The Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership-backed Creative Tech Booster has continued to support SMEs to thrive as the region and sector recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The booster, from StoryFutures (based at Royal Holloway, University of London) and its collaborators, have made in-kind and cash investments to the tune of £1 million, as well as saving or creating 86 jobs along the way.
More than 50 institutions and SMEs have benefitted from access to Tech Booster-funded resources, with 42 new learners using the Tech Booster to either learn new skills or upskill in emerging technologies.
EM3 awarded the Tech Booster £900,000 in enable StoryFutures to invest in facilities and resources to engage with companies in the emerging Createch economy of immersive production, as well as increase R&D opportunities and facilities for SMEs working in virtual and augmented reality.
Another benefit of the investment was a virtual production wall - a platform for prototype development testing with a panel of more than 2,000 audience testers, and a collection of virtual production travel kits. The testing platform and the travel kits were particularly important as coronavirus-related restrictions impacted on the workflows of SMEs and these facilities allowed them to continue their R&D work, test and refine, and be post-COVID-19 ready to enable them to continue their growth trajectory.
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