Spark Emerging Technologies Ltd awarded Suffolk County Council virtual reality contract

Spark Emerging Technologies Ltd has been awarded a contract to develop a specialist virtual reality (VR) application for people living with dementia in Suffolk.
Published: 12 Dec 2022

The idea for the contract emerged from the Suffolk 2020 Fund, which was established to support a variety of county-wide initiatives, including the areas of technology and innovation.

The council’s Digital Care Team prepared an ambitious proposal based on evidence that people living with dementia can derive enormous benefits in wellbeing, cognition and communication through access to VR.

Following a competitive open tender process which commenced earlier this year, the procurement was won by Spark, who will develop a new brand for a specialist VR application in co-production with service users living with dementia in Suffolk.

The first phase will involve creating a diverse and stimulating range of VR experiences for people to use, including a county-wide appeal for suggestions on what Suffolk-based places and activities would have the most impact for people living with dementia.

These will then be trialled across all the different care settings before being launched and made available for care providers to access.

“We are at the cutting edge of local authority innovation in this space. The evidence shows that VR can deliver improved outcomes for people living with dementia, as well as their loved ones and carers, by helping to provide a fuller and more satisfying quality of life.
“Suffolk is leading the country in operationalising the benefits of digital technology for adult social care. I look forward to seeing how this project progresses and how it helps to support the health and wellbeing of our residents.”
Councillor Beccy Hopfensperger, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Care
We are delighted to have been selected to work on such a worthwhile project alongside Suffolk County Council. We are currently seeing huge interest in emerging technology solutions, with the birth of the Metaverse and virtual/augmented reality being common hot topics in the media, but all too often brands are dipping their toe in the water and looking at experiences that veer towards the gimmicky.
To be involved in a project that will have unequivocal value to the end user, enriching the lives of people living with dementia, is a fantastic opportunity that we are honoured to be a part of. We cannot wait to work alongside Suffolk County Council in the delivery of this platform and ensure those using it are able to have their quality of life improved through the use of cutting-edge technology.
Dan Betts, Managing Director of Spark Emerging Technologies Ltd