New immersive technologies such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality are changing how we experience the world around us – including entertainment, sports, museums, shops and classrooms. They will fundamentally change products and services in the next 20 years, and transform how we experience the world. It is estimated that by 2023 the global immersive technology market will be worth between $95bn and $105bn. This is the audience of the future.
So it’s an area with huge potential for the UK creative industries. This has been recognised by the Audience of the Future programme, which is funded under Wave 2 of the Industrial Strategy Fund.
Focus on immersive technologies and audience of the future
Innovate UK's Global Business Innovation Programme (GBIP), delivered by EEN, is taking 15 innovative SMEs from the creative industries on a six day visit to San Francisco and then to SXSW in Austin, Texas. The companies will be accompanied by representatives from Innovate UK and Newable. The focus is on new immersive technologies such as AR, VR, haptics, advanced visualisations and other sensory interfaces.
This programme is designed to showcase innovative UK businesses to the US market and help build develop partnerships and working relationships in the region.
South By Southwest (SXSW) is one of the world’s leading events at the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries, providing a unique opportunity to meet and network with key players from across the creative industries. In 2019 SXSW brought together more than 275 exhibitors from 25 countries with businesses from all industries and sectors, including health and medtech, marketing, music and film equipment, robotics, aerospace, mobile apps and 3D printing, while 70,000 people from 106 countries attended the four day trade show.
More than just a US visit
The visit is just one element of the GBIP. Participants will receive bespoke one-to-one support from EEN advisers to help them exploit the opportunity before, during and after the visit as part of the full programme.
Prior to the visit, the participant companies are briefed by sector and market experts and hear first-hand from previous delegates about their experiences. advice on how to do business in the US and training on how to improve their pitch, articulate their value proposition and protect their IP. They are advised on the cultural aspects of conducting business in the US. This “getting ready for market” phase ensures that businesses understand the US market, how to operate in it, and receive help to find partners and arrange meetings in advance.
The market visit provides exclusive access to the US market and the opportunity to meet key companies and research organisations. Targeted, pre-arranged meetings at organised match-making events.
Specialist one-to-one support is provided after the visit to help participants follow up and take advantage of the identified opportunities.
Along with the participation at SXSW, Innovate UK and EEN will organise and fund flights, hotel accommodation and in-country logistics.