VRTogether is a media project funded by the European Commission as part of the H2020 program. It lasted for 3-4 years (2017-2021) operating with a budget of €3.9M. VRTogether aimed at radically improving the digitally augmented social experience by innovating how media formats are used (i.e., how audio, video and graphics are captured, delivered and rendered at users’ homes). VRTogether aimed to achieve a significant improvement of the feeling of being there together, and the photorealistic quality of the content.
VRTogether’s consortium has been strategically set up to consist of partners that cover all stages of the production chain. This partnership consisted of a combination of leading academic institutions (i2CAT -Project Coordinator & Technical Lead-, CWI, TNO, CERTH and Artanim) and industry actors (Motion Spell, TheMo and Viaccess-Orca) that spread over 5 European countries.
Sound was asked to provide support to VRTogether; the project was advised by the European Commission to transform from an internal to an external focus. Our Sound Experts took on the role and work of the Innovation Manager for the remaining 10 months of the project. The main task of the Innovation Manager was to validate the technology developed by the project partners, startup business development, investigate strategic partnerships and create market awareness. Sound achieved commercial success for VRTogether by cont(r)acting launching partners that could potentially add value to the exploitation within VRTogether.
Essentially, Sound needed to refocus the project from a strong technology and exploration oriented focus towards a business and exploitation focus. We succeeded in doing so by performing the following tasks:
- Identify, assess and report all project exploitable results.
- Supervise a permanent screening of the market in all fields of work of the project.
- Collaborate with consortium partners to deliver the agreed results like the exploitation strategy of VRTogether.
- Establishment of agreements and collaboration with external initiatives.
- Define business development & communication approach and strategy.
- Define business model, value propositions and validate use cases.
- The newly defined and consolidated VRTogether business model is based on problem, market and solution validation.
- Organize Joint Business Clinics with potential partners & create a hit list per target market.
- Contact & contract potential launching customers and strategic partners.
- Manage pipeline (connect, convert, close) & legal framework.
- Prepare for and represent VRTogether at several conferences like VRDays.
- Align the members of the consortium on the exploitation strategy and business development execution.
- Present the final results of the project to the European Commission in April 2021.
On April 16th 2021 Sound successfully presented the results of the VRTogether project and it’s exit strategy to the European Commission. The project received compliments on the strong refocus and the role of the innovation manager. Moreover, consortium partners were advised to appoint an Innovation Manager from the start of every new project they will be involved in.