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2022 Round Up | The VR Hive

It's been an incredible year for The VR Hive. We've doubled our team, developed innovative new products and received numerous awards for our work. Join us as we reflect on some of our biggest successes this year.

Virtual reality and immersive simulations are quickly becoming an industry standard for e-learning and even mental health intervention. And we're at the forefront of this revolution, developing cutting-edge immersive learning experiences that are changing the way people develop their skills and organisations grow their talent.

We are proud to be female-led and inclusive by design. You can read more about who we are and our ethos in the Press and Journal and FutureScot.

Photo credit: UK Government Scotland

A message from our CEO, Anne Widdop:

2022 was a rollercoaster year. Our team at The VR Hive left no stone unturned, pushing the boundaries and achieving outstanding results that deserve to be celebrated. Our major launch in Q1 is the perfect way to kick off this next chapter – it's going to be exciting!

2022 Round Up

This year has been one to remember, and we are humbled by the overwhelming recognition that our hard work has garnered. We couldn't be more delighted to have our efforts acknowledged and are thankful for the doors it has opened for us. Here's a closer look at some of them.

And the award goes to...The VR Hive!


We are one of the 17 UK companies to receive funding from the UK Games Fund (Round 9) to develop our VR learning game in which the player must go on an expedition to save an island in the Antarctic.

Using problem-solving and the scientific process, the player must solve puzzles and figure out how to help a fellow researcher cope with anxiety. We are working with clinical psychologists and learners at every stage to deliver a meaningful, evidence-powered experience. Keep your eyes peeled for its launch in Q1 2023!

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues in the world, affecting millions of people. But what if there was an innovative new way to tackle it?

We have been awarded the Fast Start grant from Innovate UK to develop BeeMindful, which will address Generalised Anxiety Disorder in young people by using virtual reality and immersive learning design. Our Immersive Content Developer Kerri Thornton discusses how it works and why it’s powerful:

One of the most important ways in which we differentiate from the competition is our automated, animated virtual coach. With the Smart Grant support from the Scottish Enterprise, we are developing an AI tool that will be integrated into our digital health platform to provide instant and relevant feedback to learners in real time.

Our AI coach will accelerate growth and skills development for a high, measurable impact.

Watch our Data Scientist James Black explain how it works in this short video:

We have partnered with UWS KTP Centre and Innovate UK under a 30 month Knowledge Transfer Partnership program led by The VR Hive and University of the West of Scotland's Dr Marco Gilardi. His work with The VR Hive, which has led to many beneficial opportunities for students, staff and the company, has been acknowledged at the 2022 awards ceremony.

One such achievement is the publication of Dr Gilardi’s research paper about Nursing XR, which The VR Hive developed in partnership with the University of the West of Scotland and the UWS Immersive Lab.

Nursing XR – a VR application to teach decision making to student nurses”, co-authored by The VR Hive's Stephen Honnan, discusses the innovative ways in which XR technology is being adopted across the healthcare sector, from patient care to training new nurses.

The researchers found that VR can be an effective tool for nursing education, providing students with an immersive experience that can help them consolidate their learning. This research is an important step forward in the use of XR in the healthcare sector, and we are proud to have been part of it!

Dr Marco Gilardi and The VR Hive's Anne Widdop at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards.

The VR Hive was one of the 3 winners of the IT4Anxiety’s 5th hackathon, which took place on the 22nd of June in Elgin, Scotland and was organised by the NHS Western Isles with the support of The Lens.

Anne Widdop presenting at IT4Anxiety Hackathon, Elgin; screengrab of BeeMindful.

It was a great opportunity to present our virtual anxiety intervention tool BeeMindful for various stakeholders from the mental health sector, including advisors, researchers and other start-ups. The experience allowed us to gather feedback and begin working collaboratively with representatives from the NHS in order to advance our application towards being more effective in its tackling of anxiety through learning and mindfulness.

The Herald Digital Transformation Awards 2022 - Best Use of Technology in Education (Nominated)

All wins are equal to us, even when, technically, we didn’t quite get to eat the cake.

We were honoured to be nominated for the Best Use of Technology in Education award at this year's Herald Digital Transformation Awards. This recognition has motivated us even more to continue working in the education sector and to bring inspiring, engaging and exceptional immersive learning experiences for all.

We may not have won the award, but we sure celebrate like we did!

Accelerating learning, one immersive experience at a time


“The NHS workforce is under extreme pressure – the ongoing impact of Covid and a lack of resource across the health and care system leaves staff with a sense that they cannot deliver the high-quality care they would want for their patients.”

Staff turnover and the increasing demand for training is deepening the NHS crisis. To tackle the skills development gap in the health and social care sector, The VR Hive took part in the Audience of the Future challenge, supported by the UK Research and Innovation, which aimed to address the need for more engaging, accessible and affordable training by exploring how virtual reality could enhance the Health and Social Care curriculum in Higher and Further education (HE/FE).

Difficult Conversations is a mobile VR learning resource for Health and Social care students to practise difficult conversations and advance their soft skills. We worked in partnership with subject matter experts from the University of the Highlands and Islands and Lakes College to design and develop two immersive episodes - End Of Life Conversation and Supporting Bipolar Patients. You can learn more about the projects here.

Screengrabs of End of Life simulation

Management Development Simulations

At The VR Hive, we are always looking for new ways to push the boundaries of immersive learning. This year, we had the opportunity to work with a large corporate client to develop several short and multi-device management development simulations. The episodes were developed with leadership coaches.

What made these simulations highly successful across the organisation was the provision of a safe-to-fail digital environment in which individuals could practice their skills. Additionally, by providing the learners with real-time feedback and assessment, we were able to accelerate skills development in ways traditional learning fails to do.

The results were incredibly positive and we look forward to continuing working with the client to create a learning environment that fosters growth in an accessible, engaging way.

Honourable Mentions


We had an absolute pleasure exhibiting at this year’s Data Summit. The VR Hive’s CEO Anne Widdop also spoke on the panel Future of Work, which discussed the impact of virtual reality, AI and societal change in the world of work.

Photo credit: datafest.gobal

UK Government Scotland

We are thrilled to have UK Government Scotland support our journey to improve learning in Scotland and beyond.

Last month, we welcomed the UK Government Minister for Scotland, Malcolm Offord, at our Paisley office. It was a great opportunity to discuss the transformative power of immersive learning and demonstrate our award-winning learning experiences.

Photo credit: UK Government Scotland

Are you ready to transform your learning?

We at The VR Hive are so proud of what we’ve accomplished in 2022 and we can’t wait to see what the new year brings. We have big plans for 2023, and we want you to be a part of it. Get in touch with us to book a demo and discover the power of immersive learning today!

Thank you for being a part of The VR Hive community and keep an eye out for more exciting things to come!

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