Aberystwyth University Prepares VR Center of Excellence

Virtual centre is 120 jobs reality

UP to 120 jobs will be created as a world-class virtual reality centre of excellence is to be built on the campus of Aberystwyth University.

The £10.4m centre will provide an environment in which to solve complex problems and create new products through dynamic 3D visualisation.

Housed in a purpose-built facility on the Penglais campus, it will feature display theatres and workshop facilities unequalled in the UK. The project is supported by over £6m from the Welsh Assembly Government, including £4.4m of European Objective 1 funding, as well as additional funds from industrial partners Silicon Graphics Inc and Sun Microsystems.

The work of building and equipping the new centre is expected to start in July and be completed by September 2007.

Virtual reality technologies are ideal for a wide range of visualisation applications. These include providing a new way of quickly identifying solutions to complex problems; designing new products without expensive and time-consuming prototyping; allowing users to visualise a new design, permitting high-resolution "walk-through" animations, and interaction in real time with the model.

The centre's facilities will include a domed 3D reality theatre, interactive projection, equipment for processing large data sets, work-stations for a personal virtual reality experience and offices, workshops and work-stations for individuals and groups.