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The Global Business Innovation Programme –5G is organised by Innovate UK and delivered by Innovate UK EDGE. It consists of a four-day innovation visit focussed on Japan’s thriving cellular technology system, including a post-visit exploitation workshop, along with support for approximately 12 months from an Innovate UK EDGE Innovation and Growth Specialist.

The programme is designed to help your business maximise the opportunities identified, including developing innovation projects with partners in the territory.

Focus Areas

5G is a significant catalyst for future innovation and economic growth. An opportunity exists for UK and Japanese companies to collaborate, invest, and support the growth of 5G technology. This initiative is particularly relevant for businesses that focus on the diversification of the UK’s 5G ecosystem, including enhanced cybersecurity, speed of deployment and a reduction in the integration barriers.

The key considerations will be on:

  • Open RAN and openness within 5G telecoms
  • Industrial uses of 5G technology including IoT
  • Private and localised 5G

Why Japan?

Japan is embracing 5G and is expected to become the dominant force in cellular technology by 2026. The country is leading the way in cellular technology, with the Japanese multi-national company SoftBank aiming to deploy over 50,000 5G base stations to target 90% of the population by March 2022.

The partnership is an opportunity for innovative UK businesses to collaborate with partners in Japan around the application of 5G innovation.


  • Explore future cellular technology opportunities
  • Gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities of doing business in Japan
  • Find potential innovation collaborators and partners to develop your network in the UK and globally
  • Improve your company value proposition to international partners

Key Dates

  • Applications open – 4th January 2022
  • Applications close – 31st January 2022 (3pm)
  • Pre-visit workshop – 24th March 2022
  • Innovation visit – 21st-26th April 2022
  • Exploitation workshop – July 2022

Find out more about the opportunity here.

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