University of Portsmouth immersive reality centre receives £3.6M Solent LEP funding

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has awarded the University of Portsmouth £3.6M towards the development of a Centre for Creative and Immersive eXtended Reality (CCIXR).

The CCIXR focuses on digital skills and technology, and is the first major capital investment that the Solent LEP has made following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The project will be the UK’s first fully integrated facility to support innovation in the creative and digital technologies of virtual, augmented and extended realities.

Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Portsmouth, said: “We have an outstanding track record in delivering innovation and excellence and I am confident that CCIXR will be a great success that benefits not only our talented and creative students but also the wider Solent LEP region.”

Professor Trevor Keeble, Executive Dean of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Portsmouth said: “CCIXR builds on the University’s long standing expertise in creative technologies. Our staff and students work with businesses and organisations to bring value and innovation through research and development, and our many local, national and global partnerships are key to developing the skilled workforce of the future.

“Investment in cutting-edge creative and immersive technologies will make this region a centre for the rapidly emerging immersive and extended reality industries, and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Solent LEP to develop our plans."

The Centre will deliver 12 state-of-the-art XR laboratories with specialist equipment that will be used for teaching, business engagement, technical support, applied research projects and skills training. The investment in the CCIXR will enable the University to support 800 businesses to create 200 new jobs within the Solent LEP region over the next 10 years.  It will lead to 500 new learners supported through courses and workshops.

Solent LEP Board Director SJ Hunt said: “The situation created by Covid-19 has seen an increased currency, and a new resonance around digital skills and technologies, and the University of Portsmouth's CCIXR project is extremely relevant in supporting business agility going forward. 

“In recent months we have seen businesses becoming increasingly reliant on the digital world, and its relevance is firmly established in the minds of consumers. The services provided by the CCIXR are vital for businesses, especially whilst working remotely remains a theme of the economic recovery. The technological skills will help drive innovation and enhance businesses based in the Solent to be resilient to future shocks.”

The CCIXR  will be based in the University’s Eldon building and is due to formally open in October 2021.

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