REACTOR ready to solve society’s problems

Published: 8 November 2016 at 14:49

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Anglia Ruskin launches project to grow applied games sector in Cambridgeshire

Anglia Ruskin University has launched a new initiative called REACTOR to help grow the applied games sector across the Cambridgeshire region. 

A total of £1million of funding from Anglia Ruskin and the European Regional Development Fund is being committed to REACTOR, which will help small and medium sized businesses in the region innovate and develop new applied games products and services to meet the future challenges facing society.  

The REACTOR project will offer a dynamic range of consultancy support, knowledge sharing events, meet-ups and competitions starting this month, while a small grants programme, incubation space and a games publishing platform will launch in 2017. 

REACTOR aims to evolve the gaming sector from an entertainment-only industry into an exciting life solutions arena, creating opportunities for businesses and new benefits for users.  Applied games have a range of uses including as educational tools, as novel ways of helping with recovery from illness or injury, and as instruments for driving scientific exploration and discovery.

Located in the heart of Cambridgeshire’s high-tech cluster, Anglia Ruskin already plays a central role in the games sector.  Each year Anglia Ruskin hosts Brains Eden, the largest student games festival in Europe, in collaboration with games and tech industry partners including Playstation First, Guerrilla Cambridge, ARM, Unity, Jagex, Frontier Developments, Sumo Digital and Popleaf.

Dr Andy Salmon, Deputy Dean of Anglia Ruskin’s Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, said: 


“With an estimated 64% of the UK population engaging in gaming, it is clear that this is a primary communication media for the 21st century.  

“Combined with Anglia Ruskin’s strengths in multiple research disciplines, we believe we can create a huge opportunity to apply gamification to all manner of social and economic issues.”

As well as expertise in the creative and digital sectors, Anglia Ruskin also has strengths in healthcare and therapies, policing and criminology, law and business, and housing and construction, making it perfectly placed to initiate a cross-disciplinary project aimed at creating a network of beneficial contacts and collaborations. 

Neil Darwin, Chief Executive of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, said: 


“We have championed the REACTOR project from the very beginning and are delighted to be able to support this ground-breaking project with ERDF investment. 

“Blending the application of cutting-edge technology, the development of innovative solutions and support for creative entrepreneurs, REACTOR is another great example of how applied knowledge is growing the Cambridge economy to meet the demands of the future.”

REACTOR will be hosting a free event on Wednesday, 16 November to provide more information about the initiative and the applied games sector.  The “Explore Applied Games” knowledge exchange seminar is open to all and is free to attend.  For further details, visit Eventbrite    

For further information about the REACTOR project, please visit or email