The £33 million Audience of the Future Challenge Fund, announced in November 2017 as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund white paper, kicks off with two exciting funding streams that open for applications on 21 May.

The £16 million Demonstrators Programme and the £1 million Design Foundations Competition provide unique opportunities for innovators, researchers, creators and technologists to create new products and services by adopting, exploiting and developing immersive technologies. Further information about both competitions are available on the Immerse UK website.

To support this first wave of activity a nationwide series of briefing events have been arranged. Taking place between the 8th and 22nd May, the events are designed to help you find out more about the funds, as well as meet potential partners.

There are two series of events taking place in May:

Demonstrator & Design Briefings

These briefing events will cover both funding opportunities and are designed to give you an opportunity to meet the teams behind the competitions, learn more about the scope of funding on offer, ask questions and meet potential partners and collaborators.

The events taking place in Cardiff (8 May), Belfast (11 May), Newcastle (16 May), Glasgow (17 May) and London (21 May) and an online webinar, (21 May) are split into morning and afternoon sessions:

  • Morning session, starting 9:30am, focusing on the Future Demonstrators Programme
  • Afternoon session, starting 2pm, will focus on the Design Competition.

These events are free to attend, but you need to register online, for the morning and/or afternoon sessions, on a first-come-first-served basis. The event in London on 21 May will be streamed live and recorded, for those that can’t attend in person. RSVP using the links on the Immerse UK website.

Demonstrator Consortia Building Events

To encourage the formation of viable consortia to meet the very significant ambitions of the Audience of the Future Demonstrator Competition, UK Research & Innovation is supporting facilitated half-day events to bring together potential bidders for each of the competition themes.

These events will enable bidders to to find out more about the scope and ambition of the competition around each particular theme, engage with relevant projects that reflect the current state of the art, discuss sector challenges and opportunities to meet new partners and explore opportunities to collaborate.

The events are themed by sector:

  • Performance (Stratford-upon-Avon, 14 May) – RSVP
  • Visitor Experience (York, 18 May) – RSVP
  • Moving Image (London 21 May) – RSVP
  • Sports Entertainment (Birmingham, 22 May) – RSVP

They are free to attend but have limited capacity and delegates will be asked to provide information about their expertise and experience in advance of being offered a place.

This is to ensure that there is the mix of IP owners, content producers, design, development and delivery partners in the room required to build successful consortia.

Find out more and register your interest on the Immerse UK website.

Photo by Kate Ausburn on Unsplash.