Digital Catapult and Arts Council England have announced the 20 CreativeXR teams to watch out for in 2018, as they receive support in developing innovative immersive prototypes and projects. CreativeXR is a new programme enabling the UK’s arts and cultural sector to lead the field in immersive content creation and digital innovation.
These CreativeXR teams will have the opportunity to pitch at a final showcase and market in March 2018, which will be attended by partners including Google, BBC, Sky, Sony, ARTE, HTC Vive and many more.
It supports new creative content formats enabled by immersive (virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR)) technology. CreativeXR gives teams the platform to focus on R&D and develop riskier, content-driven projects that contribute to developing new skills, tools and business opportunities.
CreativeXR received over 1,000 registrations of interest and over 250 applications for its Open Call, demonstrating the appetite for the programme among both the UK’s immersive content community and more broadly across sectors and communities, from theatre to art, music, education, and gaming.
The 20 successful applicants have been offered up to £20,000 of funding to develop their immersive prototype, alongside workshops with industry leaders to help with key elements of concept development. They have also been granted access to Digital Catapult Immersive Labs in London, Brighton, North East Tees Valley and Belfast.
Among those selected are a project that promises a spectacular immersive experience exploring beauty from autistic perspectives; a historical VR experience which allows users to step into history; and AR designed to unchain theatrical barriers.
“With its long tradition of excellence in both the creative and technology industries, the UK has the potential to lead the way and become the best place in the world to produce immersive content. CreativeXR is bringing these two groups – and their skillsets – together to create exciting, engaging new content, and contribute to the growth of the immersive sector,” says Aurelien Simon, Head of Immersive at Digital Catapult. “We want to make it easier for content commissioners to take more risks and explore new forms of storytelling with immersive content. That’s why we’re giving the 20 teams selected the space and funding they need to experiment with their projects, as well as the chance to present their creations to content commissioners at the end of the programme.”
Francis Runacres, Executive Director of Enterprise and Innovation at Arts Council England, said: “We need to ensure creative talent has the opportunity to experiment with cutting-edge immersive technology to deliver new experiences that inspire audiences. CreativeXR is designed to deliver a boost to arts and culture organisations, small businesses, and creative innovators capable of producing world-leading immersive content. This support structure gives creatives room to take risks that lead to the most exciting outcomes, standing to benefit businesses and consumers alike.”
The following 20 teams were selected to join the programme: