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It's been a long time coming, and the moment finally seems ripe: the enthusiasts of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are saying that these technologies are now entering the stage of commercial viability. To catalyse the development of the industry, several companies have teamed up with the European Commission to support promising XR projects by providing a total of €1.5 million in grants within the next year.
Dubbed XR4ALL, the programme aims to become a meeting point for the European extended reality (XR) community. Its website XR4ALL.eu is set to feature some of the most groundbreaking and innovative projects, paving the way for the creation of a comprehensive XR ecosystem.
XR projects coming from the EU and Horizon 2020 associated countries (you can check out the list here) can get up to €50,000 for concept validation, development, and integration needs. XR4ALL is open for startups, SMEs, industry players, research institutions, and academic teams that are developing any XR applications, including but not limited by plugins for games engines such as Unity, low-level components based on open APIs, standards, and frameworks, and so on.
The programme has four cut-off dates until which the teams can apply for funding: October 31, 2019; January 31, 2020; April 30, 2020; and July 31, 2020.
The successful projects selected for the programme will undergo two support phases:
1. Concept validation, which takes up to two months, with the funding of up to €10,000. Projects in this phase need to expand upon and validate their concept from a business and a technical perspective.
Based on an evaluation at the end of the first phase, the best-rated projects will be admitted to the second phase and therefore be able to develop the proposed solution. The programme coordinators expect to fund up to 50 projects in this phase, from which up to 25 projects will be admitted to the second phase. Each of these projects will enter the first phase following selection after each one of the four cut-off dates.
2. Development and integration, which takes up to 4 months, with the maximum funding amount of €40,000. Projects admitted in this phase will undertake to develop a working version of the proposed solution, a tested Minimum Viable Product. Furthermore, the working version of the solution, or a limited functionality version, will be promoted on the XR Solutions Catalogue.
The main goals of the project include bringing the community together, increasing collaboration in the XR industry, as well as offering access to a common development platform in order to ease XR software components and applications development and sharing. The founding consortium of XR4ALL consists of five organisations: Image&3D Europe (Belgium), Europe Unlimited (Belgium), Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (Germany), B-Com (France) and LucidWeb (Belgium).
The current call for applications is already open — fill out the form today and grab a chance to get €50,000 for your XR project!