500 New VR/AR Jobs to be Created as NYCEDC and MOME Announce Plan for Immersive Lab

Today, New York City’s de Blasio administration has announced the selection of New York University Tandon School of Engineering to develop and operate a hub for virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The lab will look to create over 500 jobs within the next ten years, fueled by a $6 million USD investment by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME). It’ll support startups, talent development, and research and innovation, connecting them to a community of mentors and investors through key program partners.

Occupying approximately 15,000 square feet of space in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the lab will partner with CUNY Lehman College’s VR/AR Training Academy and Development Lab in the Bronx to connect New Yorkers with VR/AR jobs.

“Augmented and Virtual Reality represents a huge new industry, and we want New York City to be second to none. We’re investing in the space, the talent and the research needed to make New York the global hub for this emerging technology. This is a significant piece of our strategy to spur 100,000 good-paying jobs in 10 years – and particularly in creative and entrepreneurial sectors that speak to our City’s current and future generations. Equal opportunity and access, through education and job training, is the bedrock of our jobs strategy, and together we will continue to rise,” said NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement.

The initiative aims to create a preeminent VR/AR research center for the US whilst also building a VR/AR community of investors, university researchers, cross-industry leaders, and civic and cultural partners through various programmes and events.

“The world of VR/AR is growing at breakneck speed – and the implications for businesses across New York City are incredibly exciting,” said Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin. “This new facility will ensure that we’re doing our part to spur innovation, create talent pipelines, and make New York City the home of these emerging industries. I thank our partners at EDC and NYU, and look forward to our future work together developing this key sector.”

Expected to open in late 2017, VRFocus will continue its coverage of the NYC VR/AR lab, reporting back with the latest announcements.