The New Zealand VR/AR Association hosted its first Student Chapter Graduate VR/AR Exhibition at PROJECTR® Wellington on Wednesday 6th December 2017.
The showcase of work came from a selection of the 44 student members who joined the Student Chapter during 2017 and demonstrates the extensive breadth of work being undertaken by undergraduate and post-graduate students, primarily sourced from the Wellington region.
The event saw 17 exhibitors, and 11 VR/AR demos, and was an awesome evening of experiencing our next generation of talent.
The NZVRARA was delighted to welcome Datacom to the event to co-announce their newly signed strategic partnership. Datacom has joined the NZVRARA as the main sponsor of the Student Chapter, covering the membership fees of the first 100 students.
The NZVRARA extends thanks to Blackeye VR Ltd for sponsoring the event, and recognises the work they are doing to support the growth of the New Zealand Cross Reality sector.
The Exhibition will be an annual showcase of the Student Chapter, and will serve as an opportunity for the industry to meet and hire the latest NZ graduates working in immersive technologies. We are looking forward to hosting the 2018 Exhibition in Auckland.
The NZVRARA Student Chapter is tasked with building closer links between the New Zealand VR/AR industry and students moving through the education and training system.
As highlighted by sector report, Virtual Gets Real, over the next two years the New Zealand cross reality sector will experience a personnel shortage of nearly 2000 people. Supporting and developing our graduates as they move from the education system into the industry is paramount for the long-term robust growth and development of the NZ VR/AR sector.
There are currently 48 members of the Student Chapter, derived from Victoria University of Wellington and Massey University. We are well on track to have 100+ student members by end of March 2018 which will include students from AUT, Auckland University, Media Design School and Canterbury University.
Students hail from a diverse range of disciplines including; Engineering, Computer Science, Architecture, Graphic Design, Spatial Design, Industrial Design, Games Development, User Experience and Creative Media Production.
The Student Chapter offers a conduit for students to engage with the wider industry as well as collaborate with other students from different tertiary organisations across New Zealand.
After its establishment and early trial period in late 2017, the Student Chapter is excited to lead a variety of events planned for 2018. These include round-table sessions, hackathons, skilled workshops, and exhibition events.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Executive Director & Student Chapter President,
The New Zealand VR/AR Association will be hosting its first NZVRARA Student Chapter Exhibition at PROJECTR® Wellington on Wednesday 6th December 2017.
This showcase of work comes from a selection of the 44 student members who joined during 2017 and demonstrates the extensive breadth of work being undertaken by undergraduate and post-graduate students, primarily sourced from the Wellington region.
The NZVRARA Student Chapter was formed in mid-2017 and is driven by NZVRARA Executive Director, Courteney Lomas, who is also the Student Chapter President.
“Our student members primarily come from the two on-campus VR Clubs we’ve formed this year at Massey University (VRTX) and Victoria University (Looking Glass),” says Ms Lomas. “The concept of forming on-campus interdisciplinary clubs and supporting these students with NZVRARA Student Membership has worked extremely well and the NZVRARA is proud to support their work.”
Ms Lomas encourages commercial users and the industry’s creators of virtual and augmented reality solutions to take the necessary time to come and see what the students have been working on this year.
“These students are the future of our industry; our interns, graduate employees and a deep pool of ideas to fuel the growth of New Zealand’s VR/AR sector,” stated Ms Lomas.
“In 2018, we expect to bring in members from other New Zealand centres, particularly the Auckland institutions of AUT, Media Design School and Auckland University. We’re really excited about the idea of hosting a nationwide exhibit this time next year and are on track to have over 100 student members by the end of March 2018,” Ms Lomas stated.
Local VR company, Blackeye, has stepped up to cover the costs of this foundation event. Blackeye Managing Director, Michael Gregg is highly supportive of the exploratory work undertaken by the graduates.
“We’re delighted to step in and play our part to support our sector,” says Mr Gregg. “A recent survey identified an approaching VR/AR skills shortage, so it’s important we encourage undergraduate students from across disciplines to access these new immersive technologies and build strong capability with a range of cross reality applications,” said Mr Gregg.
The 2017 Student Chapter Exhibition will open at 5:00pm at PROJECTR® Level 2, NEC House, 40 Taranaki St, Wellington. Please register attendance at http://bit.ly/2z84z1O .
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Courteney Lomas, NZVRARA Student Chapter President
Mobile 027 738 9340 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The NZVRARA (The New Zealand VR/AR Association Inc.) Student Chapter kicked off mid-July with a series of events to inform the establishment of University Clubs on each major University campus, and plans to expand further into Polytechnics and private training organisations.
Members of the University Clubs will be offered reduced cost annual membership to the NZVRARA, with their Association membership fees covered by strategic partners of the NZVRARA.
This significant initiative is tasked with building closer links between the burgeoning VR/AR industry and students moving through the education and training system, to deliver on a wide range of benefits. These include:
- A chance for students to attend and gain tangible benefits from NZVRARA meetups, workshops and member events;
- A conduit for internships and workplace training via student access to employers and entrepreneur’s seeking undergraduate and postgraduate expertise;
- More communications between industry, students and tertiary staff will influence learning pathways and continue to align skillsets with industry demand;
- Student have access latest technology and collaborative R&D venues via the NZVRARA’s strategic partnerships;
Based on the successful VRTX model already operating on the Massey Wellington campus, and following a meeting between the NZVRARA and VRTX, the Association organised a meeting of interested Victoria University Wellington campus students who collectively agreed to form their own club.
The call has gone out to VR students and staff from other University campuses to contact the NZVRARA if there is sufficient support for forming an on-campus club at other locations.
Masterminded by NZVRARA Student Chapter President, Courteney Lomas, who is also employed by the NZVRARA as their Executive Director, the idea of the various campus clubs’ meeting, competing, and celebrating the VR/AR sector resonated with both NZVRARA members and students.
“We’re really excited about working collaboratively from multiple locations, across the various Uni clubs,” said Courteney Lomas, NZVRARA Student Chapter President. “We’ve got some fun events already in the pipeline, and a VR challenge that will benefit an important charity planned for early 2018.”
Professor Brian Lucid, Head of Massey University’s School of Design and NZVRARA Board Member, is confident this initiative will deliver positive and exciting results. “The VRTX concept created at Massey is already delivering benefits through meaningful engagement between students, faculty researchers and the wider VR sector,” said Brian, “Forming other campus clubs will only make this initiative stronger”.
The NZVRARA is the official New Zealand chapter of the global VRARA (www.thevrara.com) and formally incorporated in September 2016, and was established to champion, support and grow innovation in the virtual, augmented and mixed reality sectors throughout New Zealand. Its objectives include promoting collaboration, education, R&D and economic development for the benefit of its sector members.
Students or staff from New Zealand’s tertiary institutions are encouraged to contact Courteney at the NZVRARA via email@example.com.
GET A CLUB UNDERWAY ON YOUR CAMPUS:
For Student Chapter information:
Executive Director & Student Chapter President, NZVRARA
Mobile 027 738 9340 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on the NZVRARA:
Mobile 021 83 85 83 or email@example.com