Arts Council England
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20 prototypes selected for CreativeXR support to develop virtual reality and augmented reality projects

Digital Catapult and Arts Council England have announced the 20 CreativeXR teams to watch out for in 2018, as they receive support in developing innovative immersive prototypes and projects. CreativeXR is a new programme enabling the UK’s arts and cultural sector to lead the field in immersive content creation and digital innovation.

These CreativeXR teams will have the opportunity to pitch at a final showcase and market in March 2018, which will be attended by partners including Google, BBC, Sky, Sony, ARTE, HTC Vive and many more.

It supports new creative content formats enabled by immersive (virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR)) technology. CreativeXR gives teams the platform to focus on R&D and develop riskier, content-driven projects that contribute to developing new skills, tools and business opportunities.

CreativeXR received over 1,000 registrations of interest and over 250 applications for its Open Call, demonstrating the appetite for the programme among both the UK’s immersive content community and more broadly across sectors and communities, from theatre to art, music, education, and gaming.

The 20 successful applicants have been offered up to £20,000 of funding to develop their immersive prototype, alongside workshops with industry leaders to help with key elements of concept development. They have also been granted access to Digital Catapult Immersive Labs in London, Brighton, North East Tees Valley and Belfast.

Among those selected are a project that promises a spectacular immersive experience exploring beauty from autistic perspectives; a historical VR experience which allows users to step into history; and augmented reality designed to unchain theatrical barriers.

“With its long tradition of excellence in both the creative and technology industries, the UK has the potential to lead the way and become the best place in the world to produce immersive content. CreativeXR is bringing these two groups – and their skillsets – together to create exciting, engaging new content, and contribute to the growth of the immersive sector,” says Aurelien Simon, Head of Immersive at Digital Catapult. “We want to make it easier for content commissioners to take more risks and explore new forms of storytelling with immersive content. That’s why we’re giving the 20 teams selected the space and funding they need to experiment with their projects, as well as the chance to present their creations to content commissioners at the end of the programme.”

Francis Runacres, Executive Director of Enterprise and Innovation at Arts Council England, said: “We need to ensure creative talent has the opportunity to experiment with cutting-edge immersive technology to deliver new experiences that inspire audiences. CreativeXR is designed to deliver a boost to arts and culture organisations, small businesses, and creative innovators capable of producing world-leading immersive content. This support structure gives creatives room to take risks that lead to the most exciting outcomes, standing to benefit businesses and consumers alike.”

The programme has been developed by Digital Catapult and Arts Council England with support from Innovate UK, and in association with Immerse UK.

More information on CreativeXR can be found at

For more information contact:
Arts Council England – Alison Millar, Communications Officer
Tel: 0207 268 9648 Email:

Tel: 020 7592 1200 Email:

Notes to editors

The following 20 teams were selected to join the programme:

  • Beholder by BOM (Birmingham Open Media), Birmingham: An immersive experience that explores beauty from autistic perspectives.
  • Coast AR by Immersive Storylab, Liverpool & Manchester: A mixed reality experience that will enhance the UK Coastline through story, myth, fantasy and heritage.
  • CODA by Aardman Animations Ltd, Bristol: A story-led VR experience that blends fairy tale, music and gaming.
  • Fatherland by Limbik, Norwich & Portsmouth: An interactive theatre experience bringing real-time motion capture and VR technology to the art of storytelling.
  • Immersive Histories by All Seeing Eye Ltd, Stroud: An immersive VR experience allowing an audience to physically step into history.
  • Leviathan Legacy by Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth: Rising sea levels, interplanetary travel and aquatic worlds: Leviathan Legacy.
  • London’s Got Character by Figment Productions, Guildford: An Augmented Reality experience bringing London’s cultural history to life through its vibrant literary, artistic and historical characters.
  • Municipal Dreams by VR CITY LTD, London: An immersive journey into the complicated history of the notorious Aylesbury Estate.
  • Open Space by Roomsize, Bristol: Be immersed within an invisible ensemble of musicians, who create an ever-changing musical texture around you.
  • STEIN by Hammerhead, Gateshead: A VR crime thriller solving cold cases throughout British history.
  • Symphony of Noise by UP Creatives, Brighton: Immerse yourself into sonic-landscapes – ‘Listen differently’ to reveal the music hidden in our world.
  • The Collider by ANAGRAM, Bristol: Navigating across a virtual divide, you and a partner find each other.
  • The Conductor by Interplay Theatre, Leeds: An immersive digital exploration of the human senses and nature.
  • Theatrical Reality by Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, London: A magic mirror to unchain theatrical barriers using augmented reality technologies.
  • Three Lights by Third Lighter Ltd, London: An immersive, narrative driven, VR learning experience designed for the museum sector.
  • Traitor by Pilot Theatre, York: A two-player interactive high stakes thriller, combining VR with live action.
  • When Something Happens by Boom Clap Play, Belfast: An epic journey through the history of the cosmos.
  • Winter VR by Metro-Boulot-Dodo, Leicester: A poignant story of love, music and loss set against a beautiful arctic landscape.
  • XR Museum by NSC Creative, Leicester: Enter the space wing of a virtual museum and go beyond the glass.
  • The Whitechapel Tales AR by 1888, London: An augmented reality experience covering the history and a story of the Whitechapel area.

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. We invest public money from government and the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

About Digital Catapult:

Digital Catapult is a technology innovation centre that unlocks digital growth in the UK economy. It works with companies of all sizes to transform their businesses by accelerating the practical application of digital innovation. We bridge the gap between research and industry, finding the right technologies to solve problems, increase productivity and open-up new markets faster.

Digital Catapult connects experts with established enterprises, start-up and scale-up businesses, and researchers to discover new ways of solving big technological challenges in the digital manufacturing and creative industries.

It provides experimental and testing facilities and access to experts so that new services and applications can be trialled and brought to market faster. We do this across the UK via our five innovation centres. This breaks down barriers to technology adoption for start-ups and small businesses, de-risks innovation for enterprises and uncovers new commercial applications for digital technology in the fields of immersive, connectivity, data and artificial intelligence.

Our ambition is to bring the best of UK digital capability to the world. To find out more about Digital Catapult, please visit: / @DigiCatapult

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