News story

Using augmented reality to boost tourism: apply for contracts

Organisations can apply for a share of £70,000 to develop augmented reality technologies that help tourists to plan and make the most of their visits.

A look down from the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in Northern Ireland

A look down from the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland. Credit: Conor Phelan at

Tourism Northern Ireland working with the Department for Communities, Digital Catapult Northern Ireland and Matrix (Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel) has up to £70,000 to invest in projects that test how augmented reality can improve the way tourists experience the country.

Augmented reality technologies add a digital layer to a real-life situation to entertain or to give additional information that improves a user’s experience.

This competition is seeking ways for the technology to be applied to tourist experiences in Northern Ireland. Tourism Northern Ireland wants visitors to explore more, do more and spend more.

Tourism contributed £851 million to the Northern Ireland economy in 2016, with £614 million being spent by visitors from outside the country.

Enriching a tourist’s experience

Successful projects could include ones that:

  • improve the visit for people whose first language is not English
  • introduce immersive storytelling
  • provide an improved experience for visitors to remote and unstaffed sites
  • identify and test operational and commercial models

Funding for the competition is part of the SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) programme.

Competition information

  • the competition is open, and the deadline for applications is 7 December 2017
  • up to 6 projects will be selected for funding
  • SBRI is open to any organisation that can demonstrate a route to market for its idea
  • successful projects will attract 100% funded development contracts
  • a briefing event will be held on 3 November 2017
Published 31 October 2017