Plant & Works Engineering
Companies to help bridge the gap between digital and physical worlds
Published:  13 September, 2023

Digital Catapult, in collaboration with global technology solutions provider Arrow Electronics, has onboarded a select cohort of pioneering companies for its Futurescope Virtualisation and Cyber Physical Systems programme, to provide new opportunities through a digitally enabled environment which uses advanced immersive technologies to solve real life challenges and thereby bridging the gap between digital and physical worlds.

As part of the programme, each of the seven startups will work to overcome specific challenges in the sphere of virtualisation – the use of technology to model, understand, communicate and connect the digital and physical worlds. This includes the design of garments, accessibility of entertainment, and access to training, as well as developing new technologies that will further bridge the gap between virtual and real life environments, to benefit business and industry

The innovative solutions in development on the programme will have a real-world impact, such as operating robots remotely using Extend Robotics’ VR technology to improve workplace safety, and developing footwear that can emulate the vibrations of live music with GroundWaves’ haptic technology. The Futurescope Virtualisation and Cyber-Physical Systems programme is a 16-week programme targeted at pre-scale or early scaling stage companies with a focus on digital twins, the metaverse, and groundbreaking virtual production techniques.

Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology, will provide the new cohort with business and investment health-scans, as well as one-to-one growth coaching and mentorship from industry and investment experts. Each company will also receive ongoing insight and counsel from Arrow and will be granted access to cutting-edge technology and resources.

Arrow has long-standing experience in supporting startups worldwide, and the company’s engineering support will help the startups to transform innovative ideas into new technologies. Arrow’s supply chain capabilities will also allow the startups to ramp up and scale.

This programme will allow every participating company to develop and commercialise their products and services, with a view to being investment-ready by the end of the programme.

The virtual reality and production industries are rapidly growing, with many experts predicting that they will become major drivers of UK economic growth in the coming years, as growth is predicted to reach £62.5 billion by 2030.

Commenting on the new cohort, Jessica Driscoll, Director of Immersive Technology at Digital Catapult said: “This programme is an exciting opportunity for companies in the virtual reality and production sectors to take their business to the next level, and to showcase how they plan to tackle some of the most significant challenges in the space. We believe that the expertise, resources and networking opportunities provided by the Futurescope Virtualisation and Cyber-Physical Systems programme will not only help the participating companies grow, but also provide an avenue to drive industry growth in the UK and beyond.”