EICC Partners with World Leader in Virtual Reality

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eicc_virtual_realityEastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) has taken the next step in cementing its role as a leader in Virtual Reality education and training.

The college has announced a new partnership with EON Reality, the world leader in Virtual and Augmented Reality software applications. The partnership establishes an EON Innovation Academy providing the college’s graduates and others with the opportunity to further develop their skills through project-based learning, working on real customer projects.

virtualrealityarticleThe announcement comes on the heels of EICC’s unveiling earlier this year of its new Virtual Reality lab located at the college’s Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), 201 N. Harrison Street, Davenport. The equipment for the lab was funded in part by a $15 million grant awarded to Iowa’s community colleges by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment & Training Administration.

“We can’t overstate the significance of this partnership,” EICC Chancellor Don Doucette said. “Students in the program will be positioned for entry into some of the highest level Virtual Reality jobs not only in the Quad Cities but around the world.”

Doucette said the college and the Quad Cities join an elite group of cities around the world that can boast of having an EON Innovation Center in their community. It is only the fourth in the United States with other sites including Dallas, New York City and Toledo. International sites include Manchester, UK; Laval, France; Muscat, Oman; Tshwane, South Africa; Ebene, Mauritius; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Doha, Quatar; Moscow, Russia; Seoul, Korea.

“We’re looking forward to a fruitful partnership with Eastern Iowa Community Colleges to address the needs of the regional market,” said Mats Johansson, CEO and President of EON Reality. “We are also excited about the ability to jointly develop unique knowledge transfer applications that utilize the college’s subject matter expertise and industry connections.”

virtualreality2The EON Innovation Academy teaches the skills needed to be successful in creating Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality content and applications for industry and training. These skills also enable students to work in architecture and product visualization, game creation, multimedia design and broadcast media.

The curriculum for the Innovation Academy is divided into two distinct phases. The first is a four-month training program that teaches students the basics of Augmented and Virtual Reality such as 3D modeling, animation and basic scripting.

The second phase comprises a seven-month real life project work providing students the opportunity to add projects for regional and global companies to their portfolios. Many times projects are with Fortune 500 companies. Students will be mentored by global Virtual Reality experts and have the opportunity to tap into EON Reality’s global development network.

“The increased demand for Virtual Reality training solutions across all market segments is exposing a large need for skilled 3D artists, modelers, and programmers,” Johansson said. “Eastern Iowa Community Colleges is a great example of how EON Reality is bringing our 17 years of experience into regions that need these VR/AR skills. The students that graduate from the Iowa school will form the foundation of a Virtual Reality based economy in Iowa and Illinois.”

To accommodate the new training the college’s virtual reality lab will be further expanded to accept up to 20 students in the program. The program will start in January. Applications for admission are now being accepted.

“This is a rare opportunity for anyone interested in jobs in this rapidly growing field,” said Doucette. “The academy will be a permanent addition to our educational offerings and part of our growing Information Technology classes and programs.”

Based in Irvine, CA, EON Reality provides education and training in Virtual Reality and interactive 3D technologies in the areas of Education, Industry and Edutainment.

The market for Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality knowledge transfer solutions is experiencing rapid global growth and is expected to reach $150 billion by 2020 and disrupting the mobile market. To provide context, this growth will far exceed the current PC desktop market of $80 billion.

For more information about, or application to, the EON Innovation Academy at EICC, contact Ellen Kabat-Lensch, EICC Vice Chancellor for Workforce and Economic Development at 563-336-3331 or ekabat@eicc.edu.

INFORMATION SESSION

Eon_Reality_VectorWednesday, October 12 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

ATEEC – 201 N. Harrison Street  in Davenport, IA

Join us to learn more about the EON Innovation Academy!

  • Curriculum –  including the ‘real life’ project work
  • Scheduling and proposed learning facilities
  • Virtually ‘meet’ EON staff members
  • Explore career options using virtual reality applications
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