HTC Vive announces VR fund for social welfare worth $10 million

VR content is gaining attention and HTC Vive has made a rather unexpected announcement. It has launched a $10 million investment for VR content and technologies that will drive sustainable development around the world. Unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, VR for Impact will include a number of VR-centric partners, in addition to firms like Sequoia Capital and Redpoint Ventures.

A total of 27 firms are expected to join HTC Vive in the VR Venture Capital Alliance (VRVCA) which will be headed by Alvin Wang Graylin, China Regional President of VR at HTC. The fund will be utilised to promote content to support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2020. These include a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The fund will promote experiences that improve awareness and education and lead to action. According to HTC, VR can help in providing a huge opportunity to develop and share ideas in impactful ways that lead to change.

“The potential for Virtual Reality to help us learn, understand, and transform the world is limitless. VR for Impact is a challenge to the VR community and content developers across the globe to help drive awareness and to solve the biggest challenges of mankind. HTC Vive will fund the best ideas using Virtual Reality that truly drive awareness and positive change in our world. We encourage all players in the VR ecosystem to join, as only together can we drive real impact,” said Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO at HTC.

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HTC is open for ideas that can be submitted on their website, and the winning projects will be announced on 22 April 2017 which Earth Day.

According to Gabo Arora, creator of the UN’s VR initiative and creative advisor to the World Food Programme, “HTC is a pioneer in recognising the work the UN has done to promote social change through virtual reality. The Vive’s room-scale VR capability can be a powerful tool for immersive storytelling, education, and training; their support will empower more people to effect global change, give voices to the most vulnerable, and provide access to new possibilities for the most marginalised.”