The Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) is collaborating with AT&T to explore the potential of 5G technology to improve power management and reduce overall energy consumption in industrial manufacturing settings.
The collaboration is part of AT&T’s Connected Climate Initiative, which brings together leading technology companies, AT&T Business customers, universities and nonprofits with the goal of collectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a gigaton – approximately 15 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.
The collaboration developed out of conversations with AT&T after the company joined an industry-based technology leadership advisory board for the Discovery Park District at Purdue. The master-planned smart community adjacent to Purdue University’s campus leverages a unique neutral host platform to deliver leading-edge connectivity services to residence and tenants, and supports real-world, at-scale development for new technologies.
“Industry partners are critical to the success of the ‘lab to life’ innovation platform,” said Troy Hege, vice president, innovation and technology for PRF. “We know the most impactful opportunities often come at the intersection of research and communities, and private partners can be tremendously helpful for understanding the user experience and how technology can be used to solve challenges in local communities.”
AT&T said it is providing funding for the new research project. PRF is identifying an industrial manufacturing partner to explore how 5G wireless technology can be used to implement industry 4.0 applications and use cases that could enable more efficient and effective power management to reduce overall power consumption and associated emissions.
Additionally, PRF is partnering with the Indiana 5G Zone on the project.
“5G and eventually 6G are enabling more (higher-capacity) and faster (lower-latency) communications,” said David Broecker, chief innovation and collaboration officer for PRF. “As we move up the technology adoption curve, it will unlock applications and use cases that simply were not possible before. More and faster communications enable edge-based super computing and real-time analytics that in turn could enable much more efficient power use and managements and greener technologies.”
The research with the AT&T Connected Climate Initiative will provide opportunities for Purdue students and faculty to work with companies on real-world problems that extend beyond the classroom and the lab.