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18 December 2020

ExportAR: Marine – an Augmented Reality export opportunity for Dorset’s marine-tech businesses

Ariel shot of the sea with ExportAR: Marine text and logos for DIT, Business West, Render

Dorset LEP is delighted to share a unique opportunity from the Department for International Trade (DIT) offering marine-tech businesses in Dorset the chance to help trial an immersive, 21st-century sales and lead-generation tool, in addition to the possibility of boosting export sales through enhanced international trade.

DIT’s South West branch, Business West and AR specialists, Render Media, are launching ‘ExportAR: Marine’ a first-of-its-kind immersive augmented reality (AR) platform for cross-border sales within the Marine sector. 

The ExportAR: Marine initiative will be delivered cost-free to three successful applicants from across Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, with DIT keen to feature a Dorset-based business. The platform will allow companies to showcase their Marine-Tech product in real-time to an international audience using a bespoke smartphone or tablet application. UK sellers will be able to present their product and communicate in real-time to international buyers in target markets using AR.

As part of this initiative, you'll be working closely with DIT trade advisers and their technology partners Render, an immersive innovation agency specialising in augmented reality. If successful in your application, Render will work you through the process of showcasing your product using AR between January – March 2021. From April 2021 onwards. You will then have the opportunity to pilot the tool in front of international buyers through DIT’s overseas networks.

An example of an AR-rendered piece of machinery can be found in a Render Media YouTube video below, providing a snapshot of how augmented reality can bring a product to life and enable greater-understanding amongst users and potential customers.

COVID-19 has put a stop to almost all face-to-face international sales opportunities. ExportAR: Marine aims to solve this problem by transforming the way in which buyers and sellers communicate, enabling simultaneous videoconferencing with international buyers alongside the ability to showcase specific features of a product using animation and 3D rendering. The solution has also been created to help cut down on business travel and support the decarbonisation of international trade. 

This is an exclusive opportunity for Marine-Tech businesses in one of the three participating Local Enterprise Partnership areas of Dorset, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly and Heart of the South West, with applications for Dorset-based businesses closing at 23:59 on 15 January 2021.

To be eligible to take part in the ExportAR: Marine initiative, your Marine-Tech company will need meet the requirements of a detailed list of criteria, which have been designed to manage expectations and ensure suitability. The headline criteria are listed below but please also ensure you download and comply with a more in-depth list from Business West.

To be eligible to apply you must:

  • Own detailed CAD files/drawings of your nominated product. (.STL or .IGS, IGIS files)
  • Have a product that in reality is no larger than 1-3 meters square, or can be scaled down to a similar spatial footprint.
  • Have a product that would benefit from the use of augmented reality in a sales situation.
  • Agree and be willing to work closely with Business West/DIT and Render throughout the course of the project. Your company will be required to nominate a 'Project Lead' that can facilitate this.

Apply for ExportAR: Marine initiative by 15 January 2021 at www.businesswest.co.uk/export/export-ar-marine/application-form

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