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Digital Catapult launches new virtual production facility to boost access for independent businesses

Posted 30 Mar 2021

Digital Catapult has today announced plans to launch a new virtual production facility designed to give the UK’s media production sector and creative industries access to a fully functional virtual production research facility.

Founded as a destination for independent production companies that cannot access larger commercial facilities, and for early stage innovative companies to develop new tools and applications, the 5G-enabled Virtual Production Test Stage will boost hands-on experimentation, guide new forms of content development, and provide training and skills capabilities.

Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult, commented: “Digital Catapult’s Virtual Production Test Stage @Target3D will complement the nationwide network of existing production facilities that are a hotbed of creativity and one of our greatest homegrown treasures, capitalising on the combination of technology and creativity that we do so well. The stark need for this facility was demonstrated by the impact of the pandemic on our media landscape – there’s a lack of access to facilities for small and independent production businesses and nowhere for R&D in virtual production to be done at scale in the UK. Today we’re laying the groundwork to address those challenges.”

The facility will be equipped to provide access to a variety of technologies including 5G, artificial intelligence, cloud rendering and edge computing, real time game engines, and immersive technologies.

Digital Catapult’s Virtual Production Test Stage will be built in London to help foster a more resilient production supply chain and grow innovation capability in the UK media ecosystem. It aims to set the groundwork for development of a larger facility associated with a commercial studio and connected to other facilities around the country, under the banner of StudioUK.

The StudioUK programme is made up of a group of 30 leading global media production companies, special effects companies and universities and is facilitated by Digital Catapult. The Chair of its Advisory Group is Sir Peter Bazalgette. It currently convenes two industry working groups centered around Skills and R&D, each identifying and prioritising areas of focus to bring opportunity to the UK.

For further information about Digital Catapult’s Virtual Production Test Stage and register interest, visit Digital Catapult’s website.