Today, Bristol Virtual Reality Lab (BVRL) has announced that it has secured £295,000 GBP in Local Growth Fund support from the West of England Joint Committee as the lab looks to open in early 2018.
The new facility will be based at the Leadworks on Anchor Square in Bristol, designed as a shared work space for SMEs to undertake research and development work in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
“This investment [by WECA and the LEP] establishes Bristol and the South West region as a key player in the emerging technologies of virtual and augmented reality,” said Ben Trewhella, Bristol VR Lab director in a statement. “It builds upon a tradition of companies including Aardman, Airbus, the BBC and Sony developing the future of entertainment and business in the area, and secures the city as a focal point for future generations entering the high tech industries. We’re incredibly excited to be involved in managing the facility and looking forward to see the new businesses and creative projects are created around it.”
A collaboration between the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England with Watershed and Opposable VR – organisers of VR World Congress – the Bristol VR Lab’s additional partners include the BBC, Bath Spa University and We The Curious.
Professor Steve West, interim Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support this innovative project using Local Growth Fund money. This is an innovative project that will stimulate economic growth, support business investment and create jobs. Importantly this is about exploring opportunities VR potentially provides for education and a range of industry sectors which are concerned with immersive and simulation technologies.”
In the run up to its official opening in January 2018 the lab will be hosting a number of bookable sessions to preview the facilities while they are being kitted out during November/December. To find out further details head to the official Bristol VR Lab website.
As further details are released over the next few months, VRFocus will keep you updated.