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Audience of the future

Government’s challenge to industry and research to create immersive experiences, products and services that capture public attention and enable the UK to lead.


Audience of the future

The evolution of storytelling

What is the audience of the future challenge?

New immersive technologies such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality are changing how we experience the world around us – from entertainment to art, to shops and classrooms. They will fundamentally change products and services in the next 20 years, and transform how we experience the world.

The audience of the future challenge will bring creative businesses, researchers and technology experts together to create striking new experiences that captivate the public.

Those funded through the challenge will adopt, exploit and develop immersive technologies to create new products and services. They will capture the world’s attention and grow the UK’s leading market position in creative content.

What’s the investment?

Up to £33 million will be made available for new products and services that exploit immersive technologies.

What are the funding opportunities?

The funding will be invested in:

Demonstrator programme

A £16 million demonstrator programme will fund industry-led consortia in the creative industries to create new immersive experiences and test them with large-scale audiences.

Collaborative research and development funding

Up to £12 million will go to research and development projects in 3 areas:

  • to deliver insights into audience perceptions and behaviours
  • to improve the production of high-quality content and make it cheaper, faster and more accessible
  • to attract new private capital into this emerging sector

Industry centre of excellence

A new £10 million centre will support the development of cutting-edge creative training and research programmes in immersive storytelling to develop the UK creative talent pool. It will be part-funded through the creative industries clusters programme.

Hear from the creative industry

UK industry strengths


“The first thing to be proud of is our heritage, but the world's changing so fast, the UK needs to make sure we stay ahead of the curve.”
Jay Short, Technology Strategist, INITION

The challenges organisations face

How do we make work that is as beautiful, as epic, as affecting as we have been able to do on other mediums?”
Annette Mees, Head of Audience Labs, Royal Opera House

What the programme should achieve


“What we want to see come out of this is a format that everybody looks at and goes, great! That's a must have, I need to experience that.”
Rupert Harris, Creative Director, Animal Vegetable Mineral

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