Enterprise M3 LEP invested £900,000 in a world-leading project to help SMEs in the immersive and creative tech sectors recover and thrive following the impact of COVID-19.
The 'Creative Tech Growth Booster' from StoryFutures, based at Royal Holloway, University of London, will offer businesses new markets and increase their productivity by opening the doors to cutting-edge technology to diversify and develop their own products and services, while ensuring covid-safety requirements are met.
The Booster project was the first to get off the ground with funding from EM3’s allocation of the government’s Get Building Fund. It extended the state-of-the-art technology base at the Egham campus, embedding it within the R&D and technical support team of StoryFutures and its Academy, the National Centre for Immersive Storytelling.
Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall said: “I am delighted that a £900,000 Getting Building Fund investment will support the Creative Tech Growth Booster project at Royal Holloway. Expanding the university’s stellar technology base will help foster world-leading creative industries in Surrey and beyond.
Now more than ever, it is crucial we provide our creative industries with the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.”
Royal Holloway’s offer to SMEs includes access to technology and facilities such as AI and cutting-edge immersive, virtual production and the Centre of Digital Creativity’s 360 sound environments. A virtual audience test bed for testing and insight will be made available, too.
The university is also offering incubation and hot-desk space for social distancing, and immersive travel kits which include green screen background, camera, motion trackers, specialist audio equipment and remote support to set up.
The total cost of the project is £1,400,000. Further contributions will come from StoryFutures projects in collaboration with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, The National Gallery and Shanghai Museum of Science & Technology, alongside industry partners who include the Discovery Channel, Heathrow and BBC.
Earlier this year, the StoryFutures Academy, led by Royal Holloway with support and funding from EM3, was shortlisted as one of 30 Creative Teams to take part in a national festival to celebrate the UK’s creativity in 2022 alongside tech firms such as Siemens and IBM as well as organisations like the European Space Agency and the British Antarctic Survey and the Canal and River Trust.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the selected teams showed "world-class British creativity at its very best - risk-taking, groundbreaking and diverse."
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