The UK government has announced the funding of four Convergent Screen Technologies And performance in Realtime (CoSTAR) laboratories. Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, this project aims to generate an extra £50 billion for the economy and support a million more jobs by 2030. These labs will be at the forefront of virtual production technology, using Computer Generated Imagery (CGI), spatial audio, motion capture and extended reality (XR) to produce virtual environments.
This lab will be located at Production Park in Wakefield and will be led by Prof. Gavin Kearney, with co-direction from Prof. Helena Daffern (also as Research Director) and Prof. Damian Murphy as CoSTAR strategy advisor. Dr. Jon Hook and Dr. Dar’ya Guarnera from the School of Arts & Creative Technologies (University of York) are also part of the team. Vodafone, Screen Yorkshire, Wakefield Council and the York and North Yorkshire Enterprise Partnership are also core partners in producing a vibrant hub at the cutting edge of virtual production technologies. It is supported by £75.6 million in government funding and £63 million of industry investment. Lab Director, Professor Gavin Kearney said: “We are thrilled to announce our new lab facility; it will build upon the University’s world-leading applied research for the creative industries, as well as the support and growth initiatives of Screen Yorkshire and XR Stories in the screen industries sector across our region.”.