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Ireland’s First Dedicated 5G/IoT Accelerator Programme Open for Applications

Entrepreneurs can now apply to take part in Ireland’s first dedicated 5G/IoT Accelerator Programme. The programme, a collaboration between Vodafone, Ericsson, and NovaUCD, was announced as part of the launch of Vodafone Ireland’s first live 5G network site for commercial use in Dublin’s docklands in late 2018.

Pictured (l-r): Tom Flanagan, Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, UCD; Max Gasparroni, Vodafone Ireland’s Interim CTO; John Griffin, Managing Director, Ericsson Ireland and Anne O’Leary, CEO, Vodafone Ireland.

The programme will assist entrepreneurs who want to successfully launch 5G/IoT network-enabled products and services and is suitable for a range of sectors including; agtech, medtech, transport, manufacturing, energy, and utilities.

5G/IoT will bring ten times faster data transfer speeds enabling applications such as network delivered virtual, augmented and mixed realities for richer learning and gaming experiences. It will bring shorter delays in communication enabling drones, autonomous vehicles and Industry 4.0 robotics communicate faster.

5G will enable more people, devices, and sensors to communicate with each other facilitating smart campus, smart arena, and smart city applications.

Over a 10-week period, starting in May, the accelerator programme will offer 12 entrepreneurial teams the opportunity to validate the commercial potential and technical feasibility of their network products and services.

The programme, which will take place at NovaUCD, will draw upon Vodafone and Ericsson’s deep expertise and market knowledge and NovaUCD’s experience in building compelling and investable propositions.

Announcing the call for applications Tom Flanagan, UCD Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation said, “Through this new accelerator programme we want to work with dynamic teams who have the potential and drive to bring new 5G/IoT-network enabled products and services to market.”

“We are now seeking applications from established businesses, start-ups and academic researchers, in Ireland and abroad, who are developing, or who want to develop consumer or business-oriented network offerings.”

A briefing session on the new Accelerator programme will be held on 16 April (11 am – 1 pm) in the Ericsson Software Campus, Athlone. Guest speakers at this session will include Laura Turkington, Senior Manager, Global Innovation and Business Development, Vodafone.

The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 26 April (12 noon). All applications received will be reviewed by a panel comprising commercial, technical and start-up experts from Vodafone, Ericsson, and NovaUCD.

A number of teams will be shortlisted to pitch to a panel of experts on 14 May in Dublin after which up to 12 teams will be selected to participate in the programme.

The accelerator programme will start soon thereafter and will be completed by the end of July. A final pitching event will then take place in early September.

Further details on the 5G/IoT Accelerator Programme, including a link to the application form and to register interest to attend the briefing session in Athlone on 16 April are available via

For further information on the programme contact e:


(Image: Naoise Culhane Photography)

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