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9 December 2019
By Bernadette Fallon

The Immersive Economy Report in the UK 2019 highlights sectors that are driving the development of immersive technologies. Bernadette Fallon explores how engineering, manufacturing and defence sectors are embracing new technologies to drive efficiencies.

As the Immersive Economy in the UK Report 2019 reveals, research shows that immersive technology in enterprise – particularly engineering, manufacturing and security – will be a dominant driver for future global growth in the immersive technology market. The publication, produced by Immerse UK and Digital Catapult, examines current developments in a number of high value UK sectors, including manufacturing, engineering and defence.

From global operations such as Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems to government departments and SMEs, UK companies are using immersive technologies to drive efficiencies, reporting a strong return on investment. In addition, the expansion of enterprise XR is being aided by significant investment from key players in the digital space, such as Facebook and Microsoft. These developments and collaborations are cited as key success drivers by leading UK companies experiencing growth in this space.

Another key driver cited is the support and access offered by UK bodies such as Immerse UK and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC), as well as the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC). Teams of experts are supporting a diverse range of sectors in the ecosystem to unlock new productivity strands, reduce costs and upgrade processes for greater efficiencies. Reports show there has been a major uptake of immersive technologies in enterprise in the last three to five years, as improved hardware enters the market.

Challenges still exist of course, particularly in adapting technologies that are often seen as gaming tools for a heavyweight enterprise market. Bridging the gap between corporations and creatives is essential and it’s vital that more UK players within the industry become adopters or risk losing competitive advantage and global market share.