Industry, Academia R&D Collaboration for 5G Innovation

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (June 22, 2020)The Wireless Research Center has joined the National Spectrum Consortium to collaborate on innovative research and development that includes 5G, the next generation of wireless products and services. 5G will support faster broadband and a wide array of services ranging from Internet of Things devices, smart cities and logistics, advanced mobility and telemedicine.

The National Spectrum Consortium (NSC) was launched with support of the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Emerging Capabilities and Prototyping. Both the Wireless Research Center (WRC) and the NSC were founded to foster collaboration among industry, academia and government agencies.

The NSC was awarded an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA), which serves as the vehicle for NSC members to collaborate on innovative research and prototype development for the federal government. For example, the U.S. Department of Defense recently released a request for prototype proposals seeking innovative proposals from NSC members for dynamic spectrum sharing critical to national 5G products and services.

The WRC is an independent, private nonprofit dedicated to applied research, engineering and certified testing driving communications innovation. The WRC has the expertise and equipment to provide research, development, engineering and testing of antenna, radio frequency and other wireless technologies as an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) accredited organization.

Last fall, the National Science Foundation announced a $24 million grant to the WRC and N.C. State University to establish The Aerial Experimentation and Research Platform for Advanced Wireless (AERPAW)– the nation’s third wireless 5G testbed platform. The WRC is leading the deployment and operation of testbed sites beginning in Raleigh and Cary, part of North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park region.

“The NSC is an ideal partner with an OTA platform to foster collaboration,” said WRC Senior Engineer John Swartz, who leads the WRC’s collaboration with the federal government. “Our missions are aligned for collaboration with the wireless industry, academic researchers and the federal government.” Swartz joined the WRC with more than 30 years of experience in electrical engineering performing research and development for defense, medical, industrial and university labs, including Booz Allen Hamilton and RTI International.

“Continuing collaboration with organizations including the NSC help us establish new relationships with partners for applied research and development, including support of state and federal governments,” said WRC founder and Chief Executive Officer Gerard Hayes who also serves as the AERPAW business development manager and leads partnerships with commercial companies.

WRC has also established nonprofit organizations for economic development partnerships including RIoT for the Internet of Things marketplace and the Advanced Mobility Collective for autonomous transportation innovation. RIoT is one of the nation’s the largest, most active IoT organizations with more than 8,000 members and 80 company sponsors. The Advanced Mobility Collective is a global community for collaboration to bring new mobility services to life including autonomous air and ground vehicles with members including WakeMed Health and Hospitals, the first U.S. health system to integrate drone technology for medical sample delivery. 

About the Wireless Research Center

The WRC is a nonprofit organization supporting clients globally with unique applied research, engineering services and testing for communication technologies from in-body sensors and medical devices to satellites and space exploration. The WRC accelerates the rate of scientific innovation as a network design and Internet of Things (IoT) consultant and certified testing facility for the CTIA and many wireless network providers. The WRC fosters innovation and collaboration among commercial partners, industry groups, academic institutions and research organizations. For more information, visit

About the National Spectrum Consortium

The National Spectrum Consortium is a team of our Nation’s leading technologists, engineers, scientists, manufacturers, and program managers from industry, academia, and government working to solve the toughest problems facing the nation with regard to 5G, 5G-based technologies, and spectrum access and sharing.  The NSC’s mission is to foster collaboration among Government, Industry and Academia to identify, develop and demonstrate the enabling technologies necessary to broaden the military and commercial access to and use of the electromagnetic spectrum for 5G and beyond. For more information, visit

Media Contacts

Scott Yates (for WRC & The Collective)