XR Stories

XR Stories

XR Stories, the new R&D partnership for the Yorkshire and Humber screen industries has announced the structure for its new research and development funding programme and a first open call for funding projects to grow the Yorkshire and Humber screen economy and boost its contribution to the UK’s creative sector.

Set up to understand and exploit the potential of immersive and interactive technologies for storytelling, XR Stories is one of nine R&D partnerships supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and forms part of the Creative Industries Cluster Research and Development Programme, a core pillar in the Government’s Industrial Strategy. XR Stories is led by the University of York in partnershipwith Screen Yorkshire and the BFI.

First Call for Projects to Develop Yorkshire & Humber Screen Cluster

The XR Stories Collaborative R&D Fund with £4 million as partnership investment will support SMEs collaborating with researchers on R&D challenges; provide flexible academic researcher support; internship support for students working with XR Stories partner companies; academic and industry work placements; and studentship funding for longer PhD or Masters by Research projects. As partnership investment the Fund will help lever a total investment of £15 million across the region.

As part of the fund, the first open call targets small, collaborative R&D projects which can access £5k-£30k to explore a number of challenge areas: narrative experiences for the second screen; storytelling in VR; interactive and immersive storyworlds; interactive and responsive narratives; tools to deliver narrative; and data and AI to shape narrative content creation and delivery. www.xrstories.co.uk.

Come along to these roadshows to find out more and meet the team

LEEDS, Monday 8th July from 2pm – 4pm: REGISTER ON EVENTBRITE
SHEFFIELD, Thursday 11th July (9.30am – 2pm): REGISTER ON EVENTBRITE

These events will be valuable to SMEs looking to grow their business, who would benefit from focused R&D to develop their ideas and approaches. Come along to learn more about XR Stories, our R&D funding, make new industry and academic connections, and discuss the potential for this funding to contribute to your growth.

Applications open for Small Collaborative R&D Projects

Read the guidance notes

As the UK's Fastest Growing Creative Sector Outside London, Yorkshire & Humberside Programme Will Lever £15 Million Investment in Regional Screen Creativity & Business

Also open for applications from later this month will be Internship funding to support students working with XR Stories partner companies and five 12-month Masters by Research studentships for more open and longer-term R&D.

The XR Stories Collaborative R&D Fund was unveiled to creators and companies working in immersive and interactive digital storytelling by Damian Murphy, Professor of Sound and Music Computing, University of York, and Director of XR Stories, at an industry event at York’s Hospitium last week. Leading creative companies based in Yorkshire and Humber demonstrated their innovation in immersive and interactive storytelling including Beta Jester, Digital Creativity Labs, University of York AudioLab, Maze Theory and Igloo Vision. Leading storytelling creators at the event included Mitch Turnbull who has produced and directed 360°/VR experiences Cat Flight and Oogie for BBC Earth and Growing A World Wonder for the UN; writer Bryan Elsley writer and co-creator of E4’s Skins and Kiss Me First; Dan Tucker, Curator of Alternative Realities VR Programme at Sheffield Doc/Fest, one of world’s leading documentary and non-fiction film festivals; Kate O’Connor, Executive Chair of Animation UK and Co-Director of XR Stories; Charles Cecil , CEO of Revolution Software, one of the world’s leading developers of adventure games; and Ben Roberts, Deputy CEO of the BFI which supports film and storytelling culture across the UK and screen cluster development.

Email the team: enquires@xrstories.co.uk
Find out more and apply

Yorkshire and Humber has an annual production turnover of £343 million and is home to 670 film, TV and video games companies across its major cities – Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Hull and York. More than 5,700 people directly employed in the sector and the R&D funding. The region’s film and TV sector has been invigorated in recent years, with Screen Yorkshire’s investment activities helping to deliver unprecedented growth in employment and turnover; more than double the rate of any other region in the UK. Channel 4 has recently confirmed that Leeds will be his new national HQ and the Government’s new Young Audiences Content Fund being administered by the BFI will be based in Leeds and Manchester.

XR Stories’ is an incredible opportunity for Yorkshire to establish itself as a world leading centre redefining the boundaries of digital storytelling. This significant investment is testament to the passion, ideas and talent that have driven huge growth in the screen industries here in Yorkshire in recent years. We’re really excited to see how the region responds and encourage companies to rise to the challenge when the funding call opens next month.

Hugo Heppell, Head of Investments at Screen Yorkshire, and Co-Director of XR Stories

Yorkshire has the skills, talent, infrastructure, the best network of games developers in the UK, a world leading R&D base in our universities, and a heritage in storytelling that has seen our screen industries achieve the fastest rate of screen industry growth in the UK, outside of London and the south-east. By investing in partnership between industry and academic research XR Stories has a real opportunity to grow further and establish Yorkshire and Humber as the UK Centre of Excellence in Immersive Storytelling

Damian Murphy, Director of XR Stories

Storytelling is at the heart of our cultural life reflecting who we are as people and is also powering the success of the UK’s creative sector which contributes £101.5 billion a year to the UK economy and is growing. XR Stories, a partnership led by the University of York, a world-class research institution for screen media research and production, is another innovative go-getting programme, part of Yorkshire and Humberside’s dynamic vision to develop into an international business destination for content creators working in the burgeoning audio visual sector.

Amanda Nevill, BFI Chief Executive Officer