First-of-its-Kind 5G Zone To Foster Innovation In Indiana

The new 5G hub will invite businesses, researchers, and universities to develop next-generation solutions in Indianapolis.

Indiana will launch a new 5G hub this fall to attract business, foster innovation and propel research and development in 5G-enabled advanced technologies. Indianapolis is one of only two metro areas in the U.S. selected for the launch of both AT&T and Verizon 5G broadband networks.

Indiana 5G hub“As Indiana’s pro-growth business climate continues to gain recognition around the globe, we’re committed to enhancing our connectivity and investing in emerging infrastructure like 5G in order to remain competitive and propel our economy forward into the 21st century,” said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. “With the launch of the Indiana 5G Zone, along with the state’s innovation-driven economic development tools, Indiana will be able to attract more diverse companies in high-growth industries while also leading in the development of 5G-enabled technologies.”

The Indiana 5G Zone, which will be located within educational nonprofit Eleven Fifty Academy’s headquarters in downtown Indianapolis, will feature a 3,000-square-foot research lab used to develop and test 5G-supported technologies, products and service applications. With plans to launch this October, businesses, universities and research institutions will be able to lease lab space at the facility and have access to shared spaces for programming and events. Additionally, Eleven Fifty Academy will integrate the 5G infrastructure and testing facilities into the academy’s immersive coding and cybersecurity training programs.

The Indiana 5G Zone is being established by the Indiana 5G Forum, which includes several stakeholders, including AT&T, Verizon, Purdue University, Eleven Fifty Academy, Indiana IoT Lab – Fishers, Battery Innovation Center, Energy Systems Network, Wabash Heartland Innovation Network, Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame. The Indiana 5G Zone is sponsored as part of a strategic initiative established in partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to leverage Indiana’s developing digital infrastructure in order to catalyze innovation and support rapidly-developing companies. The Indiana 5G Forum will have staff and resources on site to provide support to Indiana’s entrepreneurial community.

“5G is a key priority for Purdue Engineering’s Initiative in Autonomous and Connected Systems,” said Mung Chiang, John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering at Purdue University. “With unique 5G assets and partnership opportunities, Indy is speedy. And the Indiana 5G Zone will provide a unique, open innovation platform for 5G acceleration in the U.S.”

The announcement comes on the heels of the 5G Summit, which convened government, industry and academic leaders from across the state to collaborate and grow opportunities in 5G. 5G is the next generation of wireless technology, offering businesses and consumers enhanced connectivity, reliability, data latency, and capacity and coverage among devices and technologies. With speeds up to 100 gigabits per second, more than 20 times faster than current networks, 5G will help companies propel innovation and R&D and improve capabilities in industries ranging from agbiosciences to health care. For example, 5G technology seeks to improve how manufacturers capture, process and transfer data through Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.

“The 5G Zone is a result of the 5G Summit held earlier this year, and uniquely brings together industry, academia and government in one location to advance this game-changing technology and place Indiana as a world leader in 5G technology,” said Scott Jones, founder of Eleven Fifty Academy. “The ability to upskill in-career professionals, entrepreneurs, educators and government leaders about all 5G has to offer gives Indiana a big advantage.”

With the launch of the Indiana 5G Zone, the state will gain another tool to support innovation and drive tech sector growth and job creation in central Indiana, which grew at more than double the U.S. average during 2016 and 2017, ranking sixth across the U.S. and Canada.      

“A big advantage to having the 5G Zone co-locate in Eleven Fifty Academy is the opportunity for collaborative research, training and project development,” said Sean Hendrix, managing director of the Indiana 5G Forum. “We invite anyone – locally, statewide and beyond who is interested in partnering with and learning more about 5G networking.”

The IEDC will provide matching funds to support company innovation and R&D through the state’s 21st Century Research & Technology Fund, which supports the state’s efforts to foster innovation and entrepreneurship through a variety of programs and initiatives, such as making direct investments into startups and supporting public-private partnerships to advance R&D.

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