Our journey...

Innovating, exploring and shaping what's next...

Our pioneering position in digital visualisation, immersive and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies is underpinned by significant investment in our dedicated Research and Development (R&D) department.

Our highly innovative team is constantly pushing the boundaries and possibilities of virtual and augmented environments, data analysis and creative content – seeking deeper integration and interactivity

As immersive technology has matured, this investment in innovation has, and is, positioning the company at the forefront of software solution design – particularly exploiting 3D web content and Mixed Reality (MR) capabilities within web solutions. Further development is currently underway, with internal expansion into machine learning and AI capabilities, for current and next-generation solutions.

Our Research and Development expertise is further enhanced in the commercial sector by Co-Founder Keith Cox's position on the British Standards Institute's Immersive Technology Committee.

Innovation Pathway

Our 'Emerging Technology Innovation Pathway' was initiated in 2015 when our horizon-scanning activity for digital visualisation advancements identified immersive technology solutions as fit for potential industry use.

Industry adoption of these new technologies was initially focused within the gaming and entertainment sphere, however, we determined that by combining immersive technology and commercially accessed hardware with our established animation, digital environments, and modelling capabilities, we could open up new commercial opportunities within industrial and manufacturing sectors. Few companies had the ability to integrate such high-level capabilities and innovations into a service offering specifically for industry. This further contributed to our continued support and evolution of tech democratisation – an integral company ethos.

Research Partnerships

Being a part of something bigger...

Much of our R&D work is in collaboration with a number of external organisations - enabling us to share best practice, lead and support further development innovations within both global and UK, industry and research settings.

SPRINT (Space Research & Innovation Network for Technology) - University of Leicester
A business support project to develop digital twinning technology for space applications - to reduce the time and cost of the satellite development lifecycle. Collaborating with the University of Leicester, our expertise supported the commercial exploitation of space data and technologies to open up digital twinning to a wider audience.

AMRC (Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre) / NAMRC (Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre - University of Sheffield)
Working with these establishments enriches our horizon-scanning. Through this access to costly prototype hardware, we are able to benchmark our own activities and solutions to ensure that we remain at the forefront of emerging technology applications.

UltraMQL - Innovate UK
In 2021 we were invited to partner on Innovate UK's £1.35 million UltraMQL research collaboration - supporting environmentally friendly machining. Harnessing our digital twinning and advanced IoT data visualisation expertise to create next-generation virtual representations of a factory, we're driving advantages in increased productivity, improved quality, and reduced risk within manufacturing processes and production management.

Project partners: University of Sheffield, NAMRC, University of Brighton AEC, Kugel Rotary Services and Quaker Houghton.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships - University of Derby
These academic research partnerships are jointly funded by Bloc and the universities through Innovate UK/ the UKRI Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). They contribute to our development of next-generation VR solutions that harness machine learning and data analytics. Following the completion of the first KTP in early 2021, the project's KTP Associate joined Bloc as a full-time member of our Research and Development staff. University of Sheffield, NAMRC, University of Brighton AEC, Kugel Rotary Services and Quaker Houghton.

Supporting routes into industry

We support students with 'years in industry' and internships. Through the University of Derby, we have taken several placements for those interested in developing skills in software development, animation and modelling. In 2021, we also took on a Sheffield Hallam student within the data analytics field. They are currently working to help with internal dashboards of live business data to assist processes within our own R&D department.

We also continually hire 'up and coming' talent, whether this be graduates or through degree schemes and apprenticeships. We currently have numerous colleagues who study alongside working at Bloc, and the projects they get involved in support their chosen areas of interest.