EPIC and VRARA Partner to Advance VR/AR Industry (Press Release)

28 August 2019, Berlin, Germany

Philip Wogart, Executive Director DACH, Co-Chair Location Based Entertainment Committee of the VR/AR Association (VRARA) and Carlos Lee, Director General of EPIC (European Photonics Industry Consortium) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 28 August 2019. The signature took place at EPIC’s highest-level conference - EPIC World Photonics Technology Summit 2019

There are so many facets of the photonics industry that have direct application to the advancement and adoption of Immersive Technologies, which is entirely our organisation’s goal and mission statement. To find the leading advocate in photonics with its trusted experts and leaders right here in Europe that connect their own industry across the entire value chain, it made perfect sense that our associations not only collaborate, but indeed connect members in business opportunities that accelerate both ecosystems…”
— Philip Wogart, Executive Director DACH VRARA

VRARA and EPIC are leading international organizations that are working tirelessly towards the development of virtual/augmented reality and photonics industries, respectively. They are mutually motivated in cooperative activities involving the technological and commercial advancement in the area of photonics as both organizations help to develop industry standards. The partnership will encourage direct contact and cooperation between its members, assist future cooperation including participation at events and promoting the VR and AR ecosystem, exchange of information and contacts, as well as advisory mandates with the aim to support the development of a more cohesive and sustainable industry.

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EPIC’s model of connecting the European photonics community worldwide is through collaboration and partnerships, and thereby integrating the industry and improving the workings of photonics ecosystems. The VR/AR community is developing very fast and with this partnership, we want to offer this community access to EPIC’s members leading to future collaborations between members. Partnerships like this bring industries together and it’s good that the photonics industry is getting integrated and more organized
— Carlos Lee, Director General of EPIC

The signature of the MoU took place in conjunction with the EPIC World Photonics Technology Summit in Berlin, Germany, in the presence of 150+ CEOs/CTOs and decision makers from worldwide leading photonics companies. The signing is the culmination of 9 months collaboration starting already last year at the EPIC Meeting on AR/VR at SONY in Stuttgart and several online collaborative webinars. Then earlier this year Director General Carlos Lee gave the keynote at the Executive Dinner at Mobile World Congress hosted by the Barcelona Chapter of VRARA. The cooperation continues to grow onto the international stage with the VR/AR Association’s invite for EPIC to participate in their annual Global Summit in November in Vancouver.

VR/AR Association (VRARA) has over 50 chapters around the world and a community of over 4,200 companies, brands, schools, and 27,000 professionals interested in the fields of VR/AR technologies. This complements very well the interests of most of the 500 members of the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC), that encompass the entire value chain from photonics fields such as lighting, photovoltaic, photonics integrated circuits, optical components, lasers, sensors, imaging, displays, optic fiber and all other photonics related technologies.

About VR/AR Association

The VR/AR Association (VRARA) is an international organization designed to facilitate collaboration between innovative companies and people in the VR and AR ecosystem that accelerates growth, fosters research and education, helps develop industry standards, connects member organizations and promotes the services of member companies. Over 4000 companies, brands, school and 27,000 professionals are registered with VRARA and 20 committees are working on best practices and guidelines for the industry.

About European Photonics Industry Consortium

EPIC is an industry association that promotes the sustainable development of organizations working in the field of photonics in Europe. Its members encompass the entire value chain from LED lighting, photovoltaic solar energy, photonics integrated circuits, optical components, lasers, sensors, imaging, displays, projectors, optic fiber and other photonics related technologies. EPIC fosters a vibrant photonics ecosystem by maintaining a strong network and acting as a catalyst and facilitator for technological and commercial advancement. EPIC currently represents close to 500 companies across 33 countries. www.epic-assoc.com

The VR/AR Association publishes the UK Ecosystem Report. Download here

With VR/AR, we're going to experience music, art, content and data in context with our lives. A quick search of the GOV.UK Contracts Finder site and the Digital Marketplace suggests that, in the last half-decade, there have been just 17 public-sector tenders for virtual reality projects or products. But six of these were in the first half of 2019. This includes a £700,000 project from Highways England to deliver a virtual training environment, and a three-year framework launched by housing association London and Quadrant, which will use VR/AR technology in the planning of new buildings. A wide range of universities have invested in VR or AR environments to support the teaching of engineering and other subjects. The Ministry of Defense also recently spent money on a “VR demonstrator” to showcase the technologies of the future that will play a key role in the defense sector.

This report features UK-based immersive tech pioneers in the media, advertising/marketing, gaming, enterprise training, computer vision, geolocation, telepresence, education, retail/ecommerce, journalism, healthcare, art/entertainment sectors, among others. Thanks to their involvement with the VRARA in the UK and beyond (VRARA has over 4200 companies, brands, schools registered and over 27000 professionals), we continue to demonstrate how VR and AR will change people's lives, businesses and grow the economy through innovation. This connection and collaboration seems particularly important now, as we face the UK leaving the EU, and with the potential of VR and AR to expand into a $60 billion market by 2023.

If you're not a member yet, please join us in creating this magical future. As Jay Samit puts it: "the best way to predict the future is to spend time with those creating it." And if you or your organisation plan on using VR and AR, then the VRARA and its members would love to hear about it, and we encourage you to get in touch. We can help. Email us at london@thevrara.com

The VR/AR Association publishes the Belgian Ecosystem Report featuring 50 Companies

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How are the European Parliament, New Balance, Volvo, and other leading companies leveraging the VR/AR ecosystem of Belgium? Why are they investing in this new technology?

Together with Howest, we decided to create this VRARA Ecosystem report, which gives up-to-date information about the VR/AR space in Belgium. Almost 50 Belgian companies shared their experience, predictions for the future, and real use cases! We kindly share this report with you to help you capitalize on the next major computing platform shift and understand why Belgium will play a role in that!


For nearly 25 years, Howest University of Applied Sciences has acted as a pioneer in the field of applied computer sciences. Anticipating the future and exploring the talents and motivation of each student, we have coached our students to become competent, highly employable, team oriented young professionals.

Introducing new bachelor programmes, inspiring hundreds of young early adopters, we have aimed to set the mark for socially relevant, practice-based education and valorisation oriented research and community service for the broad regional and international labour market.

Anticipating new trends and needs, we have designed new profiles. With our programme in Digital Arts and Entertainment, we have become part of a worldwide, cutting edge circle of trendsetters.

We have generated a practice-based, state of the art curriculum in close collaboration with all the major partners in the field of technology, creating a multidisciplinary setting, integrating education, research and community service, which allows us to create an added value for our students, staff and society as a whole. Twice we have been awarded the Rookie Award for best gaming programme worldwide.

More recently, we have developed new programmes in the field of AR, VR and – our newest programme – in applied AI. Although they are different, VR and AR share common processes and technologies such as software and data processing. They also tend to concentrate in the same business and research worlds hence creating overlapping ecosystems, as is clearly shown in ‘Virtual reality and its potential for Europe’, a paper by Ecorys (2017). VR & AR ecosystems are also closely related to the industry of artificial intelligence (AI).

Howest University of Applied Sciences has always stimulated entrepreneurship, creating a fertile soil and facilitating students and alumni in pursuing their dreams. No wonder so many names in this register have a familiar ring to them: they are alumni of Howest! Needless to say we are very proud of their achievements!

It goes without saying that none of these efforts could reach fruition without a supportive context. The Kortrijk region is wellknown for its technology giants such as Barco but also for its entrepreneurial SME’s. The town council and its mayor are valued partners. Flanders itself aims high with its Goals 2050 programme.

Howest University of Applied Sciences is rooted in enthusiasm, dedication and hard work. These values have made us the future forward organisation we have been for so many years. It is our firm intention to be the change agent for the years to come.

-- Lode De Geyter

President, Howest University of Applied Sciences


VR/AR Association Publishes the Taiwan Ecosystem Report for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality; Big Opportunities in Medical/Healthcare, Biotech, Pharma

Members can download the report from our Cloud Drive. To apply for Membership, click here

Big Opportunities in Medical/Healthcare, Biotech, Pharma for VRAR (x AI x IoT + other emerging technologies e.g. blockchain)

Taiwan companies will be represented at our VR/AR Global Summit Vancouver Nov 1-2. More info here

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Taiwan is sometimes called the "Asian Miracle", a small island of just 23.5 million people, yet it has become one of the top 20 economies in the world, hub of APAC/ASEAN and bridge to China. Taiwan is currently undergoing a digital renaissance with billions of dollars being dedicated to building a "Asian Silicon Valley" and "5 + 2" Industrial Innovation Plan. Taiwan has some of the best talent in the world, consistently ranking globally in the top 5 or 10 of STEM scores. The Digital Giants are investing heavily to develop Emerging Technologies in Taiwan. Taiwan provides a wonderful environment to do business or start a company. One can now find literally hundreds of startup events, incubators and accelerators. Besides all this Taiwan is consistently listed as one of the top 10 or 20 Best Places in the World to Live, Best Places to Travel, Best Places for Foreigners to Live and Work!

By being strategically situated in Asia-Pacific region, Taiwan is an excellent route for foreign companies into the emerging healthcare economies of Asia, while also being an ideal platform, from which to enter the Chinese market. Taiwan’s welcoming culture and reliable business environment underpin the potential for strong partnerships. Joint R&D opportunities lie in Taiwan’s ICT strengths, as Taiwan excels in hardware development with a well-established and professional supply chain. Taiwan’s leading ICT giants are actively seeking investment opportunities and R&D projects as they diversify into the healthcare industry. They welcome horizontal and vertical integration models of emerging technologies such as VRAR, especially for medical devices and healthcare services through M&A or forming strategic partnerships.

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In the biotechnology sector, capitalization of local publicly-listed biotech companies is valued at $23.9B USD with a total revenue of 7B USD up 17% since 2015. With over 105 bio-related IPO companies, Taiwan is a prime location for industry investment, partnerships, and licensing opportunities, as a result pharmaceutical companies like GSK and AstraZeneca are actively running clinical R&D centres in Taiwan. Taiwan is a significant global market, with National Health Expenditure accounting for 6.3% of GDP (34.7B USD) this is expected to grow annually at a rate of 4.8%. It applies WHO/FDA healthcare standards and has a high level of IP protection. Taiwan’s high quality universal health coverage single payer National Health Insurance (NHI) program covers 99.9% of the island’s 23.5 million population with public satisfaction at 83.1%. Looking ahead Taiwan has a number of serious health challenges that need to be addressed, not least of all an aging population, international cooperation will be vital to solving these issues.

Taiwan companies will be represented at our VR/AR Global Summit Vancouver Nov 1-2. More info here

NYC VR/AR Ecosystem Report. 25+ companies featured, 100 listed. Get your Copy here!

To get your copy, enter your email here:

NYC is a metropolitan hub for national & international businesses, institutions, and organizations. This report represents the brilliant minds all over the VR/AR ecosystem, from original content creators & creative distributors to innovative hardware companies to ambitious researchers. See NYC Chapter page here

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Forward 1

It’s a thrilling time in the Big Apple for the burgeoning virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) industries. New York City is home to a thriving, frenetic, ever growing and spectacularly talented eco-system. It’s alive in all aspects of market drivers across academia, advertising, banking, finance, communication, medicine, movies and television, and Wall Street. Great vision and enthusiasm is driving the creation of new startups, corporate ventures, academic research, medical applications, and entrepreneurial initiatives taken on by technologists and all manner of domain experts building and creating, providing the next generation of applications driving new business and sometimes just plain having fun, enjoying a number of arcades that have popped up across the city. Listed here you will find a wide variety of VR and AR products and services from consumer to enterprise applications that are best in class! Please do check out what we have to offer, you won’t be disappointed.

— Adaora Udoji, VRARA NYC Chapter Advisor

Table of Contents

  • Foreward

  • Avatar-Plus

  • Beth Stewart Voice Over - Truth or Dare VO

  • Brave New World

  • Brick Simple

  • Chris Pfaff Tech Media

  • Confideo Labs

  • Hack and Paint

  • Halo Labs

  • Hello World Communications


  • Inception

  • Lampix

  • Live CGI

  • MediaCombo

  • Memetic Arts

  • Nice Shoes

  • NKLS

  • Oblix

  • OffWorld Laboratories

  • Rutgers Prep

  • Sketchfab

  • SMACAR Solutions Inc.

  • SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York

  • TECH+Expo & Forum (produced by The Architect’s Newspaper)

  • ThirdEye

  • Touchstone Research

  • ViuSpace

  • VRSim

  • Other 100+ Companies

Forward 2

The story of immersive and augmenting, wearable computing is going to be one of the most epic business stories of our time. The biggest companies in the world are at the table. The stakes are nothing less than the evolution of humankind. Change happens very slowly, and then all at once. It's an exciting time to be in this industry because no one really knows how this is going to turn out. A vibrant New York tech scene making its presence felt nationally. Our universities are turning out scores of talented engineers and entrepreneurs, ready to create the businesses of tomorrow. No one can change the world or build something of consequence by themselves. The only way to make something happen is to get out of your hole, get out of your social media bubble, and meet actual people in real life who share your vision of how to implement this new immersive media. The VRARA helps you to do that. You are looking at a very valuable networking tool: these are members who have stood up and said they want you to know what they're doing. If you like it, have a question, or think you can help, reach out to them directly. Make a new friend. Learn something. That's what I do all day, and I've never gotten tired of it.

— Charlie Fink, VRARA NYC Chapter Advisor

Forward 3

Before the money and the magazine covers, every tech scene has the same origin story -- a scrappy group of weirdos huddled together, building something strange and wonderful. The NYC VR/AR scene deviates from this only insofar as we're not squatting in garages; alas, that's Manhattan architecture for you. But to call the scene intimate is an understatement -- hit up a handful of meetups and you'll see the same people, passionately talking about their latest creations. And we're all doing it on shoestring budgets, more or less, although we're finally starting to see some big deals and high profile projects come to fruition. What NYC lacks in Hollywood glamour or Silicon Valley VR cash, it makes up for in heart and attitude. The NYC VR/AR scene is vibrant and alive, a core group of true believers hell-bent on changing the way we see the world. In twenty years, when the first round of documentaries are released, we'll all look back on our outfits and cringe, but think about the magic we made, and smile.

— Cortney Harding, VRARA NYC Chapter Advisor

Forward 4

The New York area represents the largest concentration of Fortune 1000 headquarters in the world, and a diverse body of companies. The sheer magnitude of New York's reach in the business world is often incalculable. This is true for the VR/AR industry as well, as hundreds of New York market firms - from headset manufacturers to production companies to software developers - represent both legacy efforts and recently-unveiled initiatives to change the way that people view the world and receive information. From the pharmaceutical corridor of New Jersey to the media rows of Manhattan to defense contractors in Long Island and platform developers in Connecticut, there are myriad numbers of companies that are redefining virtual and augmented experiences. The VR/AR Association's ecosystem report for New York is a thumbnail sketch of the activity represented in the broader market, but will shed light on the sector's growth in the largest market in the United States.

— Chris Pfaff, VRARA NYC Chapter Advisor

San Francisco VR AR Ecosystem Report: 25 Companies Featured, 100 Listed

To receive a copy, enter your email here

See all of our other reports here

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Tech revolutions seem to happen all at once. But in reality, it’s often a gradual progression of factors. And sometimes they happen in the unlikeliest places. The first computing revolution was set in motion by eight embittered electrical engineers who were under the management of a domineering founder named William Shockley. Starting a now-prevalent trend, the “traitorous eight,” left well-paying jobs to found Silicon Valley’s first startup in 1957: Fairchild Semiconductor.

These engineers included Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore who later co-founded Intel. Moore wrote the law that’s defined chip-based computing and technological progression to this day. They also included Eugene Kleiner, who founded the industry’s most prolific venture capital firm among other things. Altogether, they branched out from Fairchild -- the original tech ‘mafia’ -- to seed AMD, National Semiconductor and ultimately what we now know as Silicon Valley.

More importantly, those seeds took root in fertile conditions. A combination of weather, network effect and educational institutions reinforced the region’s talent inflows, tech transfer and concentration of knowledge. Revolutions kicked off every 10-15 years: mainframe computing, the PC, the commercial internet and the smartphone era. It is now on that same soil where the next revolution is underway.

And, like the gradual progression of events that started with the traitorous eight, the XR revolution continues to emit sparks all around us. First ignited by Facebook’s 2014 acquisition of Oculus, something big is happening.

It’s happening behind the walls of glass cities in Cupertino, Mountain View and Menlo Park; nondescript office parks in San Mateo, Dorm rooms in Berkeley and co-working spaces throughout San Francisco. WeWork is the new HP garage. There’s even a good chance that one of the companies that defines the next era of technological innovation and Silicon Valley lore is a member of the VR/AR Association. We see tremendous creativity, innovation, and pedigree at companies like 6D.ai, Ubiquity 6, Avegant, Umbra, Kineviz and Portico. We see individuals carrying the XR torch and creating value such as Amy LaMeyer, Amy Peck, Kristin Dragos, Annisa Kau, and Rika Nakazawa.

We now publish this report to document, give credit to, and provide a map for those future (and current) all-stars of Silicon Valley. They sprout from fertile soil, with a birthright, and responsibility, to design the technology that will drive the world’s progression and economic growth. With 60 years of evidence, we believe probability and statistics theory apply to regional innovation: past behavior is a good indication of future outcomes.

Get your Company Featured in our VR AR Ecosystem Reports

VRARA's 50+ Chapters are producing industry reports on the regional VR/AR ecosystems to promote companies and organizations involved with immersive technologies and media from NYC to Sydney, across the world.  The reports will be promoted by VRARA and our partners reaching potentially a 1M audience. 

Would you be interested to have your company featured in these report or sponsor the report? If yes, then let us know at info@thevrara.com 

Each report will specifically highlight the following:

  • Size of the local ecosystem market

  • Number of relevant companies in the ecosystem

  • List of companies and company info (size: number of employees, revenue; vertical, customers)

  • Reasons why company is based in the local ecosystem

  • Needs and hopes from and for the ecosystem

If you have any questions or are interested in being featured or sponsor, please reply to this email or email info@thevrara.com

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