The Belfast 5G Innovation Region (5GIR) programme, led by Belfast City Council’s City Innovation Office, is working with businesses, academia, and the public sector to support the adoption of 5G and other advanced wireless networks across the Belfast Region.  

Advanced wireless networks are key to the development of innovative products and services across a range of industry sectors including health, manufacturing, transport and logistics, creative industries, and public services.  

We are developing resources and plans to ensure that our local businesses and organisations are well-placed to harness advanced wireless connectivity to help grow the economy.  

We are also working with partners to deliver a series of commercially focused use cases that leverage 5G’s potential in the transport and logistics, creative industries, construction, and advanced manufacturing industry sectors: 

  • 5G Film Anywhere (Ulster University and Studio Ulster)
    Unlocking ‘5G-in-a-box’ technology to connect screen production teams, filming in remote locations, to production studios in real-time via a high-capacity 5G private network.
  • 5G Port (Belfast Harbour)
    Harnessing 5G-led innovations to accelerate the digitisation of port operations including automatic bulk freight handling and safety improvements.
  • 5G Transport (Translink)
    Exploiting advanced wireless connectivity to enable enhanced operations and network planning along the Glider bus routes.
  • 5G Construction (Queen’s University’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre)
    Harnessing 5G, Building Information Modelling, Digital Twin technology and Augmented Reality to support the design and construction of a state-of-the-art Factory of the Future. 


5G Funding Competition

To further drive 5G adoption, we are planning to launch a Belfast Region-wide funding competition that is expected to offer grants of up to £100,000 to support projects making use of 5G and other advanced wireless connectivity. The competition is due to open in August 2024, with participating projects running through to March 2025.

We are currently finalising the details of the competition and we are keen to hear your ideas about the types of projects you think could be funded.


The funding competition will be open to applicants in the Belfast Region City Deal council areas: Antrim and Newtownabbey, Ards and North Down, Belfast, Lisburn and Castlereagh, Mid and East Antrim, and Newry, Mourne and Down.

Competition applicants must be the solution user. Although users may be partnered with suppliers, suppliers may not apply on behalf of their customers.

The funding will aim to support projects which make use of 5G or other advanced wireless mobile communications technology to develop and implement use cases which deliver outcomes and drive economic growth in the Belfast Region area.

We envisage that the competition’s grants will fund the capital costs of operational uses cases for 5G and advanced wireless connectivity. The competition will not fund trials; it is for the implementation of live solutions in a real-world setting.

Full competition details and criteria will be published when the competition opens in August 2024.


We envisage that applicants will be able to apply for grants of up to £100,000 each.

The grant funding must be spent before the end of March 2025.


  • August 2024: Competition opens
  • September 2024: Competition closes
  • October 2024: Projects commence
  • March 2025: Completion of projects

Engagement sessions for applicants

We plan to hold engagement sessions with potential applicants and suppliers to better understand the types of projects that could be funded.

We will also provide successful applicants with support in the delivery of their use cases.

Register your interest

We are keen to hear from businesses and organisations interested in engaging in the 5G ecosystem and applying to the funding competition.  

Register your interest at  

More information

Our council partners in the  Belfast Region area are Antrim and Newtownabbey, Ards and North Down, Lisburn and Castlereagh, Mid and East Antrim, and Newry, Mourne and Down.  

The £3.8 million Belfast 5G Innovation Region programme is funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology as part of their UK 5G Innovation Regions programme.