The VR/AR Industrial Coalition was first announced in 2020 in the Commission’s Media and Audiovisual Action Plan. This initiative aims to inform policy making, encourage investment, faciliate dialogue with stakeholders and identify key challenges and opportunities for the European VR/AR sector.
The diverse European VR/AR ecosystem comprises a high number of small and medium enterprises and a few dominant, often non-European, market players. Although it can be difficult for founders and producers to finance the production of quality content, one of the EU advantages is a strong tradition for public support to content, research, development and innovation, including for VR/AR.
Europe has a large potential industrial market which could benefit from these technologies. To remain relevant in this new context, Europe needs to build a digital skills pipeline, develop sustainable business models for VR/AR enterprises, support the digitisation of European cultural heritage, foster the development of digital audience experiences and ensure it does not fall behind in the business-to-business market.
What is the Coalition doing?
- A series of workshops were held with over 100 stakeholders from November 2021 to February 2022:
- A strategic paper of the European VR/AR ecosystem – including a market assessment policy recommendations
- Develop a roadmap outlining the next steps for VR/AR in Europe endorsed by the Commission and EU organisations operating and investing in these technologies
- A milestone event with industry actors presenting key results and a roadmap for the VR/AR ecosystem in Europe held in April 2022
- Political opening of the VR/AR Industrial Coalition in Q3 2022
The Coalition will take a broad, cross-sectorial approach involving industries, technology providers and creatives. It will reflect a diversity of skills and it will count with prominent players in various sectors, ranging from content production and distribution to the availability of technology, as well as innovation and business development. National and regional VR/AR associations and industry representatives, who could benefit from the wider use of VR/AR technologies for content creation and use, will also be consulted.
Other VR/AR initiatives
- The European Commission has launched the VR Media Lab through Horizon Europe - a call for proposals for innovation actions in the media sector - to stimulate interdisciplinary cooperation and build prototypes of advanced solutions for the creation, distribution and consumption of new immersive and innovative products for media.
- The European Parliament will soon launch the Pilot Project 'Understanding the value of a European gaming society', which will create an interdisciplinary European network of experts, thinkers and leaders. They will hold exchanges with stakeholders in areas such as politics, finance, law, education, culture, science and health aiming to shape a European agenda for games. Observations and conclusions will lead to reports, which will point out strategic areas of collaboration between the games industry and the public sector, particularly at a European level.