Laval is a small city, but it is world famous in VR history. Now Laval City is challenging to apply to get the mark “VirtualFrenchTech” by the French Ministry of Economy. The mark supports French start-up companies in VR/AR and digital contents. You can join to support this before 11th April. It is free. But if you already joined to Laval Virtual, I believe you sign it:-) スタートアップ企業の経済的価値と雇用創出への貢献を見据えたフランス政府は、2013年末、これら企業の発展を支援する「La French Tech(フレンチテック)」の推進を決定しました。国外では世界のイノベーション先進都市において展開され、フランス企業のこれら都市への進出および外国スタートアップ企業のフランス進出を支援するものです。 Laval市はAR/VR分野におけるFrench Techに挑戦しています. English オンラインフォームによるご支援の参加表明「I GIVE MY SUPPORT!」だけでもかまいませんが、可能であれば今週中にご支援のレターおよび,支援者のご紹介をよろしくお願いいたします(レターのフォーマットはこちら Francais / Support letter in English ). Laval Virtualは現在、世界最大のVRコンベンションです。入場者規模も最大ですが、冬の時代が長く続いたVRの歴史において、20年の実績を持ちます。 本件の後押しには、特にビジネススタートアップと、国外からのご支援者のレターが重要と聞いております。 今週木曜日(日本時間)までに,担当のEloïse Laurent, Antoine Joufflineau {eloise.laurent, antoine.joufflineau } あてにサインしたレターをスキャンしてお送りいただけますと幸いです. 文面は自由に改変いただいてかまいません. よろしくお願いいたします。 なお私のGeneral Director, Laurent Chrétien へのレターを支援レターを引用します。 Laval時代の友人Valerie Moreauが書き起こすのを手伝ってくれました。懐かしく思いながら、レターをしたためさせていただきました。 Mr Laurent Chrétien Laval French Tech Technical Referent Maison de la Technopole 6 rue Léonard de Vinci, CS 20119 53001 Laval, France Laval, March 24, 2016 Dear Sir, For almost 20 years, Laval has contributed to the emergence of virtual and augmented reality technologies. From a pioneering position, Laval has become the European Capital of Virtual Reality and associated techniques particularly owing to the Laval Virtual international trade show which contains international academic conference, student competition, academic awards, global awards and a festival in the public, I have visited many times. It allowed me to build strong relationships with the local ecosystem comprised of startups, research labs, engineering schools and other higher education facilities. My collaboration with Laval started in 2004 when I attended the Laval Virtual event for the 1st time and got to meet the Laval eco-system. It was then decided that I would benefit from a 1-year position as a post-doctorate in the Presence & Innovation laboratory of Arts et Métiers ParisTech in Laval, led by Prof Simon Richir, also scientific director of Laval Virtual. Then, I got a grant from the Japanese governmental grant (JSPS), in order to work for 2 more years at Presence & Innovation laboratory. Some results like GPUVision and WiiMedia could be honored in ACM SIGGRAPH with some software results. My experience in Laval like knowledge in virtual reality and/or sensory-motor interaction design without linguistic elements had been published into my books “WiiRemote Programming”, “Science in Entertainment Systems” and these books are also affecting to current video game and virtual reality research community for long time. Here is an open presentation in 2012: Between December 2004 and December 2007, I took part in many different projects in the Arts et Métiers laboratory, especially the creation of several innovative applications dedicated to the Parc de l’Aventure Virtuelle. I also directed several student projects from the laboratory. I have then been able to appreciate the high quality of students trained in Laval in the field of VR and AR. During my 3-year-postdoc in Laval, I have been able to appreciate the importance and the complementarity of the VR ecosystem in Laval, not only on a Research point of view, but also the multiple courses and the companies working in the thematic. Teaching experience for French masters, and also overseas like Haiti students are also good experience for me. Especially, collaborating with SMEs through labo innovation were good experience because we, Japanese university didn’t has such innovation method until current. At the same time, I also started to get involved in the Laval Virtual organization, especially on a new project called ReVolution, which is an international open competition in virtual reality innovation. I remained also very much involved in IVRC (International Virtual Reality Contest, world longest VR competition, ) taking place every year in Japan. This event has signed a partnership with Laval Virtual back in 2003 and it is still continuing. After my return to Japan, I was appointed in Miraikan (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation) to expand my experience into the public and appointed in Associate Professor at KAIT (Kanagawa Institute of Technologies) where I founded my own laboratory, Shirai Lab from 2010. Then I signed an agreement between Arts et Metiers ParisTech and KAIT. I regularly welcome Laval student at KAIT and in my laboratory. I now plan to create more links between Japan and Laval, via IVRC and the collaboration with the Arts et Métiers loaboratory. A double Franco-japonese diploma is being envisaged. I am aware that the French Tech labeling is a significant boost to the national and cross-border development and recognition of technology companies and startups. Besides, Laval’s expertise in the field of virtual and augmented reality as well as the setting up of a thematic network on this issue will represent a major asset for the French Tech network. That is why I strongly support the Laval application for its labeling and for the setting up of an AR VR thematic network within the French Tech. Akihiko SHIRAI, Ph.D Shirai Lab, Associate Professor in Kanagawa Institute of Technology, JAPAN Photo and Tweet in Laval Virtual 2016, with my student Mr Yuta Yamaguchi.