Audiences of the future – funding audience explorations of immersive technology

Posted on: 26/04/2018

If you’re a business working in the creative industries, you’ll know about are opportunities coming with the development of immersive technologies.


These blur the line between the physical and simulated world, and include virtual, augmented and mixed reality, 3D video and haptic interfaces.

They have profound implications for how audiences engage in creative content, opening up wholly new formats, platforms, engagement and relationships.

UKRI is running a competition for companies working in the creative industries to undertake early-stage explorations to get ahead of the technology to explore ways of developing content and engagement based on really understanding audience needs and expectations and even stretches conceptions beyond current possibilities.

UK businesses can apply for a share of £1m for early-stage, human-centred design projects to inform subsequent R&D activity in immersive experiences. These are likely to explore new immersive audience experiences and/or the technologies, processes or services needed to create and deliver them. Investing in this activity up front, will inform and de-risk subsequent technical R&D activity.  Register for a briefing event near you to find out more.  Full details of events are listed later in this article.

Clearly there is no ideal project but these examples may give a flavour of what is envisaged to be funded through this competition:

  • The nature of immersive experiences. Exploring opportunities for innovative, immersive audience experiences. What sort of content is desirable? Who would benefit from it, and it what circumstances? What must those experiences look, sound and feel like in order to be desirable and fit-for-purpose? What matters to the audience, and what doesn‚Äôt?
  • Creating and distributing immersive content. Exploring opportunities for innovative in the products, services or processes that will be used in the creation and distribution of immersive content. How can we make the production of high quality content cheaper, faster and more accessible?
  • Delivering immersive content (Hardware). Exploring opportunities for innovation in the physical devices through which audiences will experience immersive content (eye-wear, controllers, haptic feedback devices etc.)
  • Delivering immersive content (Software). Exploring opportunities for innovation in the digital platforms and services through which audiences will access immersive content (networks, connectivity, on-demand services, social media, professional services, location-based services etc.)


Applications could come from single businesses or collaborative projects with several partners which could include businesses, universities, non-profit research and technology organisations (including catapults), cultural institutions, public sector research establishments or research council institutes. Non-business partners cannot lead on an application but can collaborate on any number of applications subject to resource capacity.

Funding is available for projects up to 6 months duration with total costs between £20,000 and £60,000. This total cost is the combination of the requested grant value and the applicant’s contribution.  Registration will be open from 21 May.

Interested in finding out more?

KTN is running a series of competition briefings around the country.


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