected that these projects
will last a period of six months. These pilot projects will be presenting their
findings at the Internet of Food things Network Plus Conference in Lincoln
which is been held from the 17th to the 19th of September.
The three projects are:
Aberdeen – Improved food safety in B2B and B2C food delivery through IoT
Stirling – Use of sensors to improve Pig productivity
Nottingham – IoT Enhanced Factory Cleaning
With the recent announcement of better access to networks from Ofcom as
well projects like this will likely become more common in research as well as
actual deployment in the Industry. We wish them the best of luck with their