08 Sep 2023
Belfast companies offered support to build XR business capacity
Gamers are already familiar with the term XR (or extended reality), but it’s also creating out of this world opportunities for innovative Belfast businesses.
As part of its support for innovation and the creative industries through The Belfast Agenda, Belfast City Council is rolling out a new programme: XR Belfast to help businesses build their capacity in using emerging immersive technologies – starting with two free workshops and a mentoring programme.
An umbrella term that covers VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), and MR (mixed reality), XR takes the human-to-PC screen interface and modifies it, either by immersing you in the virtual environment (VR), adding game-characters to your real-world surroundings (AR), or both of those (MR).
Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, Councillor Clíodhna Nic Bhranair, explains: “Innovation is an increasingly important part of our growing economy – so we’re working with Digital Catapult NI to offer two free Creative Capacity sessions in Ormeau Baths this autumn, aimed at a broad range of Belfast based SMEs, from those working on sports science, tourism and cultural projects, to manufacturing and engineering.
“We’ll be hearing inspiring stories and case studies from a mix of Global XR brand leaders and NI based creative industry start-ups, giving a unique insight into the exciting world of Immersive Technology, an understanding of the tools and skills required - and how you can apply them to your business – whether that’s graphic design, illustration, advertising, animation or gaming, or working CAD software – or something completely different!
“There are so many opportunities coming on-stream, not least of which is Smart Belfast’s forthcoming ‘Augment the City’ - a £500,000 immersive challenge competition funded in part by Belfast Region City Deal. And our EU funded £100,000 HUB-IN competition with the Maritime Belfast Trust which will be focused on digital innovation along the city’s Maritime Mile. We want to make sure that Belfast based companies are in a position to compete for these kinds of funding and finance opportunities.”
The two free Creative Capacity workshops being hosted at Ormeau Baths are:
Workshop 1: Immersive Technology Journeys: 28 September, 2-6pm
Workshop 2: The Tools and Business of Immersive Technology: 9 November, 2-6pm
Following the Creative Capacity workshops, Digital Catapult will provide the opportunity for a limited number of businesses who have attended to pursue one-to-one mentoring.
Those interested in attending should register by email (including company name, full name and company address) to firstname.lastname@example.org Spaces are limited. For further information on XR Belfast, go to www.belfastcity.gov.uk/xrbelfast