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Multi-million pound Yorkshire immersive and interactive tech fund opens


XR Stories, a multimillion pound fund to grow the creative sector in Yorkshire and Humber has announced its research and development funding programme.

Small, collaborative R&D projects will be able to access between £5k and £30k to explores areas including:

  • narrative experiences for the second screen;
  • storytelling in VR;
  • interactive and immersive storyworlds;
  • interactive and responsive narratives;
  • tools to deliver narrative and;
  • data and AI to shape narrative content creation and delivery.

Previously known as Creative Media Labs, XR Stories is a collaboration between AHRC, the University of York, BFI and Screen Yorkshire, to “understand and exploit” the potential of immersive and interactive technologies for storytelling.

The XR Stories Collaborative R&D fund has a pot of £4m as partnership investment, to support SMEs, working with researchers on R&D challenges.

It’s one of 9 R&D partnerships supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and forms part of the Creative Industries Cluster Research and Development Program. As partnership investment the Fund will help lever a total investment of £15 million across the region.

“Yorkshire has the skills, talent, infrastructure, the best network of games developers in the UK, a world leading R&D base in our universities, and a heritage in storytelling that has seen our screen industries achieve the fastest rate of screen industry growth in the UK, outside of London and the south-east,” said Damian Murphy, Director of XR Stories.

“By investing in partnership between industry and academic research XR Stories has a real opportunity to grow further and establish Yorkshire and Humber as the UK Centre of Excellence in Immersive Storytelling.”

Yorkshire and Humber has an annual production turnover of £343 million and is home to 670 film, TV and video games companies across its major cities – Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Hull and York.

More than 5,700 people directly employed in the sector and the R&D funding.  T

‘’XR Stories’ is an incredible opportunity for Yorkshire to establish itself as a world leading centre redefining the boundaries of digital storytelling,” added Hugo Heppell, Head of Investments at Screen Yorkshire, and Co-Director of XR Stories.

“This significant investment is testament to the passion, ideas and talent that have driven huge growth in the screen industries here in Yorkshire in recent years. We’re really excited to see how the region responds and encourage companies to rise to the challenge when the funding call opens next month.’’


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