UK Government selects Scottish university to lead on visual effects lab

The project is funded by £75.6 million from the UK Government.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has welcomed funding to create a research facility which seeks to drive the next generation in visual effects technology.

A consortium led by Abertay University was selected as the preferred bidder for one of four specialists labs which will focus on real-time production using computer-generated imagery (CGI) and augmented reality.

The technology is already popularly known for facilitating the Abba Voyage live concert in London and Disney’s show The Mandalorian.

The Dundee site, funded through £75.6 million of UK Government funding and £63 million of new industry investment, is part of the UKRI’s Convergent Screen Technologies and performance in Realtime (CoStar) programme.

Alister Jack comments
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack (Victoria Jones/PA)

Alongside sites in Yorkshire and Belfast, the lab will form the largest visual production research and development network in Europe, with the Scottish city’s Water Edge Studios site combining expertise from Abertay and Edinburgh universities and leading tech firms.

It is expected that the three regional hubs will contribute a combined £33 million to the economy while supporting 423 jobs. A national lab will also be set up in London.

Mr Jack said: “This is a huge boost for Scotland’s world-class creative sector.

“This new facility in Dundee, funded by the UK Government, will help to build on the visual effects expertise we already have.

“Working together across the UK will ensure we remain on the cutting edge of this exciting industry, helping to create highly skilled jobs and grow our economy.”

The announcement is part of the UK Government’s ambition to maximise the growth of the creative industries by an extra £50 million by 2030.

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