UK-based immersive technology company, FourPlus has secured funding from Innovate UK to develop a mixed-reality training platform designed for the biopharmaceutical and healthcare sectors.

In a collaboration between FourPlus, Holosphere, and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, the project will aim to build a customisable digital and automated training platform that uses mixed reality and has multi-player capabilities.

The platform will be tailored to different manufacturing roles within cell and gene therapy, biopharmaceuticals, and the life science sectors, which includes those in a hospital setting.

It will provide training for staff, support validation processes, and facilitate the creation of digital training records. The platform will also enable seamless collaboration between healthcare trainers and trainees within virtual training environments. Data analytics tools will be integrated giving insights for training and competency assessment purposes.

As of now, the project has secured a £1 million ($1.29 million) investment with 75% of the funds coming from Innovate UK through the Digitalisation and Automation of Medicines Research and Development and Manufacture competition.

FourPlus will lead the collaborative project and forecasts it will release a demonstration version of the digital and automated training platform by the end of 2023.

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“We already know that virtual reality 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, integrating mixed reality, training customisation, multi-user interactivity, data analytics, and training support features,” said Dr. Ivan Wall, CEO of FourPlus.

Holosphere’s Technical Director, Sean Duffy, emphasised the potential of mixed reality and passthrough technologies in enhancing shared immersive experiences and communication between users.

According to the project leaders, the virtual training platform will also tackle environmental issues by reducing the use of single-use consumables in a physical lab training setting.