Enhanced fund pushes at film frontiers

September 14, 2001

The Scottish Executive last week added £1 million more to a fund for researchers in the early stages of developing work with commercial potential.

The two-year-old "proof of concept" fund, managed by Scottish Enterprise, now has a value of £30 million.

The fund's latest beneficiaries are computer scientists at Edinburgh and Glasgow universities, who will get £200,000 towards developing digital technology that could help television and film-makers make huge savings on production costs.

The researchers are working on techniques to create "virtual film sets" that could replace costly studio sets and reduce the need for filming on location.

At the recent proof of concept awards ceremony - which was designed to introduce winners to business angels, venture capitalists and other funding sources - Wendy Alexander, Scotland's minister for enterprise and lifelong learning, said: "The diversity of the projects funded so far is remarkable: anti-cancer drugs, personal alarms for elderly and disabled people, world-leading systems on chip technology, processes for assessing the quality of meat and the next-generation games technology, to name just a few."

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