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The Big Gamification Challenge

PUBLISHED: 17:17 04 July 2018

(Left to right) Dr Matthew Day, Deputy Dean for Research and Innovation in Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University; Abhi Naha, CCO, Cambridge Wireless; Jan Storg�rds, REACTOR Project Director. Reactor Showcase at the Cambridge Junction June 19. 2018. Picture: 

Matthew Power Photography

(Left to right) Dr Matthew Day, Deputy Dean for Research and Innovation in Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University; Abhi Naha, CCO, Cambridge Wireless; Jan Storg�rds, REACTOR Project Director. Reactor Showcase at the Cambridge Junction June 19. 2018. Picture: Matthew Power Photography

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A regional development project which supports the growth of the local games sector has launched their Big Gamification Challenge 2019, under the theme of connectivity. The REACTOR project is led by Anglian Ruskin University, which has a campus in Chelmsford, and is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Since the project’s launch last year, 39 eligible SMEs have received support, accessing REACTOR’s network of business mentors, game designers and entrepreneurs. REACTOR participants have benefitted from £36,000 of match-funded grants to date, and have attended practical workshops to develop business know-how and to refine skills in pitching to investors.

They have put those skills to the test at events ranging from informal meet-ups to Concept Development Workshops and the annual Showcase.

One of those who have benefitted from REACTOR is Olu Orugboh, chief executive of customer service company Synergy Organisational Solutions, who is incorporating game theory and artificial intelligence into her business to increase affordability and availability for her clients.

Ms Orugboh said: “Without REACTOR I would not have been able to move forward with my concept. I would have had to pay an enormous sum of money to consultants, which I couldn’t afford as a small business, or my idea would have been resigned to the ‘future projects’ category – probably to never be seen again. But, with REACTOR’s business development mentoring and events focused on refining and practising pitching, I have been able to progress my idea.”

REACTOR have just announced an increased upper limit to the match-funded grants eligible SMEs can apply for, from £6,000 to £12,000.

Explaining why the theme of connectivity was chosen for this year’s gamification challenge, REACTOR’s Project Director, AJan Storgårds, said: “Connectivity is not simply defined, but SMEs and start-ups will be tasked with using systems thinking; working together for shared purposes; and sharing responsibility for driving progress. Everything on the planet is interconnected – people, machines, nature, built environments, other species, even androids – and we want to inspire our local creative and tech clusters to crowdsource ideas, interests, challenges, and solutions for the benefit of us all.”

The REACTOR project is one aspect of Anglia Ruskin’s mission to nurture the next generation of technical, creative and scientific minds.

The university has invested £100 million over the last five years, and plans to invest a further £91 million over the next five years.


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