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The metaverse – an immersive digital world centered around virtual reality – continues to attract innovation, with a new lab dedicated to media research and development having launched last week in Western France. 

Inria, France’s National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology, and InterDigital, a leading research and innovation company, have entered into a public-private partnership to launch the Nemo.AI common lab. Its aim is to engage scientists and engineers across the region of Brittany to research new technology that will shape the metaverse. 

Lab with digital innovation at heart

The new lab will sit jointly across existing infrastructure within both organizations and will recruit local researchers, PhDs, post-doctoral students, engineers, and interns to work on priority topics. Inria and InterDigital will provide mentors and tutors to support projects. 

The common lab will reside in both Inria and InterDigital’s existing labs and participants may join scientific seminars, organize public events, jointly deliver presentations, and more in both locations.  

Named after the pioneering captain from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the Nemo.AI Common Lab aims to equip the region with resources to pursue digital innovation, primarily through artificial intelligence. 

Debut project gets underway

Ys.ai is the inaugural project being championed by the lab and will develop new technologies to enable engagement in the metaverse. Specifically, the project will examine user representation in the form of avatars and explore their behavior and interactions with objects and one another.

Lionel Oisel, Head of Video Labs, Research & Innovation, at InterDigital said: “Our expertise complements Inria’s strong research capabilities and together this partnership will bolster innovation across this community.”

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