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The project is supported by the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB)

Cross-border collaboration results in cutting-edge AI technology platform

Sentireal's Project Manager as part of the Co-Innovate project

Sentireal, an immersive technology company in Belfast, has developed a new innovative software platform “immersonal” which enables educators and trainers to quickly and easily create their own personalised and immersive Extended Reality (XR) learning experiences for their students and clients. It enables e-Learning designers to spend their time on the core content whilst immersonal uses its Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine to automatically create an infinitely variable, personalised and engaging learning experience for their users and a detailed assessment report for the training manager.

In collaboration with Donegal based, Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT), the project involved the research and development of an embedded AI software module to integrate into the immersonal system architecture. This AI module allows Sentireal’s customers to design and deploy dynamic and highly-personalised immersive learning experiences to their target audience.

The cross-border project was made possible through the Co-Innovate programme, which is supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Co-Innovate provides funding and support for SMEs who want to undertake a cross-border collaborative research and innovation project. The company works with an academic institute to fulfil a defined need and skillset that is not available in-house and will help fund and recruit a skilled project manager for 12 months to deliver the project and achieve KPIs.

Speaking about the project, Co-Innovate Director, Alison Currie, said:

“Innovation is at the heart of every successful business. Co-Innovate is delighted to have facilitated the research project between Sentireal and LYIT which has demonstrated the power of cross-border collaboration. The launch of Immersonal will assist Sentireal’s growth and expansion plans and the strong link they have developed with LYIT creates an opportunity for further collaboration and joint ventures. “

Nuala Trainor, a Director at Sentireal, said:

Before the project, we had significant expertise in Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies. However, at that point, we lacked expertise in data analytics, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. Co-Innovate addressed this knowledge gap in the form of funding for a dedicated Project Manager, with the key skills in Artificial Intelligence along with technical guidance and support from a renowned academic in the same field, LYIT.

The integration of the knowledge and skills acquired into the wider Sentireal technical team mean we now possess these skills ‘in-house,’ negating the need to outsource development work. The project has enabled us to build up a stronger technical team and as Artificial Intelligence capabilities are increasingly becoming a core requirement in many tenders, across a wide range of market verticals, and we are now well placed to tender for such opportunities. The new product will also raise our company’s global profile, allowing us to reach new clients and markets.

We are delighted with the overall success of the project, and the links we have established with LYIT.

The academic supervisor involved in the project, Dr. Michael McCann from Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) and PI for their technology gateway WiSAR, said:

“We were delighted to work with and establish a strong link with Sentireal who have been very supportive with helping us secure further R&D funding. The project featured in a number of additional funding bids including our recent successful application to achieve Technological University (TU) status, highlighting the positive cross-border relationship, and the overall success.

Through the Co-Innovate project, LYIT has gained extensive knowledge in the field of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and has provided the institute with a cutting edge, applied research and development case study to inform academic teaching. This is particularly important in the context of computing science modules given the extremely fast-paced rate of change of emerging and disruptive technology. The Project Manager was also able to disseminate knowledge gained from the project through article publications and we are exploring the possibility of developing a PhD research study based around the project insight.”

The project manager, Jeremiah Wangaruro, added:

I am very grateful to have been involved in such an exciting and cutting edge project. It provided me with the opportunity to gain practical industrial experience on a commercial project, and work as part of a technical team where I increased my knowledge and expertise in technical skills such as AI, data analytics and software development under the guidance of both Sentireal and LYIT.

I have also expanded my project management skills and experience in strategic planning through the successful delivery of the project on time and within budget and have been fortunate to have secured a permanent position as a Data Scientist within Sentireal, at a critical time in the company’s growth and expansion.

For more information on the Co-Innovate programme, please click here

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