Coventry University’s bid to make Coventry and Warwickshire the number one region for immersive technology has been awarded funding by UK Research and Innovation.
Funding worth £50,000 will see the Coventry and Warwickshire Creative Futures (CWCF) – a partnership between Coventry University (lead) and the University of Warwick – accelerate research, development, and innovation activity related to the immersive technology sector in the region.
This technology encompasses 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.
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 hopes to 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, commented that the award recognises “the enormous potential across the city and region to build on existing research and innovation expertise in immersive technology”.
Professor Jonothan Neelands, Academic Director for Cultural Partnerships, University of Warwick, added that it how strong partnerships between universities can successfully transform a region, and that the bid “puts us on the map for the future economy and growth in jobs and skills.”
The two universities and their business partners are now expected to plan for large-scale growth and development in the sector.
*Header image courtesy of Depositphotos