Borders firm leads the way with virtual reality technology to assist understanding of dementia

South of Scotland Enterprise is the economic and community development agency for Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders. Its vision is to establish the South as the centre of opportunity, innovation and growth and for SOSE to help achieve this by being bold, striving, inclusive and responsible.
Virtual Reality Empathy Platform continue to work closely with SOSE to grow our business. Check out their most recent news release on how VR-EP continues to develop across Scotland.

News release from South of Scotland Enterprise: Friday 17 December 2021

A Galashiels-based business have helped develop the world’s first virtual reality device that aims to provide a better understanding of what someone with dementia experiences.

With the help of South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), Virtual-Reality Empathy Platform (VR-EP) is helping to drive awareness through the use of their revolutionary technology.

VR-EP have worked with industry leading academia on the headset device which has the potential to make a real impact on support of people living with dementia, their families and care providers.

The device allows designers of products and spaces to perceive the world from the perspective of those living with dementia – by providing a full-scale immersive experience which helps signal where alterations could be made to elements such as lighting, flooring and walls to improve accessibility.

Specifically, the headsets can be used in the design process of new buildings such as care homes, hospitals or sheltered housing, as well as having the potential to assess existing buildings and environments.

Dementia-friendly design can significantly improve the quality of life for people living with the condition – with VR-EP hoping its device can be life-changing for many of the 900,000 people in the UK living with dementia, if widely rolled out.

As a result of its recent success, VR-EP picked up a Silver Award in the Technology and Innovation category at the prestigious Franco-British Trade & Investment Awards earlier this month.

The organisation is now focused on the widespread promotion of its device – including its ongoing initiative with Age Scotland, which has included the VR headsets being deployed at an Immersive Dementia Awareness Workshop this month.

David Burgher, VR-EP Founder, said:

“We are a small business, with big ambitions to help people live and age well.

“We have recently been working collaboratively with a multinational client to develop their innovative dementia-friendly products. This led to being shortlisted for the Franco-British Trade & Investment Awards.

“SOSE’s support will assist us in developing shared VR strategies to improve quality of life for people with dementia and their care providers – whilst overcoming the current challenges of social distancing and new working regimes.

SOSE Chief Executive, Jane Morrison-Ross, said:

“VR-EP is a fantastic example of the brilliantly innovative organisations we have right here in the South of Scotland.

“SOSE is keen to hear from any other innovative organisations throughout the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway to look at how we can help and support them.

“We can offer financial support to organisations – but crucially, we can also provide expert advice, contacts and guidance to help them get to where they need to go.”

Stuart Thomson, Business Development Specialist at SOSE, added:

“We are delighted that SOSE has been able to put VR-EP in touch with the right people to drive their innovative invention forward.

“Their award nomination at the Franco-British Trade and Investment Awards was very well deserved – and reflective of the hard work that has gone into creating the VR-EP headset, which has the opportunity to help so many people.”


Our Latest News…

2021 VR-EP Roundup

Dear Friends,

As the end of the year approaches we would like to take this time to thank you for all the support you have shown VR-EP throughout the year. The success of VR-EP is based on the relationships we have built over the recent years, and we wouldn’t be where we are without you. 

This year has been filled with a multitude of both challenges and victories. With the continuation of the Coronavirus pandemic we worked tirelessly alongside Oculus, Visual Lane and Epic Games to ensure we could continue to provide our services through the development of our Shared VR programme. With the launch of this software we have been able to reach clients remotely from across various locations simultaneously; not only broadening our outreach but also reducing our company’s carbon emissions.

We are also extremely pleased to have been recognised as runners up for our successes in tech & innovation at the 2021 Franco-British Trade & Investment Awards. This was a great achievement made possible through our successful partnership with Tarkett, headquartered in Paris, and who are worldwide leaders in innovative and sustainable flooring. Through the power of collaboration VR-EP is now operating successfully across the EMEA region.

More recently VR-EP has developed an exciting new immersive dementia awareness workshop, in partnership with Age Scotland. We look forward to officially launching this workshop in the new year which aims to deliver better understanding and empathy surrounding the sensory challenges that Dementia can present and making a difference through design with empathy.

As 2022 approaches we look forward to watching our business continue to grow and developing new partnerships and new ways to raise awareness and understanding of how design can create a positive impact on those living with Dementia to ensure better living and aging well. We would like to thank you for your continued support as we work towards new goals and continue to build new opportunities.

Best wishes and happiness to you and your families this Christmas and the festive season. We look forward to a successful 2022 working together! 

From the whole team at VR-EP – Merry Christmas!



VR-EP is ecstatic to have been selected as runners up for the Tech and Innovation award at the Franco-British Trade and Investment Awards. We look forward to developing future networking opportunities and continued development for our company within the Franco-British business sector.

This recognition was achieved through our successful partnership with Tarkett, headquartered in Paris, and who are worldwide leaders in innovative and sustainable flooring. Through the power of collaboration VR-EP is now operating successfully across the EMEA region.

Congratulations to all those nominated and special thanks to Franco-British Chamber of Commerce & Industry for the recognition of our contributions in tech and innovation.