IC tomorrow Launches £210k virtual reality innovation competition

The Innovate UK program IC tomorrow today announced a £210,000 contest to support UK digital businesses in augmented and virtual reality.

Inventive start-ups and small business are now invited to apply for a share of £210,000 in funding to trial ideas across relatively new and untested areas of the field such as music, retail, healthcare, education, construction and tactile technology.

As well as a share of the funding, the six winners will enjoy valuable partnerships with the likes of Crossrail, John Lewis, Pearson plc, Columbia Records, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) with Enteric HTC and Royal London Hospital, and King’s College London with Konica Minolta and Ericsson.

The winning entrepreneurs will keep 100 per cent of their IP and will receive mentorship and promotion to help bring their solutions to market.

The six categories and their respective partners include:

  • Smart construction – Crossrail
  • Immersive retail – John Lewis
  • Enhanced medical training and care – Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), Enteric HTC and Royal London Hospital
  • Next-generation vocational education – Pearson plc
  • Tactile experiences – King’s College London, Konica Minolta and Ericsson
  • Amplified music experiences – Columbia Records

Once the domain of science fiction, the AR/VR market is now forecast to hit $150bn (£96bn) revenue by 2020 according to Digi-Capital.

The deadline for applications is 12pm, Tuesday 18 August 2015. Shortlisted entries will be invited to a live pitch and Q&A with a panel of judges. The final trial launch for successful applicants is scheduled to take place in summer 2016.

There will be a briefing event this week in Manchester on Wednesday 15 July, where those interested in applying can find out more details.