The Scotland 5G Centre has announced two new additions to its leadership team as the organisation ramps up plans for its next stage of delivery.
Julie Snells has been appointed as Chair, having recently concluded her role as CEO and Director of Bristol is Open, the city’s smart infrastructure and computer network firm.
In February last year, Snells was named as one of the UK’s top smart city leaders.
Commenting on her appointment, Snells said: “Scotland is in a unique position to create a country-wide platform of great 5G use cases that can prove the commercial viability of 5G products and services from rural, coastal and city areas. The Scotland 5G Centre will create a central focus point for everything 5G in Scotland.
“It has an incredibly important role to play in consolidating and strengthening what is happening across the country, with the support of the Scottish Government.”
Snells explained that one of her key focus areas will be to support and boost inward investment in 5G technology into Scotland, a task that will see her work closely with government bodies, companies and academic institutions to explore new opportunities.
Joining her at the Scotland 5G Centre is Paul Coffey, who will assume the role of CEO. Coffey brings extensive industry experiences to the Centre, having established his own consultancy practice and previously worked at EE, where he played a key role in establishing the UK’s first deployment of 4G services in rural communities.
Coffey said: “Scotland is in a great position to harness the potential of 5G to enable new industries and inject new innovation into the value chain.
“The centre brings together academics, businesses and government allowing people access to expertise that can benefit their organisations and prepare them for the possible. It will also enable rapid development and innovation utilising cutting-edge technology in a safe environment, supporting businesses to develop, share and ultimately succeed.
“The Scotland 5G Centre will be the foundation that enables Scotland to become a global 5G leader, accelerating and enhancing infrastructure deployment, supporting the development of new propositions and offerings, and brokering relationships.”
He added: “5G opens up many exciting opportunities and has the potential to deliver significant value to people across Scotland – I look forward to making sure the Scotland 5G Centre plays its part in making that happen.”
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The Scotland 5G Centre was set up in October 2019 to accelerate the adoption of 5G and realise its economic and societal potential for Scotland. A study published by Deloitte last year predicted that changes to wireless technologies, including 5G networks, could increase Scotland’s GDP by more than £17 billion – equivalent to 8.3% of the country’s total economic output – and create an additional 160,000 new jobs by 2035
Scotland’s Connectivity Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, welcomed the double appointment, stating: “I look forward to working with Julie and Paul as they take up their leadership roles to develop and implement the Scotland 5G Centre and its aims.
“Digital connectivity is at the heart of Scotland’s economy and communities – the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how vital it is for all of us.
“The Scottish Government is investing £5.3 million in the Scotland 5G Centre to take forward our 5G strategy, to accelerate the adoption of 5G – particularly in key areas such as healthcare, energy and transport – and to realise its economic and social potential for Scotland.
“The roles that Julie and Paul will undertake will be key to achieving this and I look forward to engaging closely with them.”