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University of Birmingham

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Monday, 10 July 2023

Press Release

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IB Communications

Tel +44 (0)20 89434685

UK immersive technology company to create mixed reality training platform for biopharmaceutical and healthcare sectors

Birmingham, UK, July 10, 2023 - UK immersive technology company FourPlus, along with collaborators Holosphere and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, have been awarded funding from Innovate UK to create and test a mixed-reality training platform that enables customized training delivery for pharmaceutical companies and healthcare.

The project is a GBP 1 million investment, with almost 75 percent from Innovate UK, and has been awarded via the Digitalisation and Automation of Medicines Research and Development and Manufacture competition. It will support the development of a customizable platform that leverages mixed reality and multi-player capabilities. The digital and automated training platform will be designed specifically for a number of manufacturing roles within cell and gene therapy, biopharmaceutical and wider life science sectors, including those at hospital sites. It will support initial training of staff, validation and the creation of digital training records. The platform will also enable healthcare trainers and trainees to collaborate seamlessly within virtual training environments. Additionally, the grant will facilitate the integration of data analytics tools, providing valuable insights for training and competency assessment purposes.

The collaborative project will be delivered by FourPlus over 18 months. A first release of a digital and automated training platform will be available to the market for demonstration by the end of 2023.

The training platform will expand the FourPlus technology portfolio that is already revolutionizing the onboarding and training process for new hires and apprentices in technical roles within the healthcare and biopharma sectors. By significantly accelerating time to competence, using FourPlus software leads to substantial cost savings. Automation and standardization of core training elements also guarantees consistent workforce skills, ensuring excellence across technical functions within an organization.

Furthermore, this innovative solution significantly reduces waste streams by minimizing the use of single-use consumables in physical lab training, thereby making a positive environmental impact.

FourPlus CEO, Dr Ivan Wall, said: “We are really excited to be starting this innovative project with Holosphere and Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. We already know that VR is a powerful way to support training of new sector employees, as it reduces cost, time, facility use and waste production. This project will deliver the next generation solution, that integrates mixed reality, training customisation, multi-user interactivity, data analytics and training support features. We will integrate best-in-class networked co-localisation technology, designed by project partners Holosphere, and Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult will support through testing with sector apprentices.”

Holosphere’s Technical Director Sean Duffy said: “Mixed reality and passthrough technologies are now ready to enable high quality shared immersive experiences and enhance communication between users. Holosphere are delighted to be working with Four Plus and CGTC to apply this to their next generation of training tools.”

Matthew Durdy, Chief Executive of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult said: “To feed the expected growth of the cell and gene therapy industry we need to employ innovation in every area. FourPlus’ innovative use of virtual and mixed reality is a great example of new technology meeting need. We look forward to working with FourPlus, Holosphere and our apprentice community to test this platform.”


About FourPlus

FourPlus are an immersive technology company who create technology solutions for the life sciences sector, across industry, academia and healthcare. These solutions span workforce management and training, process design and data visualization.

For more information: or contact:

About Holosphere

Based in Birmingham, UK, Holosphere is a passionate team of award-winning creative technologists, real-time engineers, 3D artists and experience designers, who design and deliver a full range of cutting edge extended reality tools and technologies.

About the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult is an independent innovation and technology organization committed to the advancement of cell and gene therapies with a vision of a thriving industry delivering life-changing advanced therapies to the world. Its aim is to create powerful collaborations which overcome challenges to the advancement of the sector. The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult works with Innovate UK. For more information, please visit

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