Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology, has welcomed a new cohort of innovators onto its ImmexCity programme to spearhead the adoption of immersive solutions across key sectors.

The latest cohort will play a vital role in further cultivating immersive entrepreneurship in the North East, with solutions ranging from heritage conservation projects to initiatives geared towards empowering mental health.

Delivered by Digital Catapult North East Tees-Valley and backed by the UK Government, ImmexCity is a strategic initiative aimed at propelling the growth of the North East’s immersive technology sector. 

ImmexCity has received £562,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, and its core objectives include driving the adoption of immersive technology, fostering skills development, and bolstering local employment, with a view to supporting the region’s next generation of technology leaders. 

Amongst the new ImmexCity cohort are several companies that are setting up in the advanced media production space following the establishment of the Advanced Media Production studio at PROTO in 2023. 

PixelData, for example – established by founder Tom Scarborough – is an advanced media company and development studio creating proprietary tools that aim to enhance workflows for virtual production projects. 

Similarly, Paul Trickett is a creative in immersive technologies and will receive support to develop a startup using his skills in 2D and 3D animation, providing immersive and virtual production services. 

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The other innovators to be accepted are Roxana Montazerian, Omid Kimiaee, Chrissie Pitt, Katie Orrock, Steve Chadaway, Steve Hansom, Vicky Hunter, Andrew Bland and Allan Scorer.

The new companies will be established in Gateshead, as part of a growing immersive sector around the Advanced Media Production studio at PROTO. 

Pitt, originally from Peterborough but now residing in South Shields, said: “It’s an intense programme – in a good way – that’s providing step-by-step help to get our ‘Xposed Podcast’ idea off the ground.

“I feel very supported by everyone involved in the ImmexCity programme. I think it’s an incredible opportunity for anyone in the future with an immersive business idea to get it to launch level.”

Since its launch in 2022, ImmexCity has helped 14 startups in the immersive space by providing every participant with tailored support, workshops and access to a network of industry experts and investors. The programme has already supported companies including animation studio Cuties, where it played a critical role in developing new immersive media content, and will continue to support new companies with their commercialisation plans and investment strategies. 

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“The commercial and industrial value of immersive technology must not be underestimated, as industry revenue of immersive technology in the UK is expected to reach approximately £2.8 billion by 2024,” said Alex Cook, head of innovation delivery at Digital Catapult NETV and programme lead.

“In light of sustained growth and mounting interest in this technology, ImmexCity will continue to play a critical role in sharpening the UK’s immersive expertise, and will undoubtedly yield significant benefits for the North East’s local economy. 

“We will ensure that the next generation of immersive technology pioneers receive the support they need to turn creative ideas into commercial opportunities.” 

Dominic Lusardi, ImmexCity’s startup champion, said: “Supporting immersive pre-startups is vital for fostering innovation and driving economic growth. 

“These early ventures are the foundation of creativity, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in technology and offering transformative potential across industries. I’m delighted to support the ImmexCity programme and work alongside the team to support budding entrepreneurs and helping them realise their potential.”

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