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

Calling VR/AR companies in Canada! Join the Canadian Delegation to AWE EU in Munich! (Deadline Extended to Aug 2)

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Calling VR/AR companies in Canada! 

Join the VR/AR Canadian delegation to Munich, Germany Oct 17-18 for what Forbes calls "THE MOST ESSENTIAL AR/VR CONFERENCE AND EXPO". 

The Vancouver VR/AR Association/Launch Academy is proud to announce via the GOA (Global Opportunities for Associations) has received national funding for Canadian VR/AR companies that are looking to attend and build business opportunities at Augmented World Expo EU (Munch Germany) Oct 17-18. This opportunity gives Canadian companies the ability to develop business opportunities abroad with some of the leading enterprises, investors and thought leaders.

Global Opportunities for Associations (GOA) provides non-repayable contribution funding to support trade organizations undertaking new or expanded international business development activities, in strategic markets and sectors, for the benefit of an entire industry.

There will be a group that will choose 10 Canadian VR/AR companies to join the delegation. GOA will be reimbursing up to 75% of your eligible travel cost including flights, accommodations, conference registration and more. We will also be setting up B2B meetings, speaking/networking opportunities, and demo space. This is a great opportunity to showcase your technology/content to some of the biggest buyers/investors in the world.

If you are interested please fill out this form by Aug 2nd. Applications are reviewed on a first come first serve basis so we encourage you to apply ASAP! See program guidelines here

Selected companies will be announced on Aug 5th 2019.

If you identify yourself as a woman, indigienous or visible minority, we highly encourage you to apply. 

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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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Philip Wogart of VRARA Germany interviews Philipp Wilhelm of CEBIT

If you would like to get discounts to attend or exhibit CeBIT, email philip@thevrara.com 

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As part of the run up to CEBIT this year, I had the chance to speak with Philipp Wilhelm who heads up the activities for the Deutsche Messe in Hannover as regards immersive tech. This year the conference will be in the second week June, and the German Chapters of the Association are excited to be partnering with Germany’s largest technology conference to showcase our members and expertise in Hannover. 

Hello Philipp and thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and discuss CEBIT with us. I want to jump right in and ask for our international audience what does CEBIT mean? It’s an acronym no? But more importantly what its legacy has been and where it is headed…

Thank you very much for having me! That’s kind of a hard questions at the beginning. The name CeBIT is quite old, the show exists for over 35 years. So when its first episode started I assume more than 70% of the technology we have today did not exist back then in the show. In the past the name ment  in German “Centrum der Büro- und Informationstechnik” something like “marketplace for office IT” and back then it was pretty accurate. But CEBIT has changed a lot over the past years and the meaning too. For the 2018 edition CEBIT has a brand new concept. The old known and valued business focus still remains valid but we add a younger component to the show, a festival for digitization and some new topics triggering younger and more creative professional visitor groups. As a result we are also rebranding the name by letting the small “e” grow up to a capital “E” for “Experience the digitization”. CEBIT is a feeling and place to be, not an acronym any more. 

This rebranding is quite exciting actually. The festival approach will certainly appeal to a younger generation of attendees and exhibitors I imagine. Please tell us a little about the diverse technologies that will be showcased this year.

CEBIT has 4 core elements all focusing on digitization that’s where the “d!” comes from. The festival is named d!campus it is an open air area in the middle of the exhibition ground and will be hosting festival stages with artist, showcases and networking back yards, all focused on casual networking after the business hours. The biggest part and most similar to the “old” CEBIT is the d!cononomy part. There visitors find everything they need to digitize their company. From accounting software, datacenters, office IT, security software down to workplace IT. The really game changing technologies as AR/VR, AI, drones and other technologies among startups are hosted in the d!tec part of the show. This will be the most interesting for your members to browse around, test some tec and listen to conference talks. These conferences are the last of the 4 elements named d!talk and are located in the halls and free to attend. Spread over the show and conferences are our lead topics as: VR/AR, Future Mobility, IoT & 5G, AI, Human Robotics, Security and for sure Blockchain.

Well all these are gonna be real hot topics for the coming years for sure. Let me focus in a bit more on spatial computing now. Virtual and Augmented Reality being the name our of association, I’m sure the readers want to know more to expect this year. Can you share with us about any exciting demos that will be coming to the expo or d!talks?

Absolutely, we will have great content and demos at the show. Something that impresses me all the time is from holofill, it’s a hologram in a box/ screen and you can see it without a headset. We will have the latest gloves for VR by Sensoryx, great AR-Kit demos by VuFrame and even some cool demos by Innoactive. Beside these Startups there will also be companies who are in the market for a very long time as Leica Geo Systems showcasing special cameras for, I think you call it “point cloud scanning”, sorry not an expert. Collaborative workplaces in VR  will be shown and some more great showcases and technologies I am unfortunately not allowed to talk about at the moment. But some headsets no one has seen before will be showcased too. ;-) 
So for everyone from B2C to deep B2B solutions will be showcased at the show.

The Association is privileged that you have invited us to participate too, so thank you for that. At this point I feel obliged to mention that we have secured discounts for our members to visit and exhibit this year and hope to continue our participation for years to come. Let me ask you Philipp how did you get into VR yourself? And personally where do you see it headed now that the hype has died down?

We are very happy to cooperate with the VRARA, you have a great international network and we love to support you and the growing spirit of the, let’s call it XR-Industry. My first contact with VR was with a DK2 Headset at an event I attended around 2 years back in the US. Being very fascinated I decided to do some research on the topic and even did my MBA-thesis on “Immersive technologies in the sales process”, doing that I experienced how open minded, giving and forward thinking this great industry is. It’s always a great pleasure working with XR-people. 

I have also been astounded how amazing the community is, in person and also on social media. I look forward to infinite potential Social VR has to offer and concerned at the same time of course, but I’m an optimist in this respect.

So I’m excited for my first year at CEBIT as an attendee, exhibitor and speaker ;) 
Thank you so much for taking the time to give us a heads-up about all that going on in Hannover this June 11-15 (FYI: Monday is conference only, from Tuesday the expo opens to the public). 


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ASUS Germany launches Windows Mixed Reality VR Headset at VRARA Munich Chapter Event

The Munich VRARA Chapter held it's official launch event on the 21st of February at the German Headquarter of Microsoft Munich together with ASUS. The sold-out event with more than 100 participants provided the opportunity for updates on Microsoft's Windows Mixed Reality platform, and the latest VR products from ASUS.

This was the official launch in Germany for their brand-new Mixed Reality Headset.

In addition to the presentations, there was loads networking, snacks and hands-on experiences on 6 separate VR installations featuring the latest hardware provided by ASUS and software from Microsoft. In total there was more 12 hours of live VR interactivity for the attendees to experience and the feedback was that it was resounding success and a great introduction of the VR/AR Association into Munich's thriving VR/AR Ecosystem.

Please contact Thomas Fickert, Chapter President Munich to learn more about upcoming events or partnership opportunities.

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