Sony Foundation awards half a million dollars in grants to VR cancer research

The Sony Foundation has awarded three Australian research teams a grant of over half a million dollars to use virtual reality technology to fight the battle against cancer. Teaming up with Australian cancer charity Tour de Cure, the Sony Foundation awarded the funding to researchers and organizations who had applied to work with Sony Interactive Entertainment VR developers around the world.

According to a report from Stevivor, the $370,000 chunk of grant money will be split between the three research organizations and used to develop VR technology that aims to create better tools for treatment, patient management, and eventually even a cure. Sony Foundation CEO Sophie Ryan said in a statement earlier today that the grant is the largest of its kind for the use of VR in battling cancer. Ryan goes on to state the unique position that Sony is in to assist these forward-thinking programs through the use of the company’s expansive technological capabilities.

Elsewhere in the statement, Paul Mirabelle of Tour de Cure stated that the recipients of the grant were awarded for how each challenged the expected use of VR in the cancer research field. Echoing Ryan’s sentiment, Mirabelle noted the unique opportunity this research presented and that the grant money would need to be awarded to those who showed ambition in their ultimate use of the funds for the field to move forward.

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and a joint project helmed by researchers at The MARCS Institute of Western Sydney University and Liverpool Hospital were named the three recipients of the grant in the blog post. Across the three organizations, the grant money will go toward a variety of VR related programs including analyzing cancer cells on a molecular level, a deep dive into the particular traits of cancer among young people and even how VR can be used a therapeutic tool in pain management.

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