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