Online betting and gaming giant Entain will launch a new “global innovation hub”, which will invest £100m in “disruptive technologies” including those for the metaverse.
The hub, Ennovate, will be based in London and will include £40m of funds specifically earmarked for UK projects.
Businesses working alongside Ennovate include telecommunications businesses Verizon and BT.
Ennovate’s goals include developing new entertainment products for virtual reality space the metaverse.
“We want to lead the way with new, exciting products and experiences for customers and use our cutting-edge technology to pioneer innovations in sport, gaming and interactive entertainment for the metaverse,” Jette Nygaard-Andersen, chief executive of Entain, said.
“We also want to use our position as a global technology leader to help drive innovation more widely. Working with partners around the globe, Ennovate will demonstrate how Entain’s industry-leading technology can both revolutionise experiences for consumers and deliver real benefits to society.”
Technology showcased at the hub will include non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which Entain said it is developing for its brands, starting with PartyPoker which is set to launch its own NFTs soon. Virtual reality and augmented reality technology will also be showcased, as will “VR arcades”, retail sites at which customers can play virtual reality games.
Entain said the hub will also work to improve the representation of women in STEM industries through partnerships that form part of the EnTrain diversity and technology programme. Ennovate will work alongside existing EnTrain partners Girls Who Code and the Tech Girls Movement Foundation to achieve this goal.