Thursday, 11 September 2014

UNIDO to pilot augmented and virtual reality knowledge transfer solutions to improve industrial skills in developing countries

VIENNA, 11 September 2014 – UNIDO is partnering with Opens external link in new windowEON Reality Inc., a leading company in virtual reality-based knowledge transfer for industry, education, and educational entertainment. UNIDO sees augmented and virtual reality-based knowledge transfer solutions as affordable and effective tools for reducing poverty, increasing production capacity, and developing industrial skills in developing countries.

EON and UNIDO's first joint pilot project is an augmented reality application, called LKDF Interact, which covers diesel engine operation for the Volvo Selam Vocational Training Centre in Ethiopia. The Volvo Selam centre is one of the partners of the Opens external link in new windowLearning and Knowledge Development Facility (LKDF) project, which aims to support the establishment and upgrading of local industrial training academies in close partnership with the private sector. The concept behind LKDF Interact can be replicated in other UNIDO projects that focus on industrial skills development, especially projects in the heavy duty vehicle industry field.

“It is my firm belief that technology and innovation, and their successful transfer, are fundamental pillars of inclusive and sustainable industrial development. UNIDO has consistently been promoting awareness of new technologies, mechanisms to facilitate their transfer, and matchmaking between technology providers and those looking for new technologies. Without technology and innovation, industrialization will not happen, and without industrialization, development will not happen. Virtual reality technology is the next generation of expertise which will be extremely useful for educators and will allow students to gain a deeper understanding on the topic at hand. The important factor is that the technology has become affordable for the developing world,” said Philippe Scholtes, Managing Director of UNIDO.

This is the first step in the collaboration between UNIDO’s LKDF and EON Reality’s Learn for Life Program, which brings augmented and virtual reality-based knowledge transfer to communities that need it the most. EON is currently engaged in several similar projects and is actively vetting locations to set up joint Interactive Digital Centres (IDCs) in Africa. These centres will support improved regional knowledge transfer through augmented and virtual reality, as well as enabling the local population to develop the VR/AR content their communities need.

“The ability to quickly train workers and educate students is key to help grow thriving communities worldwide,” said Mikael Jacobsson, Vice President of Business Development Europe and Africa at EON Reality. “With augmented and virtual reality’s superior knowledge transfer, we feel that applications, like the one developed for Ethiopia, will be crucial in furthering industrialization worldwide and bringing prosperity.”

The LKDF Interact application can be downloaded Opens external link in new windowhere

About the Learning and Knowledge Development Facility (LKDF)
LKDF provides a means to systematically learn from public/private development partnerships that target vocational training centers and skills development. The initiative is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and implemented by UNIDO. Current partners include Volvo, Scania, Festo, and training centres in Ethiopia, Iraq and Uruguay. It aims to develop a framework for such partnerships and to promote this type of collaboration. A key objective of LKDF is to disseminate the gathered knowledge for the greater public good.

For more information on LKDF Interact, please contact:
John Mani,
Agro-Industries Technology Unit, UNIDO
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For more information on the LKD Facility, please contact:
Virpi Stucki,
Industrial development officer, Agro-Industries Technology Unit
, UNIDO
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