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The “Digital Innovation Valley” dynamic continues at Mons

The “Digital Innovation Valley” dynamic continues at Mons
Virtualis announces the launch in early 2009 of Belgium’s first real-time full IP 3D studio

Under the impetus inspired by the arrival of GOOGLE and MICROSOFT, new projects are continuing to spring up at Mons around the Digital Innovation Valley.
Founded in May 2008, VIRTUALIS SA brings together a technological chain unique within Europe of 11 companies active in technologies linked to new forms of digital media content and the real-time processing of digital images: TECTEO/VOO (triple-play distribution), BizzDev (mobile telephony), Neuro TV (real-time 3D engines), Victor 3D (post-production, special effects), Media Res (broadcast production, cf. Arte Belgique), Acapela (voice synthesis), Triptyk (serious games, Internet), No-Télé (HD outside broadcast trucks), ACIC (real-time image analysis), Dame Blanche (sound post-production), and currently being integrated, I-MOVIX (high-speed imagery, real-time processing of high-speed image flow). The capital of this company, which is primarily private but also participated in by HOCCINVEST, IMBC and WALLIMAGE ENTREPRISE, stands at €1.1 million in cash.
Apart from its financial contribution, each of these high-tech firms also brings the benefit of its technologies, licences and expertise.

VIRTUALIS is positioning itself as a creator of new interactive IP media content for broadcasting, telephony and the Internet. Targeting the entertainment, advertising and business application markets, the company will adopt a commercial name that is currently being defined.

VIRTUALIS will be led by Dominique Janne and Pascal Keiser (joint managing directors), with Jean-Pierre Winberg as chairman of the board of directors.

VIRTUALIS is announcing the operational launch, in April 2009, of the first real-time full IP 3D studio in the Walloon Region and in Belgium, which will permit the combination of real and virtual images in real time around IP technologies. Covering a surface area of 500 m2, this facility equipped with 3 HD cameras complete with tracking and real-time 3D engines capable of combining real and virtual images will be initially based on No-Télé’s premises in Tournai. In early 2010, this studio will migrate to a new purpose-built building at the Initialis science park within the Digital Innovation Valley at Mons, as the Tournai studio is currently orientated towards research and development.
VIRTUALIS will also collaborate with the various Walloon Region research programmes, such as Numediart, 3D Media (Polytech Mons and UCL), and the CETIC and Multitel research centres.
The initial investment contributed by the private investors is in the region of 4 million euros.

“Virtualis allows us to deploy new and strategic services as part of our triple-play solution (Internet, fixed telephony, broadcast). During 2009, these products will enhance our range of services and enable us to deploy our offer downstream of distribution towards services with high-added value and great potential.” Dominique Janne, VOO.

“Virtualis offers us the opportunity to link the creation of mobile telephony content with wider IP services and products that we would not be able to develop on our own.” Christian Verdonck, CEO, BizzDev

Among various discussions in progress, VIRTUALIS is announcing a strategic partnership with MICROSOFT and MSN.
“Virtualis amounts to an important milestone in the development of the Initialis park at Mons. We’re already planning collaborations between Virtualis and the Microsoft Innovation Center on digital imaging, real-time 3D studio and mobile technologies. Virtualis will also be a partner of our MSN portal as a content provider, and of Microsoft Advertising in terms of digital marketing solutions.” Phillip Vandervoort, Managing Director, Microsoft BeLux.

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