New Leonardo Incubator announces O2 partnership to support Factories of the Future
Based at the Quartermile in Edinburgh, the proposed uses of secure, high-bandwidth mobile data include facilitating next-generation ‘future factory’ manufacturing capabilities and providing high speed and secure information services.
Both will be needed to deliver high-pace programmes such as Tempest - which is a collaboration between the UK, Italy and Sweden to develop future combat air capabilities.
The partnership is the first initiative to be announced by Leonardo’s newly established Innovation and Technology Incubator Centre.
O2 (Telefónica UK) will provide a secure 5G private network and a range of Industry 4.0 applications in order to evaluate how they could be used in the digital transformation of business and the end-to-end manufacturing process.
Founded with the mission of ‘bringing ideas to reality’, Leonardo’s Innovation and Technology Incubator Centre offers those with alternative business ideas and disruptive technology an opportunity to partner with one of Britain’s largest technology and engineering firms.
Both Leonardo and O2 believe there is huge potential for 5G technology to meet the high security standards demanded by the defence sector and provide security assurance within companies’ infrastructures.
Norman Bone, Chair and Managing Director of Leonardo UK said: “5G will be an important tool for the UK’s aerospace, defence and security industry as we look to stay competitive in the global market and continue to export products and services from the UK.
“This partnership with O2 will inform the roll-out of this technology within Leonardo and study its wider potential across our industry and customer base.”
One such initiative will trial the potential for wirelessly delivering mission, support and maintenance data updates to aircraft, such as the Leonardo AW159 Wildcat helicopter - this could speed up turnaround times between missions and improve the reliability of platforms.
Another joint project will investigate how Leonardo’s manufacturing facilities could use 5G-enabled technology to support ‘future factory’ techniques such as digital manufacturing and intelligent infrastructure.
By using a private, highly-secure 5G network, Leonardo says they can adopt game-changing Industry 4.0 approaches while continuing to meet the security obligations expected by its government and customers.
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