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Liverpool firm secures Innovate UK funding ahead of its debut appearance at Digital Fashion Week New York

Liverpool-based tech business, Sum Vivas, was amongst the very few UK businesses to have been awarded funding from Innovate UK’s Creative Catalyst 2023 programme to continue the groundbreaking development of real-time interaction of intelligent Digital Humans.

Founded in 2022, Sum Vivas specialises in creating interactive, AI-powered Digital Humans, environments, clothing, and 3D digital assets for use in both the physical and digital worlds, and is at the forefront of cutting-edge technology.

Innovate UK is a Government-backed organisation that supports business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions. The funding will be used to support Sum Vivas’ pioneering work in revolutionising the way we interact with Digital Humans powered by artificial intelligence in real time.

The news comes ahead of the firm’s debut appearance at this month’s Digital Fashion Week New York – a prestigious global gathering event, where the worlds of fashion and tech collide to explore innovation in the fashion industry from design concept to consumer.

Speaking about how the Innovate UK funding will benefit the company, Sum Vivas CEO, Rob Sims, said:

“The funding and overall support this programme brings to Sum Vivas will be invaluable for our groundbreaking research and development programme, which will be used to perfect the real-time interaction of Digital Humans across a wide variety of uses.

“It is also a testament to the great efforts we are making in the area of responsible technology – ensuring our innovations not only benefit society but adhere to the highest ethical standards. Sum Vivas remains committed to the ethical development of technology and AI and we continue to collaborate extensively with industry leaders, regulatory bodies, and stakeholders to establish robust guidelines and best practices for our customers.”

At Digital Fashion Week New York, Sum Vivas will be sharing the firm’s vision of a digitally enhanced future with special performances from the UK’s first Digital Human DJ, Dex.

Denise Harris, chief creative officer, said:

“This is an incredible opportunity to develop at a global scale and meet with brands who are increasingly collaborating with Digital Humans due to the many advantages they offer, such as greater flexibility in shaping their image and eliminating potential conflicts.

“With advancements in technology, Digital Humans have transcended their initial use in video games and special effects to emerge as credible brand ambassadors across various industries and are increasingly integrated into entertainment, advertising, and social media campaigns.”

Dex – the Digital Human by day, DJ by night – will also be appearing at other key tech events later this month, including Digital Fashion Week at Epic Games Innovation Lab, London (September 15-16), and Monnier Paris (September 28-29).