Over the last two decades, the creative industries have been one of the UK’s great economic successes with recent performance being particularly strong. The KTN’s Tom Campbell shares his thoughts on the opportunities for creative businesses working in immersive tech – and how they can benefit from the Production Innovation for Immersive Content competition, as part of the £33m Audience of the Future Challenge.

The government’s Sector Deal for the creative industries, published in early 2018, placed a particular focus on digital technologies – aiming to ensure that the UK remains a global centre for the ‘content production of the future’. The strength of this commitment was shown in the launch of Audience of the Future, a £33 million challenge fund to encourage the development of new immersive experiences that captivate audiences and consumers.

Whether through virtual, augmented or mixed reality, these technologies are changing how we experience the world around us – from entertainment and art to shops and classrooms. And they are already big business: it has been forecast that by 2021 the consumer VR content market will be worth $5 billion. For the UK, there is a particular opportunity. When it comes to culture, content production and entertainment, the country is home to some of the world’s most renowned and popular cultural icons, brands, live events and institutions.

The challenge is to maximise these benefits, bring creative businesses, researchers and technologists together to create striking new experiences and services, along with the technologies, tools and systems that will be needed to produce them. In order to achieve this, the Production Innovation for Immersive Content competition launches on Monday 1 October. Run by UKRI, it’s a research and development competition with up to £8million available for projects that enable immersive content to be created faster, more efficiently or in new ways.

This competition is open to all creative industry organisations working with immersive technology. Projects must be business led and your organisation can apply alone or collaborate with others. In particular, we are interested in projects that are looking to achieve the following:

  • develop tools, products or services for creating and delivering immersive content;
  • demonstrate innovation in software, hardware and/or development methodology;
  • develop, produce and audience test prototype content experiences.

UKRI are looking to fund a portfolio of projects across a variety of technologies, markets and technological maturities. These may include feasibility studies, industrial research projects or experimental development projects, and it is hoped that the projects, collaborations and products to emerge from this will be as varied and innovative as the creative sector itself.

Find out more and get connected

Visit our Audience of the Future section to learn more, as well as accessing briefing events and resources to help you apply.

Are you looking for collaborators for the Production Innovation in Immersive Content competition?  We are here to help!  Our extensive network of contacts are looking for businesses just like yours. Simply sign up to our free platform, tagging yourself AoTF (Audience of the Future). It only takes a couple of minutes to create your profile, provide a detailed description of what you can offer, or the skills you need, and search for like-minded members (also tagged AoTF) to identify your potential partners. Get started here

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