Entain is one of the first major gambling operators to announce the development and showcase of disruptive technologies and first consumer products for the sports and entertainment metaverse. On Monday, Entain said it will launch a global innovation hub, Ennovate, with the first lab to open in London this spring. Ennovate will invest up to £100 million (USD134.4M) in innovation projects, start-up investments, and collaborations with UK, European and global partners, with £40 million specifically earmarked for innovation investment in the UK. First technology companies working with Ennovate include Verizon, BT, and Theta Labs, all looking to develop ground-breaking experiences for customers in gaming and interactive entertainment.
"We want to lead the way with new, exciting products and experiences for customers and use our cutting-edge technology to pioneer innovations in sport, gaming, and interactive entertainment for the metaverse," said Jette Nygaard-Andersen, Chief Executive of Entain.
"We also want to use our position as a global technology leader to help drive innovation more widely. Working with partners around the globe, Ennovate will demonstrate how Entain's industry-leading technology can both revolutionize experiences for consumers and deliver real benefits to society," she added.
We’re turning turquoise for the day to celebrate the launch of our brand-new £100m global #innovation hub, Ennovate.🌐— Entain (@EntainGroup) January 31, 2022
We're partnering with @Verizon, @bt_uk, @Theta_Network, @ChanceChildhood and Climate Hack to develop cutting-edge technologies.🧠
Ennovate's first dedicated innovation lab will be located in Charterhouse Square, Farringdon, at the heart of London's entrepreneurial tech community, close to the UK headquarters of TikTok and Snapchat. It will host members of Entain's innovation technology team, working alongside its commercial and not-for-profit partners.
Opening this spring, the location is being fitted out with cutting-edge technology, to create a unique environment for building and trialing new entertainment experiences. These will include developing new entertainment products for the metaverse, a virtual reality space where people will be able to interact in a computer-generated environment.
The centerpiece of this and future Ennovate labs will be an Experience Zone, enabling customers, investors, partners, and employees to try out new immersive experiences in sport, gaming, and interactive entertainment.
"Our goal is to bring the most exciting experiences in immersive sport, gaming, and interactive entertainment to life as the metaverse takes shape," said Sandeep Tiku, Chief Operating Officer at Entain leading its work on disruptive innovation. "Working with partners we believe we can achieve great things faster, both for customers and to apply these technologies and skills to benefit wider society."
Not-for-profit organizations are also collaborating with Ennovate, using technology for innovations that bring societal and environmental benefits. All external partners will collaborate with Entain's own tech team and use the Ennovate Hub to conceive, develop, experiment, and bring their innovations to life.
Ennovate will initially showcase:
New consumer products and experiences to lead immersive entertainment
Entain is building relationships and partnerships with technology innovators and companies, based in the UK and around the world, through the Ennovate Hub. Initial technology partners include:
Accelerator and Incubator programs
Not-for-profit and ESG partnerships
Entain wants the cutting-edge technology and innovations in development at the Ennovate Hub to deliver environmental and societal benefits. Not-for-profit partners will have access to technical expertise and working space at Ennovate, plus additional support and funding via Ennovate. Initial partnerships include:
Through EnTrain, the group's global D&I technology initiative, the group will also explore new collaborative opportunities at the Ennovate Hub to improve the representation of women in STEM industries. Existing partners include Girls Who Code, a non-profit organization that Entain is supporting to bring more young women into the technology industry, and the Tech Girls Movement Foundation, challenging gender perceptions that limit girls' participation in STEM.
Through its not-for-profit Foundation, the Group is also working with The Berlin University of Technology and the Nexus Institute to develop international executive training to enhance diversity in research and development and The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), to support graduate placements who will work alongside Entain's U.S.-based Global Innovation Team at the UNLV Harry Reid Research and Technology Park.