Ravensbourne reaches the semi-finals of the XPRIZE $5 million Rapid Reskilling competition

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Article by: Ravaé Richardson

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We are thrilled to announce that Ravensbourne are now one of the eight semi-finalist teams in the $5mn XPRIZE Rapid Re-skilling Competition. XPRIZE is a non-profit organisation that creates innovative competitions to solve the world’s greatest challenges. Our Ravensbourne team are working towards protecting long-term employment for vulnerable workers.

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‘XPRIZE Rapid Re-skilling’ challenges teams to create effective rapid training and re-skilling options for people who are most likely to face unemployment in the United States. All the teams hope to reduce training time by at least 50% and will provide this training to jobseekers for free.

This competition is start-up led with Ravensbourne, (the only university of the four consortium partners) represented within the REAP team. The REAP team also consists of Kryotech, Maaind and WEKIT ECS. REAP stands for Rapid Employment and Accessibility Platform. The consortium is developing a Neuro-Adaptive Mixed Reality Training platform in order to place 350 participants into full-time jobs.

REAP are now amongst the eight semi-finalist teams having progressed from the Qualified Teams stage. The original 10 qualified teams were shortlisted from 118 team submissions across 20 countries. REAP are the only European Team in the XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling competition. An expert judging panel assessed all the submissions based on how useful and engaging the training ideas were. The 10 chosen Qualified Teams split the first Milestone Prize purse of $1,000,000 ($100,000 each). The semi final teams from 4 countries now advance in a New Profit-sponsored competition, competing for a $1.5M grand prize.

Carl Hayden Smith is the XPRIZE team lead. Carl is our Director of the Learning Technology Research Centre (LTRC) and Principal Research Fellow at Ravensbourne University London. Carl is a cognitive scientist, exploring how technology can enhance learning and enrich our abilities rather than replace them.

Carl Hayden-Smith explained, “Now more than ever, we need reliable ways of upskilling the whole of society, by taking full advantage of the latest learning technologies.”

Dr Nicholas Lambert, Director of Research at Ravensbourne University London, said: “This develops an important aspect of Ravensbourne’s research into practical use cases for Extended Reality (XR) and also takes us into the North American funding scene, which will increase our international profile.”

We are incredibly proud of the fascinating work that our community is doing to empower those vulnerable to job loss. We wish the team all the best for the future.