For the agriculture theme, we are looking for potential 5G applications for use in arable and livestock farming in North-Groningen. We want to stimulate precision farming (which allows farmers to allocate each separate square metre of land) so that farmers can produce more, better products with less strain on the environment. 5G brings data from the sensors and drone recordings to the farmers swiftly, enabling them to respond to situations at the earliest possible stage.
This theme links in with the Agrifood Top Sector and Smart Industry
The fossil fuel era is drawing to a close, so the transition to renewable energy sources (such as sun, wind and biomass) is a priority in Groningen. It is becoming increasingly common for residents and companies to be both consumers and suppliers of energy. They may, for example, fit solar panels and generate their own energy, supplying the national grid with the energy they don’t use. This requires new solutions for balancing supply and demand. 5G can help to steer this balance more accurately. Data from sensors in solar panels and windmills, controlled by 5G, combine up-to-date weather forecasts to compile control information for the energy grid manager and ensure optimum energy flows within the network.
This theme links in with the Energy Top Sector and the ‘Energy Valley region’ priority area, and EnTranCe on Zernike Campus.
Traffic & logistics
The next generation of 5G mobile communication will create new travel opportunities. Self-driving cars, intelligent traffic lights that communicate with vehicles, and lorries driving bumper-to-bumper along our motorways are innovations that have already passed the experimental phase. But eventually, ‘self-driving’ on water and rails will also become possible.
This increases opportunities for people living in rural areas. Take self-driving buses, for example. Using 5G, the vehicle can share data about the situation in and around the bus and potential problems on the route with traffic controllers.
This theme links in with the Mobility Top Sector.
In addition to earthquakes, factors that determine the outside living environment in North-Groningen include the quality of the environment, landscape management, the water level and tourism. This theme ties in with current problems facing the region and the BuildinG initiative on Zernike Campus. For example, a dense network of earthquake sensors can measure the movements that a quake causes in the landscape and register the impact on buildings and installations. Or tourists can watch augmented reality images to learn more about events in the past.
The population is ageing and people want to stay in their homes for as long as possible. This is a real problem in North-Groningen, where the existing population is ageing and young people are moving away from the area. This is leading to demographic decline.
Technology can be used to help people to be independent and stay in their own homes for longer. Some of the care they need can be provided remotely, as information about the health status of clients is shared simply with healthcare professionals and informal carers via the wireless network.
This theme links in with the region’s ‘Healthy Living’ priority area and other current initiatives in the field.