On Monday 22 January, the Innovate UK Immersive Tech Network team hosted an exciting event at King’s College London.  

This event was designed to bring together immersive tech experts from across London and further afield. Over 60 attendees braved overnight high winds and train cancellations to join us in the beautiful King’s College London.
The event began with an address from Asha Easton, Innovate UK Immersive Tech Network Lead, who laid out the agenda for the afternoon including fascinating insight into the history of the network and how far we have come from 2016 to today.
We were then joined by Professor Will Drury, Executive Director, Digital & Technologies at Innovate UK. Professor Drury spoke to the delegates about the recent rebrand that we have undergone and the positive change that Immersive Tech Network members can expect to see going forward.

Find out more about the rebrand here.

We then heard about the future scoping work of the network.

Led by Innovate UK, a thorough scoping initiative is in progress. The team is currently analysing government funding and support programs for the XR industry from 2017 to 2023, as well as examining policies impacting XR during this period.
The initiative includes research and the upcoming publication of the Immersive Economy Report, offering insights into the future of immersive technology. Workshops with key stakeholders across the UK are being conducted to gather valuable input for the research.

The primary aim is to develop a comprehensive funding strategy for the XR industry that spans sectors and domains. This strategy is intended to be well-defined and strategically positioned before the next comprehensive spending review and hopes to create cross-sectoral growth in the XR industry.
Andy Curtis, Head of Digital Economy & Creative Industries at Innovate UK KTN joined us next to discuss the Immersive Tech Business Survey.

This project aims to help policymakers, investors, and businesses make informed decisions for sector success. The current survey directly collects info from members of industry to understand their activities, engagement with immersive tech, and key challenges.

Immersive technologies, such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, enable digital interaction with applications, combining sight, sound, and touch. The survey explores these technologies, including haptics, sonics, visualisation, and more, providing valuable insights into the industry’s dynamics and challenges.

Find the survey here.

To round out proceedings, Amy Chao, Innovate UK Immersive Tech Network Consultant, gave us insight into the Working Groups of the network. Our advisory Working Groups critically examine the latest innovation insights related to the group’s theme alongside challenges in the XR industry, in line with the Innovate UK Immersive Tech Network mission to grow the industry. The groups are made up of experts from various areas of immersive technology from a broad spectrum of organisations, with the aim of crowdsourcing best practises and solutions.

list of Immersive Tech Network working groups - detailed below

The existing groups are: Academic, Access to Funding & Finance, Creative, Founders, International and Virtual Production. The 4 new groups launching in 2024 will be: Accessibility, Equity Diversity & Inclusion, Ethics and Sustainability. If you would like to be a part of any of these working groups, please fill out our expression of interest form.