The University of Portsmouth’s new £7 million Centre for Creative and Immersive Extended Reality (CCIXR) opened last week and is the UK’s first purpose-built facility to bring together a whole suite of the very latest XR technologies under one roof to support innovation in virtual, augmented and extended realities.
CCIXR will work with businesses and organisations to widen access to XR and its potential across a wide range of applications, from simulators, training tools and immersive visitor attractions, to the Metaverse, art and performance.
The new facilities include
The Centre also offers world-class XR training, research and development, addressing a critical skills shortage in this fast-moving industry and supporting the creation of high-value jobs regionally, nationally and beyond.
Rachael Randall, Chair of the Solent LEP, said: “The creative sector is a significant contributor to both the national and local economy, and, in support of this, the Solent LEP has invested £3.6 million through the Local Growth Deal in this new state-of-the-art centre which will support businesses, create jobs and provide facilities for new learners.
“With its focus on digital skills and technology, the Centre for Creative and Immersive eXtended Reality will ensure our region is at the centre of this exciting and emerging immersive industry – a clear signal that the Solent is home to a world class talent base and one where the creative industries can grow and thrive.”
CCIXR experts have already worked with organisations including the Royal Navy and Royal Shakespeare Company, and have supported over 100 others with information and training in XR technologies through the Enabling XR Enterprise (eXRe) project, funded by the Government’s £220m UK Community Renewal Fund.
Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, said: “The University of Portsmouth is proud to have developed the CCIXR in collaboration with the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership. This is a world-leading facility that places us at the forefront of innovation in virtual and extended reality, which will be at the heart of the next generation of digital technologies that will transform future work and leisure activities.
“This is an excellent example of how, as a global University, our work with regional partners including Solent LEP, Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, and the Solent Freeport puts the University at the heart of our region’s growth and development.”
Dean of the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, Professor Trevor Keeble, said: “CCIXR has been established to bring innovation, research, and development in the creative technologies of virtual, augmented and mixed reality to a range of different industrial and commercial sectors.
“Our well-established reputation for industry collaboration allows us to develop the creative application of cutting-edge digital innovation and the highly-skilled graduate workforce that our future economy will need.”
CCIXR was funded by investment from the University and £3.6 million from Solent LEP.