XR4ED and XR5.0 EU Projects: Synergies for Revolutionizing Training and Education with Made‑in‑Europe XR Solutions

The XR4ED EU project aims to connect the Educational Technologies (EdTech) and Extended Reality (XR) communities via the establishment of a European platform that will constitute a reference for stakeholders wishing to deploy XR technologies for training and learning. The platform, currently under development, will make widely accessible components and tools, both existing and upcoming. It is therefore expected that the project will contribute towards making Europe a leader in the rapidly evolving cutting-edge XR technologies for education. As such, XR4ED project will support start-ups, SMEs and industry active in the education sector, as well as providing training and education (schools, high schools, universities and VET institutions) via two Open Calls. Each call will fund up to 10 projects, with a duration of 12 months. The First Open Call will be destined to developers to make use of the XR4ED platform and create their own solutions, which will address any level of learning and all categories of learners. The purpose is to test and validate the platform to be created by the project. It will furthermore allow to demonstrate the level of its usefulness in the learning process, as well as its societal and economic impact. All the software created will have to build upon Open Standards (such as WebXR, OpenXR), open APIs and frameworks and any third-party projects. All of them will have to be published in the European XR4ED solutions catalogue. The instances funded by the Second Open call will work towards developing mini pilots for testing XR solutions in real environments. The trials will employ Minimum Viable Product (MVP) design approaches, targeting various end-users. The pilots will call for the participation of schools, high schools, universities, teachers, students, parents and VET institutions and companies. All 20 instances that will receive funding will go through an intensive process which will include mentoring, workshops, dedicated growth coaching and progress monitoring. The training will be provided by the Consortium members and its objective will be to enhance their business acceleration and incubation.

The XR5.0 EU project works towards designing and implementing solutions that allow a unique blending of the entire spectrum of XR technologies and AI, with the aim to support the emerging wave of Industry 5.0 (I5.0). Destined to be human-centric (integration of human Digital Twins) and provide trustworthy human-machine collaboration within industrial settings, these technologies will be made available to XR and AI integrators, data providers, SMEs, and citizens in developing and using the project’s results in-line with European values. Like XR4ED project, XR5.0 will make available its training content via a cloud‑based platform that will be developed within the context of the project. It is therefore expected that both projects will support the establishment, growth and sustainability of a vibrant community of stakeholders interested in the uptake and further development of XR technologies, such as researchers, vendors, as well as providers/integrators of XR technologies and solutions. Furthermore, the sustainability and wider use of both projects’ results will be boosted. In such a way, a rapid launch of both projects’ developments will be enabled, that it will allow the XR vendors of the Consortium to become the world’s first providers of XR technologies, without overlooking issues of accessibility. Moreover, it will contribute towards developing standards relevant to the issues of interoperability and standardization, while also overcoming fragmentation issues, which will undoubtedly encourage and boost the acceleration of innovation. What is thus anticipated is that the outcomes of the projects will be commercialised after their completion, with financial benefits for the partners, while also increasing the projects’ value for EC money.

By leveraging potential synergies, both XR4ED and XR5.0 have the potential to revolutionize the way we learn, educate and teach/train using XR technologies that are more effective, engaging and accessible than before. And this, not only in Europe, but at an international level. XR4ED and XR5.0 projects could thus lead to a future where XR solutions are further integrated into training and education, since they have the capacity to boost productivity and further support skill-based teaching and learning, while providing a boost to the European and global economy.