OKC VeloCity | $15k 'Oklahoma Wonder Grant' challenges organizations to innovate

$15k 'Oklahoma Wonder Grant' challenges organizations to innovate

By Staff Reports / Economy / July 6, 2020

Photo credit: Almostnow / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

What impact could emerging technologies like augmented and virtual reality have on Oklahoma, if implemented in business, philanthropy and public sector work?  It’s a question the Ronnie K. Irani Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth (I-CCEW) at the University of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma City based Trifecta Communications, want to answer.  And they’re putting $15k on the line to find out.

The Oklahoma Wonder Grant will subsidize the development of a $15k augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) or mixed reality (MR) in-kind project for one winning Oklahoma-based business, non-profit or public sector entity.  The grant is designed to further the organization’s mission and innovate new ways to use AR/VR/MR in the public sphere. In addition, the grant will provide commercialization and implementation consulting focused on the idea's potential for growth and sustainability.  Applications are now open, and close July 15th, 2020. The winning applicant will be announced on August 14th.

“By studying Isaac Newton, we’ve learned you can do a lot in the middle of a pandemic,” said Brent Wheelbarger, CEO of Trifecta Communications.  “While challenging, this unique time is an opportunity to think about the future in new ways.  The Oklahoma Wonder Grant is designed to spur that kind of thinking.”

Trifecta and I-CCEW are hosting two live webinars to discuss the application and answer questions on Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 at 12pm. Registration is free and can be accessed through the website.

“Helping Oklahoma organizations and inventors launch new ideas is an important part of I-CCEW’s mission, and we believe virtual reality is a great emerging tool for creativity and engagement,” said Jeff Moore, I-CCEW Executive Director.  “This is the perfect time for Oklahoma organizations to think about harnessing the technology in new and productive ways.”

A selection panel has been assembled to review grant applications. Panelists include Von Royal, Executive Director, OneNet and OK Higher Education CIO; Douglas Sorocco, Attorney & Director, Dunlap Codding  Law Firm; Stacy Eads, Business Strategist, Stacy Eads Coaching & Consulting; Sandip Patel, Founder, Cage; Ken Parker, Founder, NextThought; Jeff Price, Department Head, Gaming & Animation Degree Program, Oklahoma City University; Susan Moring, Director of OKC Programs, I-CCEW.

The Oklahoma Wonder Grant is influenced by Isaac Newton’s amazing year in 1666 when he developed many of his now-famous concepts for physics, calculus and gravity; while sheltering at home during an outbreak of the Bubonic Plague.  It was such a pivotal year, he labeled it his “year of wonders.” 

Detailed information including project examples, webinar registration information and the application form is available online at www.OKwonderGrant.com.

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