Sunderland Software City and Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley delivered Immex City on behalf of the Gateshead Council with the aim of growing the immersive technologies sector and advancing the rate of adoption of immersive technologies across the industry.
We designed a wide-ranging programme that addressed different challenges related to the immersive sector:
- A skills programme for local people, including a specialist virtual production programme.
- A competition for immersive companies to design, build and showcase an immersive experience at Sage Gateshead.
- A series of bootcamps, to work with the industry and help them to understand the benefits of immersive technology adoption.
- An immersive startup programme that successfully established 6 new immersive companies in Gateshead.
The Immex City Pilot programme has upskilled the people and businesses of Gateshead in the use of Immersive Technology and proven there is a demand for immersive visitor experiences in the region. Digital Catapult has created the foundations for future immersive technology adoption in Gateshead.
“This was our first step into the immersive technology world, and it is an area we strategically want to develop. The bootcamp helped to do this” (David Smith)
Participants were able to identify practical, real-life applications of the skills they were developing, helped by the staff that assisted the learners through their journey.
“The ability to openly and honestly ask questions of the trainers and industry experts was a truly unique and valuable experience. I really liked the collaborative nature and approach of the sessions. The mix of companies delivering the workshops created a nice blend whilst providing a balanced and all-encompassing view of the industry, technology and production processes.” (Susan Brown)
The hands-on industry experience allowed participants to see different sides of the industry and understand different career paths. As a result, many beneficiaries felt that they left the course with a greater understanding of roles available in immersive sector.
“Being able to experience different game development areas and pipelines was an educational and fun experience, especially since we could hone our skills whilst working with professionals and learn from them.” (Sarah Jones).
Digital Catapult will be delivering another programme of support to grow the Immersive technologies sector in the North East of England following the success of the pilot.
The programme will include Industrial engagement to support broader adoption of immersive tech; a skills programme to upskill businesses in the region as well as a start-up and scale-up programme.
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