Purdue Research Building Convergence

Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) will join AT&T’s Connected Climate Initiative to find ways to use 5G to improve power management and reduce energy consumption in industrial manufacturing scenarios.

The Connected Climate Initiative has a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a gigaton — 1 billion metric tons – by 2035. That represents about 15% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2019. The initiative includes technology companies, AT&T Business customers, universities and nonprofits.

AT&T is providing funding for the project, while PRF will identify an industrial manufacturing partner to research the use of 5G wireless to implement industry 4.0 applications and use cases that could lead to more efficient and effective power management that would reduce power consumption and associated emissions.

The collaboration was stimulated by a dialog between the companies after the carrier joined a technology leadership advisory board for the Discovery Park District at Purdue. Discovery Park is a master-planned smart community adjacent to the Purdue University campus that uses a neutral host platform to provide connectivity services to residence and tenants and supports at-scale development of new technologies.

PRF also will partner with the Indiana 5G Zone on the project. Purdue University is in West Lafayette, IN.

“At AT&T, we’ve committed to be carbon neutral across our own global operations by 2035, but we’re not stopping there,” John Schulz, AT&T’s director of sustainability operations, said in a press release. “Since 2015, we’ve been harnessing the power of our connectivity to help our business customers reduce emissions at scale. With the Connected Climate Initiative, we’re taking the next step on this journey. And working with Purdue Research Foundation will allow us to better understand how 5G can help manufacturing companies lower their environmental footprint.”

AT&T announced the Connected Climate Initiative at the end of August. The initial partners in the project are Microsoft, Equinix, Duke Energy, The Texas A&M University System’s RELLIS Campus, The University of Missouri, SunPower, Badger Meter, IndustLabs, Traxen, BSR, RMI, Third Derivative and the Carbon Trust.

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