Swansea University is developing the world’s first ‘living laboratory’ for research and innovation
Swansea University is set to develop a world-first research and innovation environment that harnesses 5G infrastructure to improve residents’ health and wellbeing, with a £2.58 million project awarded to create a ‘living lab’ in the Swansea Bay city area.
This ‘living laboratory’ will support the innovation of indigenous device development for health, wellbeing and sport by developing new sensors and devices that can help improve people’s quality of life, monitor physical and mental health, improve performance, and reduce the burden on the NHS.
The project is also expected to attract industry, investment and jobs to the area through the opportunity to coexist with clinical infrastructure, sports and wellbeing facilities and academic expertise.
Supported by more than £1.5 million in grant funding from the Swansea Bay City Deal Digital Infrastructure Programme, and in partnership with the Swansea Bay University Health Board, Swansea University will work with Vodafone to deliver 5G testing spanning the university’s Singleton and Morriston campuses. Hospitals and parts of the city.
Professor Keith Lloyd The project leader said:
“Swansea University is delighted to have the opportunity to develop this unique testbed of innovation. We are grateful to the Swansea Bay City Deal digital infrastructure program for enabling us to provide a great resource for the region and Wales. We are also very appreciative of the support our technology partner, Vodafone, is providing to the project, to Swansea Council and our partners in NHS.
“It is our ambition that the research and innovation environment we create will provide real benefits to the local community as well as the NHS and sport.”
Vodafone is also actively working with Swansea University to address digital exclusion in the area by providing 3,000 SIM cards which the university will distribute to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in the local area. In addition, Vodafone will explore further opportunities for 5G in the region, in areas such as decarbonisation and green energy.
nick glidon, Vodafone’s UK business manager said:
“We are constantly impressed by the scale of Swansea University’s ambition and ability to support innovation and are delighted that it will develop a ‘living lab’ that harnesses the power of 5G. The lab provides the opportunity to trial next generation technologies and bring to life ideas that could revolutionize the way we do business and deliver public services, especially in Healthcare We look forward to continuing to work with Swansea to find opportunities to help them achieve their digital ambitions and deliver real benefits to the local community and industry.
The 5G Innovation Project has been developed through the Swansea Bay City Deal-funded campus project, which builds on Swansea University’s strengths in the Institute of Life Sciences, the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, and the SAIL Databank in partnership with the NHS Regional Ecosystem.
One of the main goals of the campus project is to lead the development of a globally significant sports technology industry and build on health technology and medical technology innovation in the region.
Counselor Rob StewartChairman of the Swansea Bay City District Joint Committee said:
“We are delighted to be funding a project that aims to transform innovations in health, wellbeing and sports science as we currently know it. Not only will it enhance public sector healthcare provision for our local community, it will also be a valuable asset to the whole of Wales.”
“It is an exciting time for digital technology and we are proud to be at the forefront of those developments. This facility will benefit from high-quality digital connectivity, so I am confident that the opportunities this will bring will put the city firmly on the map as an industry leader.”
“We are committed to Swansea becoming a smart city as part of a truly digital region and this investment is a positive step closer to achieving that.”