Grant makes VR project a re­al­ity for Near-Life

Manchester Evening News - - BUSINESS - By SHELINA BEGUM SHELINA BEGUM [email protected] @She­li­naBegum_

ED­U­CA­TION tech com­pany NearLife has been awarded a grant to de­liver an interactiv­e VR project to sup­port the UK’s in­ter­na­tional re­sponse ef­forts.

Near-Life spe­cialises in im­mer­sive learn­ing and its interactiv­e video soft­ware al­lows peo­ple to ex­pe­ri­ence re­al­is­tic sce­nar­ios, where they are pre­sented with choices and their de­ci­sions de­ter­mine the out­come.

The fund­ing from In­no­vate UK will sup­port the com­pany in fur­ther de­vel­op­ing its tech­nol­ogy to al­low for the cre­ation of interactiv­e VR learn­ing, built around a pilot project fo­cused on an Emer­gency Field Hospi­tal sce­nario.

The bid was en­dorsed by the UK’s Depart­ment for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment and will in­volve close col­lab­o­ra­tion with the UK’s emer­gency in­ter­na­tional re­spon­ders, in­clud­ing UK ISAR. Fund­ing is com­ing from In­no­vate UK’s Au­di­ence of the Fu­ture fund, aimed at the im­mer­sive tech space and de­signed to boost the UK’s strate­gic po­si­tion in this emerg­ing sec­tor. The project will be a global first in how it is be­ing de­signed and put to­gether. The grant is be­ing matched with in­vest­ment from the North­ern Pow­er­house In­vest­ment Fund, man­aged by Maven Cap­i­tal Part­ners, and In­no­vate UK grant part­ners GC An­gels. Both are fol­low­ing on from in­vest­ments they’ve al­ready made into Near-Life and its interactiv­e video tech­nol­ogy. Es­tab­lished in 2015, Near-Life has al­ready de­vel­oped a global rep­u­ta­tion for its work in the de­vel­op­ment and dis­as­ter re­sponse space.

The com­pany are be­hind the in­ter­na­tional learn­ing plat­form ‘The Re­silience Academy’ and were also a win­ner at last year’s learn­ing and tech­nol­ogy awards for their Front­line Hu­man­i­tar­ian Tool­box project that was de­vel­oped in part­ner­ship with the Norwegian Refugee Coun­cil.

Near-Life’s co-founder and CEO Mike Todd said: “This award is fan­tas­tic news for us. It will su­per­charge our abil­ity to push the bound­aries in the ex­cit­ing world of im­mer­sive learn­ing. There’s a lot of in­ter­est­ing work be­ing done in Greater Manch­ester’s Tech Scene and it’s an ex­cit­ing time to be work­ing in this space – es­pe­cially on a project like this that can make a real dif­fer­ence.” CON­TACT OUR BUSI­NESS ED­I­TOR

Near-Life are im­mer­sive learn­ing spe­cial­ists

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