New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Mayor?s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) today announced plans for a City-supported Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) lab. The lab will support growing VR/AR companies and entrepreneurs, and convene cross-sector stakeholders and members of the academic community, with the goal of positioning New York City as a global leader in the emerging VR/AR industry.
Fueled by $6 million in public and private funding, the space will be the first VR/AR lab on the East Coast, and the first publicly-funded VR/AR lab in the country.
?Through targeted investments, NYCEDC is committed to growing nascent industries into major job creators for our city. The VR/AR sector is expanding rapidly, and New York City is well-positioned to become a global leader in this fast-moving field,? said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. ?The first publicly-funded VR/AR lab will support growth-stage companies and serve as a hub for the City?s VR/AR industry to make success in this sector more accessible for more New Yorkers.?
?The timing could not be better. The talent in New York City, along with its anchor industries, place this city in a unique position to propel its sprouting VR/AR sector from early disruption to everyday, cross-sector application. Convening the technologists, academics, storytellers and start-up veterans that New York City hosts and attracts will create an invigorating boost to VR/AR?s momentum as we head into 2017,? said Adaora Udoji, Managing Director of The Boshia Group and Adjunct Professor of Storytelling, New York University.
The lab is one development in a string of initiatives that NYCEDC has taken on in recent months. In August, the Corp. launched an emerging developer loan fund that will particularly benefit minority- and women-owned businesses and in September, the Corp. launched a 50,000 square foot space in Midtown Manhattan dedicated to urban tech.
New York City?s VR/AR lab will serve as a hub for the growing industry, and help New York City leverage its competitive advantages as its VR/AR sector grows. Specifically, the Lab will:
??? ???? Support early growth-stage VR/AR companies with space, infrastructure and resources.
??? ???? Provide VR/AR entrepreneurs with affordable, shared access to tools and technologies
??? ???? Convene New York City?s academic, start-up, and business communities to increase fellowship and grant opportunities, and create a platform for companies and entrepreneurs to attract investors.
??? ???? Strengthen the local talent pipeline and create training opportunities in VR/AR technologies and content creation.
The VR/AR industry is growing steadily. According to a 2016 report by Citigroup, the VR/AR sector has seen nearly $3 billion in investments nationally over the past two years.? The report also projects that the global VR/AR market could grow to $2.16 trillion by 2035 as different industries and applications make use of the technology.