Wednesday 29/11/2023 |

Royal Holloway, University of London, announced as lead partner for CoSTAR National Lab of which Disguise is a core partner

CoSTAR research

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) has announced today, 22 November, that Royal Holloway, University of London, is the lead partner for the CoSTAR National Lab for R&D in Creative Technology, a £51.1m investment by the UK Government in Applied Research to ensure the UK’s screen and performance industries have the research infrastructure and research and innovation skills to compete globally. Disguise is thrilled to be one of the partners forming the Lab as part of our ongoing drive for collaborative research.

Building on StoryFutures expertise in creative industries research and development (R&D) and by bringing together world leaders in applied technology research and story, Royal  Holloway will support innovation for the UK’s Creative Industries along with its key partners which include Disguise, Pinewood Studios, BT, the University of Surrey, Abertay University, Surrey County Council/Surrey Institute for People-Centered AI, and the National Film and Television School, the CoSTAR National Lab will place R&D at  the heart of UK storytelling and storytelling at the heart of R&D. 

The Lab will be based at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire and will include dedicated studio space, featuring a large-scale virtual production system, a 5G/6G private network, a motion capture rig, and a state-of-the-art creative Artificial Intelligence (AI) compute facility accessible across the UK. Our vision for  the CoSTAR National Lab will put the UK at the forefront of applied research in advanced  computing technologies for the creative sector. 

The National Lab will create an innovation architecture to enable the UK screen and  performance sectors to lead the world in future waves of advanced computing technologies. We will do so by placing our nations’ leading-edge advantage in creativity at  the core of the CoSTAR National Lab, providing a centre for innovation that is unmatched  anywhere in the UK. 

The convergent screen technologies and performance in realtime (CoSTAR) programme  provides researchers, companies and institutions across the UK with the infrastructure they  need to conduct world-class research and development (R&D) in screen and performance  technology. CoSTAR will support the design, development and creation of state-of-the-art facilities, resources and expertise to underpin the long-term competitiveness of the UK’s  screen and performance sectors. 

Established with £75.6 million of funding from the Arts and Humanities  Research Council, with additional private co-investment, the CoSTAR national network comprises a National Lab, three Network Labs and a Foresight Lab.

Disguise has a deep-rooted history and interest in research and development. Evidenced by the success story of our extended reality solution - which began as a research project - we are always seeking to push the boundaries in the screens and performance industries. This latest development will allow us to establish long-term partnerships with the other partners in the consortium - bridging the gap between research and industry success.

Disguise will bring our strong expertise for concept design, content creation and technical integrations to support experimental and ambitious projects undertaken by the CoSTAR Lab. Through this research, we will shape new technologies to enable future creative media production and consumption.
Sara Coppola-Nicholson

Head of Research, Disguise

Professor James Bennett, Director of CoSTAR National Lab at Royal Holloway, said: “By creating a leading-edge R&D facility at the heart of the UK Creative Industries, our research teams will be working with the creative sector to build the game-changing technologies and experiences of tomorrow. Our aim is to deliver a new kind of public  innovation value that makes Metaverse and AI technologies more inclusive, sustainable and  democratic. And through all this, ensure the UK can stay ahead of the curve as the world  leader in creative innovation" 

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Royal Holloway, University of London, Professor Julie  Sanders, said: “We are thrilled that Royal Holloway will be leading the CoSTAR National  Lab, which will put the UK at the forefront of applied research in advanced computing  technologies for the creative sector. We are very proud to bring together this unique  partnership to support creative sector innovation by unlocking the world-class research of  our University. This will open an exciting new chapter in applied R&D collaborations between industry and researchers.” 


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