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Verizon to Fund 5G Inventions for Emergency Responders

In partnership with Responder Corp., the telecommunications giant is launching 5G First Responder Lab, a maker space in Washington, D.C., for designing and building faster communications tech for emergency situations.

Verizon and Responder Corp., a group of first responders and investors, are opening an innovation lab in Washington, D.C., to foster public safety technology to work in a 5G future.

According to a news release Nov. 8 from Verizon, the 5G First Responder Lab will give 15 tech developers access to 5G technology over a one-year period to design, test and refine 5G solutions for public safety. They’ll be divided into three separate cohorts of five developers apiece — applications open now through Dec. 31 — and given three months of access to the lab and its 5G network, as well as the chance to work with Verizon and Responder Corp. on use case testing and market strategies. Verizon and Responder Corp. will then deliver the results across the public safety industry.

The lab is located in a space owned by Alley, a membership community for entrepreneurs with locations in multiple states, all of which use Verizon’s 5G network.

“Responder Corp. was founded on the basic principle that first responders deserve access to the best technology,” said Nathanial Wish, co-founder and CEO of Responder Corp., in a statement. “Partnering with Verizon to launch the 5G First Responder Lab is a huge step forward for the industry in delivering on that vision. Verizon’s 5G network has the potential to enable some of the most promising and beneficial technologies we’ve come across. The Lab is our commitment to ensuring those fully enabled solutions are delivered to first responders across the country.”

Responder Corp. is linked with Responder Ventures, which has set itself up as a unique venture capital outfit focused entirely on technology for emergency responders.

Locked in a broader struggle with other telecommunications firms to make 5G a reality, Verizon is also competing with AT&T for advances in public safety communications. After FirstNet, the national interoperable emergency responder communications network, chose AT&T to build out its infrastructure, Verizon announced that it would build out its own network.

First responder technology developers can learn more and apply at