With dates for the third Bristol-based Virtual Reality (VR) World Congress announced for April 2017 – and upcoming plans for a local meet and greet to connect key players – it’s never been a more exciting time for the VR industry in the South West.

In the intervening months, VR companies from around the world are invited to Lille, France for a free VR Meetings Brokerage Event this November.

“These events are a brilliant way to have a short sharp series of meetings with companies in similar fields”


As well as offering the chance to connect with key stakeholders in the VR industry and learn about the present and the future of VR, the event offers the South West a chance to showcase its VR talent.

With the event co-organised by European business matchmaking service Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), we caught up with Abby Frear – Digital & Creative Sector Lead at EEN (and one of TechSPARK’s own!), to find out more.

VR speed-dating

vr-south-westAbby tells us: “The great thing about any brokerage event is that it’s like speed-dating for companies. And as you’d expect, so many more partnerships are formed face to face than online.

“So, whether you’re looking for buyers, suppliers, collaborators or partners, these events are a brilliant way to have a short sharp series of meetings with companies in similar fields.

“It would be great to see some South West VR companies [in Lille] making connections”


“A bonus is that this particular event is free and will form part of Lille Innovation Week, so there will be lots of other great stuff going on at the same time.

“We are anticipating around 100 companies taking part in the Lille matchmaking event. So far registrations include companies from France, Belgium and Romania – working in industries as varied as VR for construction, in museums, in transport, e-health and of course in gaming, so there’s definitely something for everyone. It would be great to see some South West VR companies there, making connections.”

VR talent

vr-south-west-2Abby is very keen for the progress being made in VR in the region to be shouted about: “As we have all no doubt heard from the TechNation report last year – the Bristol & Bath region is the fastest growing tech cluster in Europe, so it’s no surprise that such an important area of growth in tech such as VR should set up home here.

This has certainly been helped along by such initiatives as the VR World Congress held by Opposable Group. It’s only in its third year but has already grown from 300 attendees in year one, to an expected 2000 next year!

“It’s really helping to put Bristol & Bath on the VR map. Plus of course, there are some great initiatives like PlayWest and the upcoming VR lab which is worth looking out for.”

If you’re a VR company, startup or research project and you’re interested in heading to Lille this November, check out the VR Meetings Brokerage 2016 website. If you have any questions you can get in touch with Abby by email: info@enterpriseeuropesw.org.uk.