FourPlus to create mixed-reality training platform for biopharma and healthcare sectors

By Isabel Cameron

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Pharmaceutical companies Technology Manufacturing cell and gene therapy

UK immersive technology company FourPlus, along with collaborators Holosphere and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, have been awarded funding from Innovate UK to create and test a mixed-reality training platform for pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.

The project has received $1 million in investment, with approximately 75% percent from Innovate UK, awarded via the digitalisation and automation of medicines research and development and manufacture competition.

The funding will support the development of a customizable platform that leverages mixed reality and multi-player capabilities.

The digital and automated training platform will be designed specifically for a number of manufacturing roles within cell and gene therapy, biopharmaceutical and wider life science sectors, including those at hospital sites.

It will support initial training of staff, validation and the creation of digital training records. The platform will also enable healthcare trainers and trainees to collaborate ‘seamlessly’ within virtual training environments. Additionally, the grant will facilitate the integration of data analytics tools, providing insights for training and competency assessment purposes.

The collaborative project will be delivered by FourPlus over 18 months. A first release of a digital and automated training platform will be available to the market for demonstration by the end of 2023.

Dr Ivan Wall, CEO of FourPlus, said: “We are really excited to be starting this innovative project with Holosphere and Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. We already know that VR is a powerful way to support training of new sector employees, as it reduces cost, time, facility use and waste production.”

“This project will deliver the next generation solution, that integrates mixed reality, training customisation, multi-user interactivity, data analytics and training support features. We will integrate best-in-class networked co-localisation technology, designed by project partners Holosphere, and Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult will support through testing with sector apprentices.”

Sean Duffy, technical director at Holosphere, added: “Mixed reality and passthrough technologies are now ready to enable high quality shared immersive experiences and enhance communication between users. Holosphere are delighted to be working with Four Plus and CGTC to apply this to their next generation of training tools.”

In order to feed the expected growth of the cell and gene therapy industry, Matthew Durdy, CEO of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, said it is necessary to employ innovation 'in every area.'

"FourPlus’ innovative use of virtual and mixed reality is a great example of new technology meeting need. We look forward to working with FourPlus, Holosphere and our apprentice community to test this platform," he said. 

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