Seven pioneering projects have been granted a share of £1.2 million after being accepted onto the MyWorld programme.

The programme is led by the University of Bristol and selected by Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology.  

MyWorld, a global centre of creative technology innovation, is built on the production, technology and research strengths of the West of England region to create a unique proposition for creative emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and extended reality.

It is funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Strength in Places Fund (SIPF).

Real World Studios, known for its expertise in music production, will focus on advancing immersive audio workflows to enhance the listener experience. Using listener feedback analysis from partners Bath Spa University, Real World Studios will develop novel music for diverse audiences, premiering with a performance at WOMAD25. 

Bristol-based Condense (pictured) will explore immersive entertainment by refining and developing volumetric live-streaming technology. This work will enable live performances to be broadcast seamlessly into virtual spaces, opening up new revenue streams through ticketing and sponsorship within virtual events. 

x-io Technologies, working in collaboration with the University of the West of England, will address the need for inclusive motion capture by developing technology that empowers individuals of all body types during mixed reality performances, enhancing accessibility in media production. 

Distortion Creative Group will develop pioneering volumetric capture solutions that merge technologies to incorporate real human interaction into virtual worlds, catering to commercial demands.  

The cohort will also explore applications of AI, as Meaning Machine, a studio developing gameplay that uses natural language AI, will continue its development of a generative AI system for in-game characters. This will enable video-game characters to interact within their own world, in real-time, to create a more engaging and immersive gameplay experience. 

Motion Impossible will use AI-assisted control to aid camera operation, creating a system that combines the precision of motion control with the adaptability of human operators.

Black Laboratory will focus on the use of puppets for virtual media production, developing live puppet performance technology that will expand creative possibilities in filming and animation. 

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MyWorld’s latest cohort will play a key role in sharpening the West of England’s media production edge, with the programme expected to generate 700 new jobs and boost the regional economy by £223 million.

Digital Catapult will support each participating company by providing access to opportunities by connecting projects to both the MyWorld and Digital Catapult networks, technological expertise, and bespoke support, as it furthers its commitment to supporting the country’s creative industries. 

The organisation is an established pioneer of virtual media production, having launched the UK’s first network of advanced media production studios last year, to drive sustainable growth of the sector and to meet demand for more immersive media content.

“The strength of applications for this new round of MyWorld funding has reaffirmed the importance and value of strategic collaborative R&D funding across the West of England’s creative sector,” said Professor David Bull, MyWorld director from the University of Bristol.

“As our first cohort of projects from CR&D1 move toward exploitation, we can’t wait to see what further opportunities these new projects will generate for the partners and the region.”

Sarah Addezio, senior innovation partner for Digital Catapult, said: “De-risking Innovation in the Creative sector represents a significant opportunity to generate economic and cultural value for the UK in the coming years, as the country’s creative industries account for 6% of the UK economy. 

“The pioneering, cutting-edge solutions that are set to be developed by MyWorld’s new cohort are testament to the talent and innovation that exists in the West of England. 

“I have no doubt that these exciting creative businesses will demonstrate the potential to scale and grow their solutions, and will further cement the West of England as a creative powerhouse.”

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