We are living through challenging times. The COVID-19 coronavirus has silenced our cities and many of our work-places and isolated us physically from our colleagues, our friends and our families. Many of our businesses have been disrupted, and all are adapting to change
Whilst it is harder than ever for businesses to flourish, we also believe that the XR sector offers an unparalleled level of creativity and has the opportunity to champion those new, digital spaces where we can connect, invent, and collaborate – spaces which are full of curiosity and wonder.
We are in the process of adapting the approach of XR Stories to help navigate this new future. We have set up emergency funding for some of the companies we are already working with and will assess this going forward. New initiatives and support opportunities will emerge as the landscape becomes clearer. One such initiative is the launch of our sister project, SIGN (Screen Industries Growth Network).
We will move on from COVID-19 with a renewed pride in what our region can offer and a sense of optimism that together we are well equipped to meet whatever challenges the future holds.
We’ve collected together some links to funding resources which you may find useful.
Facebook Small Business Grants is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to help alleviate disruptions resulting from COVID-19.
The UNICEF Venture Fund collaborates with innovators to build and test new solutions at the pace required to keep up with the rapidly evolving challenges facing children.
This fund has been developed to help community sport and physical activity organisations meet their obligations which are no longer supported with revenue as a result of coronavirus; the closing date for applications is 31 July 2020.
UKRI offers funding for short-term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sony’s COVID-19 relief fund seeks to provide support to up-and-coming creators, artists and all within the creative community who have been impacted by the spread of Coronavirus on their profession.
Based in the US, the Knight Foundation offers grants that support transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts
Charity and Community
The Coronavirus Emergency Fund is offering grants of up to £10,000 to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of Coronavirus.
Leeds Community Foundation has launched a fund to support charities and community groups across Leeds that are experiencing exceptional difficulties operating as a result of the National Emergency measures resulting from COVID-19.
John Lewis Partnership has announced a £1 million Community Support Fund that will be available across the UK to help those in need.
The focus of the fund will be to offer community organisations emergency funding of up to £2,000 to deal with emerging issues in the community or assistance with running costs.
Arts Council England is offering grants of up to £2,500 to individuals working in the cultural sector, including artists, creative practitioners and freelancers, with the current round of applications open until 30 April (registration deadline is 27 April).
This fund is available to non-NPO organisations in the cultural sector, offering up to £35,000 to ensure continued work in the future, with applications open until 30 April (registration deadline is 27 April).
Sesame Ventures will partner with the best emerging companies innovating in education, health, and social welfare for kids, with access to investment capital and Sesame Workshop’s expertise.
Film and TV
Offering a series of funding of small-to-medium-sized film projects, Lush has been supporting filmmakers to tackle bold storytelling that remains true to Lush’s core values.
The Film and TV COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, in partnership with the BFI, provides one-off grants from £500 to £2,500 to those in film, TV and cinema facing financial difficulty because of the COVID-19 crisis, with applications open until 6 pm Wednesday 22 April 2020.
Epic Games is offering grants from $5,000 to $500,000 to cover a variety of endeavours from enterprise or media and entertainment projects, game development, educations and software tool development, with no deadline for applications currently in place.
This grand is aimed at those focused on the future of digital beings, with applications falling into categories of games, enterprise, social and education.
As part of the Digital Confidence Fund, £10,000 – including £2,500 worth of free mentoring – is being offered to heritage organisations to offer support in building digital skills and confidence.
Digital Skills for Heritage is an advocacy initiative driving up digital capabilities across the heritage sector, offering funding in a number of strands.
The Heritage Emergency Fund is available to organisations across the full breadth of the heritage sector, aiming to address immediate pressures caused by COVID-19; applications are open until 30 June 2020.
This fund is designed to support the implementation of a program of support for the European cultural and creative sector, with an emphasis on events, film literacy and festivals.
The Albert Sloan Foundation makes grants primarily to support original research and education related to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics.
The Strategic Fund is welcoming applications until 29 June, encouraging applications related to a number of broad themes, including digital technologies and the future of education.
The Unity for Humanity Challenge supports creators who are developing projects that encompass themes of social, healthcare, science, education, humanitarian and/or environmental issues in a range of genres; game, film, XR, tooling.
As part of the UK government’s development of 5G technical capabilities, the 5G Create is offering grants between £250,000 and £5 million, with two competition deadlines in place; 1 June 2020 and 27 July 2020.
This fund was set up to to quickly assess, fund and grow open-source solutions that can improve children’s lives, with investments up to $90,000.
Eurostars is dedicated to support R&D-performing SMEs in their innovative R&D projects, with applications open until 3 September 2020.
The Digital Projects for the Public supports projects that interpret and analyse humanities content in primarily digital platforms and formats, with applications currently open until 19 June 2020.
The CreativeXR will engage with technical experts to help develop experimental prototype builds and support the teams throughout their three-month build journey; the application window closes on 17 May 2020.
Kaleidoscope Fund brings together creators and industry leaders to develop, fund, and distribute new XR projects.
The OSVR Developer Fund is a $5 million growing fund initiated by Razer designed to encourage VR content developers to support the open ecosystem.
XR4ALL’s current open call is set to attract, select and provide financial support to third parties to develop new XR solutions; the current window for applications will close on 26 June 2020.