A North East software development company has secured funding to accelerate its development of immersive learning tools to support the region’s net zero ambitions.
Fuzzy Logic Studio is one of 50 innovative businesses to receive a grant as part of Challenge North Tyne – an £800,000 open innovation project funded by North of Tyne Combined Authority. It will invest the finance in creating and testing an Augmented Reality (AR) learning platform to reskill and upskill heating engineers around new renewable energy heating solutions for the home, such as air source heat pumps.
Under current Government targets, 600,000 heat pumps will be installed annually by 2028, resulting in considerable demand for high-quality, trained heat pump installers. Recent industry statistics highlight that an additional 57,000 installation engineers are needed over the next decade to achieve these targets. Maintaining the heat pumps long-term will also be integral to the UK achieving its net zero targets by 2050.
Harvey Trent, Director of Fuzzy Logic Studio, said: “As we seek to decarbonise homes in the North East and beyond, there is a pressing need to ensure we have a skilled workforce to meet demand. Our focus at Fuzzy Logic Studio is to develop immersive learning tools that bridge the emerging skills gaps and track with the acceleration of technology in industry.
“We’d like to thank the programme facilitators for seeing the value in our vision. We look forward to collaborating with the other successful applicants and industry partners to create a truly transformative solution. A key part of this will involve testing our concept with end-users to ensure it has the greatest impact possible.”
Immersive learning tools, such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, have been demonstrated to help users rapidly build competence and retain knowledge. Fuzzy Logic Studio has already developed learning applications across other sectors critical to the growth of the UK’s green economy, such as automotive electrification.
The accelerator programme is being delivered in partnership between the North East LEP and Innovation SuperNetwork.
Jamie Driscoll, elected Metro Mayor for the North of Tyne, said: “We’ve got two big issues here: decarbonising housing and helping people to continue living a full life as they get older. So we’ve made money available to help local businesses with good ideas on how to tackle these challenges. And, from what I’ve seen, they are rising to meet them, head on.”
Sarah Cox, Innovation Challenge Programme Director at Innovation SuperNetwork, added: “Challenge North Tyne provides opportunities for organisations and communities to work together in developing and testing needed solutions to some tough problems that we really need to address.”