On March 30, 2017 the RIVR Steering Committee and IGT hosted a meeting to discuss RIVR’s efforts to cultivate a VR/AR industry in Rhode Island.

Virtual reality, and its sibling technology, augmented reality, are nascent technologies on the cusp of widespread adoption. Both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are described as transformative communications technologies that will impact many areas of our personal and professional lives. In 2016 Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch published analyses of the VR/AR industry, each projecting an industry likely to be valued at more than $150 billion annually within the next five years. Rhode Island is home to some of the world’s leading companies and institutions working in these fields, including Brown University, RISD, URI, New England Tech, Lifespan, the VA Medical Center, the United States Navy in Newport, IGT, Amgen, Dassault Systemes, Hasbro, and Gilbane, among others. Since its inception in September 2016, RIVR has engaged with approximately 200 individual practitioners and enthusiasts across the state including corporate leaders, scholars and researchers, engineers, content creators, entrepreneurs, and investors.
RIVR’s goals are to
  • Attract investment and create jobs in the local VR/AR sector
  • Establish a supportive ecosystem for the sector
  • Build connectedness among participants in Rhode Island’s expanding VR/AR Cluster
  • Develop understanding of the global VR/AR market
  • Develop understanding of RIVR constituents’ assets, resources, goals, and needs
  • Develop positioning for RIVR constituents in the global landscape
  • Promote Rhode Island and draw attention to the work being done here
  • Cultivate an Industry Cluster for economic impact