On 20-21 September 2023, we held our second Progress Meeting in Athens (Greece), hosted by our partner Intracom Telecom. It was a great opportunity to physically reconnect as a team, share our most outstanding achievements since CORTEX2 started a year ago, and align our next steps before launching our first open call in October 2023.

The meeting was packed with important discussions to further advance the development of our highly innovative XR (eXtended Reality) remote cooperation platform, an open, versatile, inclusive and scalable digital workplace for which we have used our partner Alcatel Lucent Enterprise’s Rainbow teleconferencing solution as the backbone.

Also, to continue the preparation of our Open Call #1, through which we will recruit XR innovators to co-develop our platform and address new use cases that demonstrate its replicability in different domains. In total, we will invest €3 million to fund and support the 22 teams that will be part of our journey in this first phase of CORTEX2.

In addition, we had the opportunity to demonstrate some of the technical features of our collaborative platform — including a business meeting avatar, industrial remote cooperation and the integration of IoT (Internet of Things) devices — see the results of our work over the last few months and define our next technological developments.

Two days of intense teamwork and collaboration

Representatives from all partner organisations of our CORTEX2 team presented their developments in the fields of technology, ethics and psychosocial issues, and tested different prototypes, including a voice assistant, a VCAA-based avatar configurator (video image compression to reduce the load on data centres) and 3D environment reconstruction. Our partner Actimage GmbH, a Unity expert, also presented and tested its VR (Virtual Reality) solution.

Many thanks to our CORTEX2 team for their excellent sessions and a special thanks to our partners at Intracom Telecom for hosting us.

Commitment to teamwork, close collaboration and communication are key to achieving our goals. This meeting reaffirmed our vision — to democratise access to remote collaboration through XR — and allowed us to share learnings and recharge the energy we need to move on to the next exciting stage of CORTEX2. Here we go!

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