INDIANAPOLIS - The state of Indiana has announced plans for what it says is a first-of-its-kind 5G hub. Launching in October, the Indiana 5G Zone aims to "attract business, foster innovation and propel research and development in 5G-enabled advanced technologies." The hub will be located inside the new downtown Indianapolis headquarters of the nonprofit Eleven Fifty Academy.

The hub will be operated by the Indiana 5G Forum, which includes stakeholders such as AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Purdue University, the Indiana IoT Lab, and the Energy Systems Network, among others. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, 5G Zone Director Sean Hendricks said the 5G space is currently a "white space of opportunity."

"There's a lot of news and a lot of buzz about 5G, but the definition of what 5G is and will be across the nation is still very much open," said Hendricks. "So it gets us an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this technology. Our idea has been how do we establish Indiana as a physical and virtual location to center 5G development, leveraging a lot of the resources and assets that we have in the state? We've got a growing and vibrant tech community; we have a world class academic environment and we have key partners like our friends down south from Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane that all create an ecosystem that has all the elements to really give us a leg up in 5G development."

The Indiana 5G Zone will include a 3,000-square-foot research lab, which will be used to develop and test 5G-supported technologies, products and service applications. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says businesses, universities and research institutions will be able to lease lab space and have access to shared spaces for programming and events. Eleven Fifty Academy will also integrate the facilities into its coding and cybersecurity training programs.

"The 5G Zone is a result of the 5G Summit held earlier this year, and uniquely brings together industry, academia and government in one location to advance this game-changing technology and place Indiana as a world leader in 5G technology," Scott Jones, founder of Eleven Fifty Academy, said in a news release. "The ability to upskill in-career professionals, entrepreneurs, educators and government leaders about all 5G has to offer gives Indiana a big advantage."

The IEDC says Indianapolis is in a prime spot to take advantage of the opportunity for global investment and advancements in 5G, as it is one of only two metropolitan areas in the country selected for the launch of the 5G broadband networks of both AT&T and Verizon.

The state says the launch of the 5G Zone will provide another tool to support innovation and drive tech sector growth and job creation in central Indiana. You can learn more about the Indiana 5G Zone by clicking here.