Dublin-based VR simulation company VRAI is expanding its UK operations with a new office in Gateshead-based tech cluster PROTO.

The move is part of the firm’s focus on the UK market and is part of their plan to create up to 10 new jobs by the end of 2021, including roles in software engineering, data engineering, and AI.

VRAI creates data driven VR simulation training for high hazard environments, with recent clients including l IAG in Heathrow Airport, the United Nations in Somalia, and Fortune 500 companies.

Its platform HEAT combines virtual training environments with data capture and analytics capability,allowing organisations whose activities are high-risk, remote or rare to train in a more authentic and measurable way.

The new location will serve as their UK base as they plan to grow their presence across Britain and recruit new talent while remaining close to their customers.

VRAI chose the North East region of England after engagement with DIT & Invest NE, the area is home to five universities and over 5,000 computing students, ideal for the recruitment of new technology workers.

It also has the PROTO Centre VRTGO Labs, the UK’s first industry led VR and AR centre of excellence.

VRAI is currently headquartered in Dublin and employs 15 people in its Irish headquarters. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the firm said there has been significant focus on investment in technologies that enable remote working and training.

The launch of VRAI’s new office follows funding of €1.2m (£1.08) from private investors, as well as  continued backing from Enterprise Ireland.

Commenting on the launch of their UK office, Co-founder of VRAI, Pat O’Connor, said: “Opening an office in the North East of England ensures that we can continue to work closely with our UK customers, it enables us to attract talent in the UK’s only immersive technology cluster and to continue our growth in providing data driven VR simulation to organisations whose activities are Risky, Remote or Rare.”

Start-up VRAI is extending reality to save lives