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Search underway for Greater Manchester’s immersive tech pioneers to Unlock the Future

Today marks the official launch of Unlock the Future, a pioneering accelerator programme from Oxford Innovation Space in partnership with MediaCity Immersive Technologies Innovation Hub. The programme is designed to extend the capabilities of immersive technologies by addressing real-world industry challenges through innovative solutions.

Unlock the Future brings Oxford Innovation Space’s extensive experience of fostering business growth and innovation together with MediaCity’s established ecosystem of creative, media, and technology enterprises. The six-month innovation accelerator is set to catalyse advancements in virtual and augmented reality, virtual production, and interactive games technologies by connecting talented small and medium sized businesses with industry giants and leading academics.

The programme will run from MediaCity, the leading UK hub for the creative and tech industries and the home of future media. This strategic location where more than 250 SMEs, the BBC, ITV and The University of Salford are based provides the perfect setting for groundbreaking innovations.

Jo Stevens, Managing Director of Oxford Innovation Space, said, “We are excited about unearthing technologies that will solve real industrial challenges, and to nurture collaborations between small businesses, industry and academia. We bring over 35 years of experience in supporting innovative SMEs to solve problems, which will be invaluable in guiding these concepts through to commercial, market-ready solutions. This accelerator is not just about creating cutting-edge solutions; it’s about creating meaningful collaborations that will pave the way for future innovations. We are excited to see how these collaborations will push the boundaries of what is possible in immersive technology.”

Anthony Hatton, Innovation Programme Director, MediaCity Immersive Technologies Innovation Hub, said, “Immersive technologies have the power to enrich and enliven interactions with all audiences, including customers, investors and employees. ‘Unlock the Future’ will connect the brightest minds working with creative technologies with leading industry partners that can benefit from their innovations, ensuring that the immersive technology sector continues to evolve and expand. We’re excited to be partnering with Oxford Innovation Space to support businesses across Greater Manchester, unlocking the opportunities presented by emerging technologies, facilitating new collaborations and driving new investment.”

Programme Structure

“Unlock the Future” is designed to support early stage and growing SMEs through a robust mentorship framework, providing them access to resources, workshops, and direct collaboration with leading industry partners and technologists. The six-month innovation programme will conclude with a Demo Day in November, where “Unlock the Future” participants will present their solutions to industry leaders and investors, showcasing the potential real-world applications of their technologies.

Call for Challenges and Participants

The accelerator is now accepting submissions of challenges from industry primes and market leading firms looking to incorporate immersive technologies into their operations. More information here [] Simultaneously, applications are open for Greater Manchester based SMEs that are ready to tackle these challenges head-on. Interested parties are encouraged to visit the Application Form <> for application details and submission deadlines.

MITIH and Oxford Innovation Space are hosting a launch event on 11 June to provide further information about the programme. Please email if you wish to attend.