Picture: European Commission
The EU aims to be a world leader in the XR industry, driving forward plans for standards, skills, society and the industry.
The European Commission is confident about the future prospects of virtual reality, mixed reality and related fields. The sector is expected to create 860,000 new jobs in Europe by 2030, according to a report from Verified Market Research. The figure includes non-EU countries such as the UK.
The global virtual worlds market will grow from $27 billion in 2022 to more than €800 billion in 2030, it said. The Commission presented the forecast on April 11, 2023, as part of the “EU initiative on Web 4.0 and virtual worlds.” In it, the EU complains that most innovative activity takes place in the USA, South Korea and China. Therefore, the European Union wants to create foundations to break this dominance.
EU aims to become world leader in XR
Europe has what it takes to become a global leader in Web 4.0 and virtual worlds, says Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for Internal Market.
“We will take this competitive edge to the next level and connect virtual world developers with industry users, invest in the uptake and scale-up of new technologies, and give people the tools and the skills to safely and confidently use virtual worlds” Breton said .
The development of mixed reality technologies in Europe has great potential, according to the Commission staff working document. However, there is still plenty of room for development outside the dominant gaming, media and entertainment sectors, it adds.
To strengthen skills, the Commission wants to work with Member States to build a talent pool and support skills development – including for women and girls. Projects will be supported by the “Digital Europe” and “Creative Europe” programs.
Other cornerstones of the strategy include the development of “regulatory sandboxes,” roadmaps for virtual worlds, and support for content providers and media companies that want to try out new tools. The EU is already investing in digital twin initiatives such as “Local Digital Twins” or the “European Digital Twin of the Ocean”.
Virtual twins for Europe
Two new flagships will be added in the future. “CitiVerse” is an immersive urban environment for urban planning and management. “European Virtual Human Twin replicates the human body to support clinical decisions and personalized treatments.
Europe throws its hat in the ring to become a world leader in Web 4.0 and virtual worlds.
The new internet will impact the way people live together, bringing many benefits.
And we need to have people at the center and shape it according to our EU digital rights and principles. pic.twitter.com/rc0R3qUm0y
— European Commission (@EU_Commission) July 11, 2023
Furthermore, the EU wants to shape global standards “for open and interoperable virtual worlds and Web 4.0”. By promoting this area, the EU wants to ensure that it is not dominated by a few big players and that it is in line with EU values.