The NZVRARA (The New Zealand VR/AR Association Inc.) and Auckland-based AR/VR Garage have signed a wide-ranging strategic partnership to accelerate the growth of the virtual and augmented reality sector in New Zealand.
The AR/VR Garage, facilitated by Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development(ATEED) on behalf of Auckland Council, opened in September last year as a collaborative AR/VR and mixed reality, project-centric, R&D facility in Auckland, New Zealand. Within the broad digital realities sector, the Garage is designed to align tertiary talent with industry needs, develop local solutions for global challenges and connect New Zealand talent internationally.
The New Zealand VR/AR Association is the official New Zealand chapter of the global VRARA (www.thevrara.com) and formally incorporated in September last year. Established to champion, support and grow innovation in the virtual, augmented and mixed reality sectors throughout New Zealand, the NZVRARA’s objectives include promoting collaboration, education, R&D and economic development for the benefit of its sector members.
This strategic partnership formalises the roles of both organisations to work together to accelerate the education, development and evolution of this creative sector for the benefit of New Zealand. The AR/VR Garage – which has more than 20 high-growth company tenants – joins the Association as a corporate member and will facilitate access to event space and AR/VR related equipment, as well as providing a hot-desk for Association members. The partnership allows for Association members’ innovative technology solutions to be showcased in Auckland. The NZVRARA will run its Auckland operations from the AR/VR Garage and access the venue for some of its member events.
NZVRARA Chair, Michael Gregg is enthusiastic about the arrangement saying, “The New Zealand VRARA is delighted to bring on the AR/VR Garage as a strategic partner, and as an Auckland home for our Association. I encourage our members and other strategic partners to make the most of this opportunity to build scale, create and drive innovation, and engage offshore through the facilities, networks and events that the Garage offers.”
Head of the AR/VR Garage, Brett Telfer is also excited at the opportunity: “The spirit of the partnership is to break down barriers to communication and collaboration between New Zealand’s regions and pockets of AR/VR capability, and to showcase our nation’s capability more effectively to international partners, delegations and visiting investors. The partnership provides a framework to collaborate on commercial VR and AR projects that drive economic outcomes for New Zealand companies,” he says.
NZVRARA Executive Director, Courteney Lomas is already working from the Garage to expand its Auckland student chapter and will host its first Garage event next month. “The AR/VR Garage launched in the same month as the New Zealand VR/AR Association, so this is an exciting way for both to celebrate their respective first anniversaries – with a joint event,” states Courteney.