Smart and Connected Social Places: 5G Innovation Region

In November 2023, Glasgow City Region was named as one of ten successful 5G Innovation Regions, which will share funding of £36 million from the UK Government for a range of ambitious projects.

Glasgow City Region will be driving forward five projects working at pace to deliver the blueprints, business cases and benefits plans by March 2025.

Collectively, Glasgow City Region’s projects are about keeping people safe, well, and socially connected in their homes and local communities. The projects will bring new innovation and harness the power of connectivity, digital and data to transform services and improve lives.

The Projects

The five projects are as follows:

  • Net Zero Social Assets: deploying sensors to measure the effectiveness of different energy efficiency and carbon reducing solutions in social homes and other social assets, which will then support future investments in net zero housing, retrofit and zero-emissions heating systems.
  • Connected Care and Wellbeing: using Amazon Alexa as part of telecare and response management services to replace red button alarms — enabling voice activation, harnessing wider social connectedness and providing virtual assistant functionality in order to help keep people safe, well and socially connected in their home and local communities.
  • Smart Social Assets: identifying whole system Invest to Save opportunities, including digital solutions such as free high fibre broadband and Internet of Things sensors. Invest to Save aims to invest in connectivity and digital solutions in order to reduce inequalities, build community resilience and promote service sustainability.
  • Digital and Data: identifying and considering new digital solutions to assess their potential for transforming services and social assets, including how opportunities for data aggregation can help to inform right-time and right-place care and support.
  • Asset-Based Connectivity: assessing the current connectivity coverage across Glasgow City Region, mapping this to social assets, and shaping strategies to close the needs-led gap at a local authority level.


The projects are all shaped by four priorities:

  • To tackle inequalities head on by intentionally connecting social assets including social housing, care homes, nursing homes, sheltered housing, day care centres and community hubs.
  • To target digital poverty and break cycles into other forms of poverty for those who face barriers to living healthy, fulfilling and connected lives.
  • To enable new ways of delivering health and care services, releasing time to care and redesigning services around the person, not the system.
  • To accelerate and achieve step changes in social, environmental and economic outcomes for Glasgow City Region.