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Global UN event to be delivered on VR platform designed by Irish firm

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Adaptation: CEO David Whelan said Engage addresses a variety of needs. Photo: Shane O'Neill/SON Photographic

Adaptation: CEO David Whelan said Engage addresses a variety of needs. Photo: Shane O'Neill/SON Photographic

Adaptation: CEO David Whelan said Engage addresses a variety of needs. Photo: Shane O'Neill/SON Photographic

The United Nations (UN) has chosen a virtual learning platform designed by Waterford-based firm VR Education to deliver a major youth event.

The Engage platform, which hosts virtual events, virtual training and remote distance learning, will be used to facilitate the UN's annual 'Global Youth Takeover' on October 24.

Attendees at the event will be able to watch presentations or shows and 'walk around' different areas to talk to people, using the Waterford-based company's technology.

VR Education develops virtual reality (VR) training and education products that make it easier to collaborate on tasks remotely, create content and learn.

Demand for remote working and remote learning tools has exploded during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Engage has been used by a growing number of global companies and organisations, including the European Commission, Ericsson, Facebook, McKinsey & Company, the United States Air Force, and Yahoo, according to the company.

"The UN event will enhance the profile of the group as the use of the Engage platform grows strongly month on month," said David Whelan, CEO of VR Education.

The company designed Engage primarily as a communications tool for education and training, however, Mr Whelan said they have "quickly adapted it to address the needs of a variety of industries and event organisers as they look to generate revenue in this lockdown world".

Earlier this year, Taiwanese consumer electronics company HTC Corporation invested €3m in VR Education in exchange for a 20pc stake in the Irish business. HTC can have a presence on VR Education's board as long as its stake remains above 10pc.

The deal with HTC includes a strategic partnership for the distribution and licence of VR Education's Engage platform globally.

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Commenting on yesterday's announcement from VR Education, Shane Reilly, analyst at Davy, said it is "a positive development for the group in that it acts as an endorsement of Engage's versatility, enhances the group's commercial reach and the platforms user's familiarity, and accelerates adoption among the political echelon".

VR Education raised £6m (€6.7m) when it listed on the London and Irish stock exchanges in 2018.


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