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Action for 5G

Create the future
Vodafone supports your project in 5G.
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2022 edition for startups and SMEs is now open!

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Terms and conditions
Who can apply

Startups, SMEs and social enterprises with dedicated assets and resources can present ground-breaking projects for their development or enhancement with 5G technology. The call is open to both italian and international companies.

Looking for

Innovative and distinctive solutions, services and technologies for the Consumer and Business market, with high potential and synergistic with Vodafone in the themes of interest. You can apply projects where 5G improves the user experience or enables new features thanks to one of the 5G factors.

What we offer

up to 50.000€ to provide a prototype and 300.000€ (convertible in equity) to the develop the product

Consultancy and customized services
with Vodafone 5G and PoliHub mentors

Open Lab 5G
with Edge Computing (MEC) Vodafone and 5G devices

Customers and partners’ network
for market validation

both during and after the program

International scale up
together with Tomorrow Street after the commercial launch

How to apply

  • Create your Action for 5G account
  • Fill in your profile data
  • Join the workshop Action for 5G
  • Complete and send your application by February 1st 2022

Timeline Action for 5G

Next steps


2021 edition winners

Faenza-based innovative startup founded in 2015. It has developed Jobot, a flexible and cost-effective self-driving robot for indoor logistics automation.

Action for 5G will enable the creation of a new generation of AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robot), the 5Gjobot, flexible in terms of adaptability to environmental changes and efficient during installation. Thanks to the low latency and ultra-reliability of 5G, 5Gjobot will be able to collaborate in real-time with each other and interact with the environmental sensors for an even better performing and reliable navigation system. Remote recovery will also be introduced to increase the possibility of robot control in special situations, such as sanitization missions carried out by the anti-Covid version equipped with UV-C lamps.

Innovative SME founded in 2012 that operates in the Smart City and Smart Industry sectors. It provides innovative solutions to make our cities safer and more liveable through the combined use of Video Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.

Action for 5G, thanks to the low latency of 5G and the use of edge computing, will allow to increase the transmission capacity and computing of information by enabling new services for the detection and immediate blocking of unauthorized vehicles circulation or dangerous behaviors as well as the management of a variety of services for Smart Cities with a simple installation.

2020 edition winner

Founded in 2014, it's focused on emerging technologies in support of business needs in the manufacturing and medical sectors, as well as in the world of education.

Thanks to Action for 5G, FifthIngenium has developed the first e-learning platform for remote education: shared virtual classrooms able to simulate real situations with teacher-students real time interaction for a custom and immersive learning experience based on Mixed Reality and Augmented Intelligence technologies.

2019 edition winner

Innovative startup and spin-off of Politecnico di Milano founded in 2018. Artiness develops novel algorithms for applying mixed reality technologies as a support tool for surgical interventions by visualization of 3D patient-specific models.

Thanks to Action for 5G, Artiness created and validated, with a first clinical trial at the Cardiac Surgery Unit of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, the 5G Remote Proctoring solution to remote support in real time the team of surgeons in the operating room by specialists and experienced doctors

2018 edition winners

Innovative startup by Milan established in 2016. Apply mathematics and data science to the world of sport to optimize performance.

Thanks to Action for 5G, Math&Sport created the first real-time game intelligence platform for both football technical staff and fans in augmented reality, successfully bringing the Football Virtual Coach to the field with many teams.

Innovative startup by Ferrara born in 2014 and focused on augmented reality in support of training and maintenance activities for the world of manufacturing.

Thanks to Action for 5G it will implement a remote assisted maintenance solution in 3D augmented reality and real time collaboration.


How to submit a project
How can I submit my project?

Click on “Apply to the Action for 5G”, create your account and fill in the application form by 11:59 p.m. on February 1st, 2022. You can complete your application gradually, saving the filled information as you go and by clicking on “Complete application” submit it. The participation is free of charge, and there are no obligations.

Can I submit more than one project?

Yes, by creating an Action for 5G account for each project.

Which documents should I enclose to my application?
  • A clear and concise presentation of the project in 5G and the business opportunity (PDF, max. 10 Mega).
  • The URL of a video pitch lasting 4-7 minutes, uploaded onto a free platform (like YouTube or Vimeo) in which the team introduces itself and describes the project. Remember to provide the password if the access is protected.
  • Any further technical documentation with more details on the architecture and the solution. Optional file. (PDF, max. 10 Mega).
  • A file containing the CVs of all team members (PDF, max. 10 Mega).

All the documents can be either in Italian or English.

What must the presentation contain?

The presentation must include the competitive scenario, the description of the needs fulfilled by the solution and the addressed target, the technology developed and/or used and the future evolutions, the business model and the development plan (timing and costs) for the different phases of Action for 5G. It must communicate the strengths of the solution, showing how 5G technology is an enabling and distinguishing feature.

Can I participate if my startup is in the establishing process?

No, the startup must have already been established when the project is submitted.

If I have a SME or a social enterprise with a cutting edge project in 5G, can I submit a project?

Yes, you can participate in the call if you have an innovative project with a reliable and defensible competitive advantage, in which 5G is a distinctive and enabling feature. You must also have assets, resources, and teams dedicated exclusively to the project you intend to present.

I am an SME, should I create a spin-off dedicated to the specific project?

It's not necessary, it's up to you. If you decide to create a spin-off, you commit to contribute resources and assets of the dedicated line of business to the project selected and funded with the Action for 5G program..

Can I participate in the call if my project is involved in one of the 5G trials in Italy?

Yes, but only if you take part in the Vodafone 5G Trial and with different projects from those involved in the 5G Trial itself.

Is the call open only to Italian companies?

The call is open also to international companies operating in Italy or wishing to start their business in Italy.

Can I participate in the call Action for 5G if I have a company that does not operate in Milan?

Yes, it is not necessary to operate in the Milan area.

If my solution requires the Internet of Things, can I participate to Action for 5G and test it in 5G?

Yes, you can participate to the call and start testing your solution with the existing NB-IoT technology on the 800Mhz band frequencies already available today. The project can then be scaled to the 5G network to fully exploit it the additional features in the IoT area, allowing the connection of millions of objects per square kilometre using the 700Mhz band when it will be made available by the Ministry of Economic Development.

If my project works with the existing 4G/4.5G/NB-IoT technologies, can I participate in the call?

Yes, but to be selected you must prove the benefits brought to the project by 5G (e.g. significant improvement of the customer experience, new customer targets, new features or services).

Can I participate in the call if my project is still an idea without a prototype?

Yes, but only in the case of innovative ideas that can be developed exclusively in 5G. Projects at the stage of idea will not be accepted if a prototype can be developed using existing technologies (e.g., 4G, NB-IoT) and 5G is not necessary.

The call phases
If my project would be selected, should I sign a contract with Vodafone?

Yes, it is mandatory to sign a Framework Agreement that regulates the access to the different phases of the call and the related funding.

What do you offer in the 5G Design phase?

To the selected companies will be offered technical and business consultancy on the 5G technology by Vodafone Italia and PolHub/Politecnico of Milan mentors to finalize the design of their product. Vodafone Italia Open Lab in Milan is available to test the product in 5G.

What is offered in the 5G Prototype development phase?

The Finalist companies will receive a cash contribution up to 50.000€ to create the first 5G prototype in addition to technical-specialist advice from Vodafone and / or PoliHub experts. Companies can also access the 5G areas of the Vodafone Italia Open Lab in Milan to develop and integrate their project with 5G technology together with MEC and the 5G terminals.

What will i present in the 5G Design phase?

You will be required to submit a project review that includes the business and the pricing model, the customer experience and the 5G architecture of the solution including end-to-end data flows, the development plan and a 3-years financial plan, indicating the funding required, along with the detailed spending plan for the 5G Prototype phase. A mock-up/demo of the product must also be presented.

What will I present at the end of the 5G Prototype phase?

You will be required to submit a prototype, developed and tested in Lab and based on the 5G architecture.

What will I present at the end of the Product Development phase?

During this phase, you should complete the development of the solution in 5G. Further, you should include the market and the technical field validation. You will then be ready for the commercial launch.

The fundings
How much funding is available?

Vodafone Italia finances the 5G prototype with an equity free investment of up to € 50,000 per project. The Winners of the “Seed-Capital” category will be able to receive in addition a funding convertible into equity of up to € 300,000 per project according to the development plan presented and approved by the Board.

How many winners are expected?

It is expected to have at least 1 winner of the “Seed-Capital” category and up to 3 winners of the “In-Kind” category.

How will the funding be disbursed?

The funding will be disbursed in cash and/or services, in different tranches based on the phases of the call and subject to the signing of a “Disbursement Agreement” that specify terms and conditions. The funds made as seed capital may be converted into equity by Vodafone.

What does the disbursement of funding in seed capital consist of?

Vodafone will disburse cash funds for the development of the product in 5G acquiring, among others, the right of entry into the capital of the financed company.

What does the disbursement of funding in in-kind consist of?

In-kind funds are disbursed in services such as technical and business support, access to 5G spaces and infrastructure to support the development and commercial launch of the project and Vodafone will acquire, among others, the rights for commercial exclusivity or a better economic treatment.

What does the disbursement of funding in pre-seed consist of?

Pre-seed funds are disbursed in equity-free cash to support the 5G prototype development by acquiring the rights for a free and exclusive use license for 24 months.

What happens if there are delays to the plan submitted?

If the plan is delayed and the Board does not approve the changes, the subsequent funding will not be disbursed.

Intellectual property
What happens to intellectual property rights existing before entering the call?

The selected company will retain the ownership of the intellectual property rights accrued before entering the call Action for 5G.

What happens if intellectual property rights emerge during the call phases?

The selected company will acquire the ownership of the intellectual property rights, granting Vodafone the free and exclusive use right and the economic exploitation for a period of 24 months.

Is it possible to enter into an NDA to protect the confidentiality of my idea/project?

Yes, an NDA will be signed between the candidates and Vodafone in order to guarantee the mutual confidentiality of information, data, and documents of private or confidential nature. Information on the chosen project may be made public while still maintaining the confidentiality of its innovative content.

How to contact us