Field Labs

Experiment, Build, Deploy

Our Field Labs are a dynamic, development platform that facilitates collaborative experimentation for commercially viable use cases.  It is a true collaborative public-private environment for startups, with best-of-breed solutions delivering all the capabilities of a real enterprise platform. 

The foundation of the field lab is a dynamic testing platform with dedicated access to a 5G-capable, CBRS LTE private network. Each site connects to an edge computing environment allowing developers to tap into cloud computing capabilities essential for latency-sensitive and compute-intensive applications. 

Starting with agriculture, this co-development platform is the first of many we plan to deploy in the future serving other industries. We believe that better connectivity and edge computing are the future and are working with our partners and ecosystem companies to make that vision a reality.

Field Labs
The Food Resiliency Project funded by Snohomish County leverages IoT and edge connectivity to deliver real-time data to farmers

The Food Resiliency Project: A First for Agriculture

In December 2020, we launched  the first application development field lab for the agricultural industry with dedicated access to a 5G-capable, CBRS LTE-based network and edge computing platform powered by technology provided by the partners of the 5G OI Lab.

The Food Resiliency Project, an economic development initiative funded by a grant through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), establishes a virtual and physical space for Snohomish County to bring together food growers, and distributors with technology companies to collaboratively develop new capabilities that will improve the resiliency of Snohomish County’s agriculture sector and minimize future food service disruptions for consumers and regional agribusiness. 

The two agriculture sites operating in Snohomish County are: Swans Trail Farms, a retail farm and event venue featuring apple orchards and strawberry fields; and Albert’s Hay, Inc., a commercial grower and supplier of premium feed for horses, cattle, livestock and seed crops. IoT applications include soil sensors measuring temperature, volumetric water content, oxygen levels and photosynthetic radiation, as well as supply chain and logistics tracking of food from farm-to-table to ensure safety and security.

Jon Morris, CEO, Ballast Networks

The pandemic has shined a bright light on the need for greater resiliency in managing our food supply. There are just over 2 million farms in the U.S. and we have seen disruptions in the food supply. Along with the 5G Open Innovation Lab, we are deploying efficient new, and advanced networks using technology to be more agile in our farming practices. This will pave the way for great innovation in this area.

Jon Morris, CEO, Ballast Networks
James Feger, VP and GM for Service Provider for F5

Because farming is a critical business which may lack easy access to certain technology advances due to terrain and geography, F5 is collaborating with other leading technology companies to help source and co-develop local networks to address access challenges and, most urgently in this case, improve digital and physical supply chains to more efficiently get food on tables. The field lab we’re rapidly building together to support smart agriculture use cases—leveraging analytics, IoT, and automation—is also designed to be easily adapted to other industries. Specifically, we are thrilled to offer our expertise in securing and managing the 5G and IoT network traffic and applicable applications to provide a more robust and secure edge infrastructure for the project to ensure a resilient and robust food supply chain.

James Feger, VP and GM for Service Provider for F5
Angela Logothetis, CTO Amdocs Open Network

Effective commercialization of innovative services based on 5G requires automation systems to manage the end-to-end service lifecycle that covers design, deployment, orchestration and monetization across a hybrid and multi-vendor network. We are excited to have Amdocs OSS and BSS solutions be part of this agricultural Field Lab to support the planned use-cases and demonstrate the practical aspects that need to be considered in launching and supporting new services.

Angela Logothetis, CTO Amdocs Open Network
John Saw, EVP of Advanced & Emerging Technologies at T-Mobile

T-Mobile is America’s 5G leader and we’re building a network to serve all Americans, including rural farmers, giving them the tools they needs to transform their businesses – for farmers that means producing more food using fewer resources. We can’t wait to see the 5G innovation that occurs as we work together to build the next big thing in agritech.

John Saw, EVP of Advanced & Emerging Technologies at T-Mobile
Stephen Spellicy, vice president of product marketing and solutions, Telco and Edge Cloud business, VMware

VMware is a proud founding partner of the 5G Open Innovation Lab. We, along with fellow partners, are driven to help communication service providers fully grasp the 5G opportunity so they can bring a new generation of services and applications to the world. With our telco cloud platform and industry expertise, we can support projects like the Food Resiliency Project to bring more agility, scalability and efficiency to enhance their day-to-day operations, food delivery and safety for the agriculture industry.

Stephen Spellicy, vice president of product marketing and solutions, Telco and Edge Cloud business, VMware
Sue Boyd, Microsoft Assistant General Counsel

The Food Resiliency Project is an example of what can be accomplished using 5G technology, virtualized, cloud-native solutions, and the ecosystem of partners created by the 5G Open Innovation Lab. The combined solution that includes a Microsoft 5G-capable network core, has been deployed in record time, and represents an invaluable collaboration between private and public domains that benefits the farmers, consumers and the environment.

Sue Boyd, Microsoft Assistant General Counsel
Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive

Agriculture has always been a key sector in Snohomish County.  This last year has taught us how vital it is it to ensure we have a steady, local supply of food.  Our partnership with 5G Open Innovation Lab can help safeguard our agriculture industry by providing farmers the tools they need for success, while securing fresh food for our community. We will continue to support innovation to strengthen and diversify our economy.

Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive
Jim Brisimitzis, General Partner

Agricultural sites typically lack the high-speed Internet access necessary for connecting devices and generating the data growers and industry suppliers need to make real-time decisions for optimal impact. With the support of Snohomish County and our partners, we’ve proudly built an application development field lab with two dedicated sites through which our ecosystem members, partners, academia, and industry can collaborate to experiment, test, and learn. The outcome is the development of commercial use cases by way of research and innovation that agricultural vendors like John Deere and Cargill can use today.

Jim Brisimitzis, General Partner

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