Having already established its own accelerator program, Vive X, and helped set up the Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance (VRVCA), HTC is today announcing another new VR industry initiative, the Industry of Virtual Reality Alliance (IVRA).
The new group isn’t like the company’s other projects, which were set up by its recently-established subsidiary, HTC Vive, to help provide funding and support to startup companies. Instead, the IVRA is a Chinese-focused initiative established with the help of the Electronic Information Division of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and made up of more than 170 enterprises and institutions. Together, these organizations hope to further boost the already-promising Chinese VR industry.
Prominent companies such as Samsung, Nokia, AMD, Ubisoft, NVIDIA, and ARM are already members of the new group. As for HTC itself, a press release release states that the company will “open up the upstream and downstream industrial chain” using its expertise and resources. Alvin W. Graylin, China Regional President of Vive, HTC, will also serve as the group’s Vice Chairman.
“We want to work closely with all segments of the ecosystem to solve the issues within the industry or barriers to growth,” Graylin told Upload over email when asked what the group hopes to establish. He explained that the IVRA doesn’t want to simply be an organization “for show” but instead help to set national standards for VR in China and perhaps even internationally given time. With the help of MIIT, the group also wants to create VR programs that are supported by the Chinese government itself.
“As a founding member of the IVRA and a leading firm in VR technology, HTC is committed to promoting VR technology innovation in China and the implementation of various industry applications,” HTC CEO and Chairwoman Cher Wang said in a prepared statement. “We have already accumulated a wealth of experience in these areas. With the establishment of the IVRA, we will continue to play to our strengths while actively assisting MIIT and other relevant departments, in formulating industry standards.”
The news comes a few days after HTC announced that it had hosted the first meeting of the VRVCA in Beijing. “We will certainly contribute the support of all the programs we’ve been working on to the IVRA goals/initiatives such as Vive X, VRVCA, dev programs, education programs, accessories training/certification programs and even Viveport to support the goals of IVRA,” Graylin said when asked if the new group might cross other with HTC’s other initiatives in any way.
“We’ve been having weekly meetings with the steering committee of IVRA in preparation for launch and will have a multi-day workshop after the Oct 1 holiday to set detailed execution plans for the coming year,” he added. “It’s certainly an exciting time for the VR industry as a whole. China will play an increasing role globally in this industry both from innovation and consumption perspectives.”
Earlier this month we reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping had pointed towards VR itself in helping the country to grow an “innovative world economy”. It certainly sounds as the the IVRA could help China reach that goal in the near future.