Governor of the Bank of England encouraged by 5G tech on visit to South of Scotland
The Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, was encouraged by 5G tech on a visit to the S5GConnect hub in Dumfries.
Bailey was welcomed by The Crichton Trust and partners from Dumfries and Galloway College, the University of Glasgow, and The Scotland 5G Centre.
The visit to the national innovation hub was part of the governor’s tour of the South of Scotland.
Bailey met with members of the Crichton Trust and the Scotland 5G Centre. Along with the bank’s Agent for Scotland, Will Dowson. The governor discussed the role that technologies play in enhancing the impact rural communities, like Dumfries and Galloway, can have on the wider economy.
One of the examples the Scotland 5G centre has cited is the use of drones in farming. 5G connectivity allows multiple sensors to be linked to the cows and their environment. In this specific case, the 42 hectares of grazing fields were analysed by the drone camera, measuring the quantity of grass available and the quality of the grass feed.
Data collected from cows at the farm from sensors monitored the cow's movement, eating, milking, and resting in real-time. The information created a clear picture on each cow’s life, wellbeing, diet, and milk production.
As a result of the technology being implemented, milk production increased by 20 per cent.
Andrew Bailey, who was encouraged by the innovative and ambitious plans of The Crichton partners to put 5G technology to the test in rural areas said: “I was delighted to see some innovative uses of 5G technology being developed in Hubs like the one in Dumfries.
“The potential improvements for how we live, and work should have positive impacts for businesses and households, particularly in rural parts of the economy.”
Gwilym Gibbons, chief executive of The Crichton Trust said: “We appreciated our visit from Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England. It was a great opportunity for us to showcase our ambitions for The Crichton and the South of Scotland, but more importantly to demonstrate the potential for rural based innovation to generate technological solutions to the big challenges we face.
“Solutions which are born from the need of communities that are feeling first and most acutely the impacts of climate change, ageing society, and technological revolution; solutions that can be replicated and scaled from the rural to the urban and to the world. Inspiring places combined with innovative partnerships, knowledge exchange and local investment, means rural businesses and communities can influence change and make a real difference to the local and global economies.
“Due to our partnerships and the 5G testbed we have here, we are at the forefront of innovation when it comes to finding solutions to modern-day societal challenges and we are excited about the potential impact of our work.”
Paul Coffey, chief executive of The Scotland 5G Centre said: "We were pleased to host the Bank of England Governor visit to witness first-hand what the Crichton Centre and our Scotland 5GConnect hub at Dumfries has to offer. 5G provides huge transformational benefits to industries and working practices and adopting advanced connectivity, augmented through 5G network capabilities, unlocks growth and innovation, and allows processes and outcomes to be re-imagined by using industrial automation, AI video applications, drones, and IoT (Internet of Things) sensing technologies.
"Importantly, advanced connectivity enables choice. The place of work no longer needs to be the office. People will have access to a work environment, regardless of location, removing physical barriers and association of a job. This has a tremendous advantage, not just at a personal level, but also to the economy as we lessen the impact such as the Covid-19 pandemic and rebuild a sustainable economy."