Veris Limited’s (ASX:VRS) is pleased to announce that wholly own-subsidiary Aqura Technologies has been awarded a $1.9 million grant from the Australian Commonwealth Government under the Federal Government’s Digital Business Plan 5G Innovation Initiative.
The $1.9 million Grant will be targeted to assist in the commercialisation of Aqura’s 5G Underground Experience Initiative. This initiative is focussed on the creation of a private 5G LTE network technical architecture and commercial model to be delivered in an operating underground mine.
The award of the $1.9 million grant recognises Aqura’s market leading technical expertise in the development of 5G related technology and applications. The project will seek to:
- test 5G as a viable underground network wireless broadband technology,
- validate a commercial business case to enable other underground operations to leverage the technology; and
- validate the 5G LTE underground network via a number of technology uses.
The award of the grant recognises Aqura’s proven track record of both design and delivery of a substantial number of private LTE networks within Australia and provides a strong foundation for developing 5G architectures which will expedite the opportunities for industry from the introduction and use of 5G-enabled technologies.
CEO, Travis Young, said Aqura has led the Australian market in the design, delivery and operation of private LTE networks over the last five years. This unique capability has enabled the market-leading design and commercialisation of Aqura’s proprietary LTE as-a-service (LTEaas) model, providing customers the benefits of 4G and 5G enabled LTE networks, and the operational efficiencies that can be generated from these, without the requirement for substantial upfront capex associated with the construction and installation of these networks.
We commend the Australian Government for the opportunity to develop an important technology that offers so much potential to advance not just the resources industry, but across a range of other broader industry applications,” Mr Young said.
“The implementation of 5G technology offers immense opportunities and this grant recognises the market-leading skillset and innovation capabilities within the Aqura team as we continue to develop the unique architectures and commercial models required to accelerate the adoption of this critical technology by Australian enterprises,” said Travis Young, Aqura Technologies Chief Executive Officer.
Veris Chairman, Karl Paganin, said the award of the Federal Government grant reflected the great work that Aqura has done in the industry and how it was well positioned to respond to the future needs of industry.
“We’re very pleased to see Aqura recognised for their work in latest-generation Industrial Wireless networks and build on its delivery of one of Australia’s first above-ground Private 5G LTE networks earlier this year in northern Queensland,” said Mr Paganin.
“This grant provides a great boost to our existing investment in our market-leading LTE as-a-Service platform. The grant will enable the Aqura team to address the challenges that the very important underground operations sector faces as the industry looks to improve environmental, productivity and safety outcomes.”
Investing in future capability
The $1.93 million grant will complement investment of over $2 million by Aqura to deliver technical architectures, commercial model development and installation of a live Private 5G network in an operating mine environment.
Aqura has commenced the project with a number of industry partners to achieve the targeted outcomes within the next 12 months.
The project will leverage learnings and outcomes from a 2017 Project where Aqura delivered Private 4G LTE into an underground mine in the Kalgoorlie region of Western Australia.