EON Reality, the world’s leading interactive 3D solutions provider for businesses and education, is expanding its European operation by opening a new global interactive research and development centre at One Central Park in Central Park in Manchester in mid-January. This will form an extension to The Sharp Project, Manchester’s digital and production complex in Newton Heath, creating more than 240 new jobs over the next three years.
The US based company has agreed terms and will sign a 10 year lease with Manchester City Council on 10, 000 sq ft (930 sq m) of space with ambitions to grow considerably over the next five years.
EON Reality see mutual benefits in becoming neighbours with Manchester College, who will remain in the building. The rest of the building will, over time, accommodate start-up digital businesses, existing businesses within The Sharp Project seeking to expand and larger digital businesses seeking to locate near The Sharp Project.
EON Reality’s Manchester centre will be its European HQ and will offer interactive and digital media technology solutions, training and professional services. The global interactive research and development centre will provide access to state of the art interactive 3D technologies including a virtual reality showroom, training room, project room, development lab, and 3D classroom infrastructure, creating a centre of excellence in Manchester and attracting customers from all over Europe.
It is a fact that digital technology is transforming the way that content is distributed and consumed and EON Reality have recognised that the UK is short of people with the right digital skills, so they are also setting up an Entrepreneurial Coding School. The school will deliver a comprehensive programme aimed at developing Manchester’s workforce with interactive and 3D technology skills including coding, design and development, training 500 students over 5 years in digital skills.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council said: “This is great for Manchester. Not only will EON Reality’s new base create 240 new jobs but it will offer training for thousands of young people in the increasingly marketable skill of computer coding. This is yet another example of the public and private sector working together to drive forward our ambition of Manchester becoming a global digital city by 2020.”
Mats W. Johansson, Co-Founder, President and CEO of EON Reality adds: “EON Reality’s mission is to empower people around the world to experience more by illuminating their minds with interactive and immersive experiences – enabling them to understand faster, remember longer and make better decisions.
Dan Lejerskar Co-Founder and Chairman of EON Reality who chose Manchester as the European HQ explains why: “Manchester is the original technology city – they invented the computer and have been improving it ever since, designing, programming, creating content and sharing ideas. Manchester is the home of the UK’s international Internet Exchange and the North West has the second largest creative cluster not only in the UK but in the whole of Europe. No other city in Europe has invested as much in its digital media and content operations – with billions being spent on creating a global hub for creative industries – just like EON Reality’s European Centre. Manchester is perfectly placed to be the UK’s digital city and a prominent player in the technology sector in Europe so it makes total sense to be located here.”
Sue Woodward, Director of The Sharp Project said: “This partnership with EON Reality is another string to Manchester’s technology bow and will enhance our status further on the global map for this rapidly expanding sector. It is extremely pleasing to learn that The Sharp Project’s high profile in the States was a major factor in EON Reality seeking to examine Manchester as a possible base. They want to make Manchester the centre for the creation of 3D content in Europe.
“Creating a cluster of blue chip and start-up tech businesses here in the region will without doubt attract more to follow, forming a thriving hub where talented youngsters can train and carve out careers and be part of the technological revolution. Based on previous experience in other territories, at least ten new successful companies could be established on the back of EON Reality’s presence in the city.”
Tim Newns, Chief Executive of MIDAS, Manchester inward investment agency concludes: “Manchester is a very attractive home for the digital sector and we are receiving unprecedented interest from digital and tech companies right now. The pace of growth in this sector is highlighted by the speed of EON Reality who first approached Manchester in April and aim to open in January – creating hundreds of direct new jobs and bringing customers and partners from all over the world to this city.”
For more information on The Sharp Project, visit www.thesharpproject.co.uk. For more information on EON Reality visit www.eonreality.com.
Follow The Sharp Project on Twitter @sharpproject.