Browse Catapults

Testbeds to develop 5G-enabled solutions

Digital Catapult is working with Nottingham Trent University to create a Smart Wireless Innovation Facility (SWIFt) as part of a ‘smart campus’ project.


Supporting regional economic growth

The cutting-edge technologies that SWIFt will provide are going to be of huge benefit to the academic community as well as local businesses and entrepreneurs, furthering the ability of organisations across the East Midlands to test, explore and create innovative and transformative products and services powered by 5G and IoT together.

Ray Lambe
Director of Programme Delivery at Digital Catapult commented

Advanced digital technologies infrastructure

Working with Nottingham Trent University (NTU), Digital Catapult are establishing a new advanced digital technologies infrastructure at the university’s Clifton Campus.

The smart campus will become a ‘living lab’ for researchers, businesses and policymakers and showcase and demonstrate how these technologies can be translated into everyday life. It will also examine the application of 5G and other smart technologies in industry and logistics and explore how to create ‘Smart Places’ for the future.

Experts at the Digital Catapult will design and develop a 5G and IoT (Internet of Things) testbed to be incorporated into the facility that will enable users of the Smart Wireless Innovation Facility to test and develop 5G-enabled solutions, and access a state-of-the-art LoRaWAN[1] network, with capability to connect up to 1,000 devices.

The smart campus project which will also feature other network technologies could include intelligent wayfinding, virtual assistants, smart parking and building controls, greater sustainability in catering and enhanced learning for students.

With the impact of COVID-19, the facility at NTU is a prime opportunity for academia and industry to embrace and explore new possibilities with advanced digital technologies and the commercial opportunities as a result.

The Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, and Nottinghamshire is investing £800,000 towards the £1.6 million project from its Local Growth Fund allocation and the facility is expected to be ready by summer 2021.

[1] The LoRaWAN® specification is a Low Power, Wide Area (LPWA) networking protocol designed to wirelessly connect battery operated ‘things’ to the internet in regional, national or global networks, and targets key Internet of Things (IoT) requirements such as bi-directional communication, end-to-end security, mobility and localization services. See What is LoRaWAN® Specification – LoRa Alliance® (

This exciting project will not only establish a state-of-the-art facility on our Clifton Campus, but also support local and national businesses to develop new products to establish a leading position in new markets.

Professor Nigel Wright
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Nottingham Trent University