RYOT Studio partners with Digital Catapult and Arts Council England to fund XR projects

David Murphy

Verizon Media, Digital Catapult and Arts Council England have announced a partnership will see RYOT Studio, Verizon Media’s content marketing and XR (extended reality) experiences arm, sponsor CreativeXR, as its ‘Exclusive AR/ MR partner’.

CreativeXR is an innovation programme designed for small businesses, creative innovators, and arts & culture organisations capable of producing immersive content. It was launched two years ago by Arts Council England and Digital Catapult, an innovation centre for advanced digital technologies, with support from Innovate UK.

CreativeXR provides workshops, facilities, mentoring and funding to develop original, high quality prototypes in ‘extended reality’ (XR) formats. The programme is aimed at supporting the development of new virtual, augmented and mixed reality experiences within the creative industries.

The first two years of the programme have seen over 1,000 submissions from creators across the UK showcasing new and exciting consumer-facing experiences enabled by immersive technologies. These have included artistic pieces; cultural experiences; new forms of storytelling; and new forms of interactive entertainment.

20 successful applicants will receive up to £20,000 of early stage investment to develop their prototype, mentoring from industry leaders, access to Digital Catapult’s nationwide network of Immersive Labs and technical experts, and opportunities to pitch for further development funding.

In addition to sponsoring CreativeXR, through its partnership with Digital Catapult, RYOT Studio will also work in and with this network of Immersive Labs to demo next-generation immersive branded content experiences which can be enhanced by 5G, for its clients.

Mark Melling, Head of RYOT Studio EMEA said: “Through the CreativeXR project, creators from all over the UK will be bringing their visions of next-gen XR experiences to life. It’s so exciting for our team to be involved in giving a platform to creators and innovators to showcase their amazing ideas. With our immersive lab in Los Angeles, RYOT is already demonstrating how immersive experiences will be accelerated by 5G, and through this partnership we will be able to work with Digital Catapult to also bring those possibilities to life for our customers in the UK.

“5G is still very conceptual in many people’s minds, but make no mistake, the technology to create is already here. It’s not just about when we will have live 5G networks in the UK, and how fast your download speed on your phone will be – 5G technology is already facilitating real-time production of content experiences that will revolutionise the way we create and consume content.”

CreativeXR is currently reviewing applications for the programme submitted in February and will be announcing its shortlisted submissions later in the year.