Coventry University’s ambitious bid to make Coventry and Warwickshire the number one region for immersive technology has been awarded funding by UK Research and Innovation.
Coventry and Warwickshire Creative Futures (CWCF) – a partnership between Coventry University (lead) and the University of Warwick – will accelerate research, development, and innovation activity related to the immersive technology sector in the region.
This technology encompasses the exciting areas of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) devices. ‘Immersive’ refers to the technology’s capacity to recreate physical spaces and environments in digital simulations. Significant developments in immersive technology have been made across the automotive, manufacturing, gaming, creative culture and healthcare sectors.
CWCF has been awarded a seed funding total of £50,000 from the Strength in Places Fund, provided by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
The project marks a major strategic partnership, bringing together the research and commercialisation expertise of both universities. The initial seed funding award will enable the development of the project for a further funding submission in November.
CWCF will develop new collaborations between the universities and business partners, maximising the economic impact of new immersive technology products and services in the region’s diverse and creative environment.
Coventry and Warwickshire are already home to world-leading games studios including Ubisoft and Playground Games, as well as more than 3,000 businesses working on cross-sector development of immersive technology.
Coventry University Professor Neil Forbes hopes this funding boost will help the initiative capitalise on the pre-existing strength of the industry in the region, and elevate it to the national leader in creative futures and the immersive sector.
Professor Neil Forbes, Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts & Humanities, Coventry University, said: “This exciting award recognises the enormous potential across the city and region to build on existing research and innovation expertise in immersive technology. The two universities and their business partners will now plan for large-scale growth and development in the sector.”
Professor Jonothan Neelands, Academic Director for Cultural Partnerships, University of Warwick, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Coventry and Warwickshire to become world leaders in immersive tech. It shows how the strong partnerships the universities have established together can successfully transform the region. The industrial ‘strengths in our place’ stretch from arts and digital entertainment to advanced manufacturing and healthcare. This bid puts us on the map for the future economy and growth in jobs and skills.”
The Strength in Places Fund is provided by UK Research and Innovation. The funding programme invests in projects that boost research and innovation in specific areas of the UK in order to drive localised economic growth.