Miranda Dobson

EON Reality opens European headquarters in Manchester

Californian firm, EON Reality, has opened its European headquarters in Manchester with plans to create 240 jobs over the next three years.

The company is a global 3D software provider for businesses and education, whose move into Manchester has the potential to boost the city’s global digital standing by 2020.

Located on the east site of central Manchester, the 10,000 sq ft headquarters is an extension to The Sharp Project, the city’s digital and production ‘hub’ in Newton Heath.

The U.S. business will bring over virtual reality (VR) 3D software that has never been seen before in Europe, along with a VR showroom designed by Atul Bansal, co-founder and partner of Manchester-based interior designers, The Sheila Bird Group.

An ‘Entrepreneur Coding School’ will also be located at the site, where 100 students will be able to enrol each year from September 2013 onto a full-time coding course.

Manchester’s digital work force will significantly benefit from the school, according to EON Reality, as it aims to educate students in coding, 3D modeling, design and development.

These skills will be transferable into a wide range of sectors and industries, including architectural and visualisation work, games creation, design and broadcast media.

Mats W. Johansson, co-founded, President and chief executive of EON Reality, said: “We are creating a learning revolution that will help future generations become better educated and succeed in core STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects which are currently suffering a decline.

“We believe ‘seeing is believing’ which is why immersive teaching tools out-perform traditional learning methods across the entire curriculum.

“3D Virtual Reality images are so powerful in engaging and explaining that attention levels and test results immediately increase.

“This type of learning has had a big impact in the States and we want to make 3D technology the norm for learning in Europe.”

In addition to these educational advances, EON Reality has pledged to offer permanent positions to the top 50% of each student cohort, while one trainee will be awarded an internship in California or Singapore.

Dan Lejerskar, co-founder and chair of EON Reality, commented: “This facility will make Manchester the European centre for the creation of 3D content.

“Manchester is the perfect location for us to set up our European home and a key component in our global strategy.

“This city shares our vision to grow the technology sector, train people in this increasingly valuable skill and change the face of education through 3D technology.

“What we are doing in Manchester is truly ground breaking and will quickly spread to Europe and across the world. The digital community of Manchester is the perfect partner to help us on our journey.”

Manchester City Council’s chief executive, Sir Howard Bernstein, added: “EON’s base here in Manchester will form the heart of a new technology hub, attracting new start-ups who will benefit enormously from being part of a cluster.

“This is an exciting new phase for The Sharp Project. The potential for job creation directly and indirectly from this new facility is immense, providing much needed career opportunities for talented youngsters in an expanding sector.

“EON’s commitment to train 500 local people, over 5 years is very significant indeed and will make a huge contribution to expanding the skill base of the area for an increasingly important sector.

“Apart from the technical knowledge, students will leave with a range of transferable skills including team working and problem solving which will open up a range of career opportunities in any chosen field.”

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