What are Research Agendas and what purposes do they serve?
A Research Agenda is a framework to guide research priorities and funding so that these focus on the most urgent needs of the greatest communities and target the obstacles to meeting goals of those communities. Most researchers would prefer to address the “pain points” of customers or future customers than to invent new approaches or shed light on solutions to problems of their own invention. By providing curated descriptions of an ecosystem’s needs based on gaps and assessments compiled using objective methodologies, research agendas can reduce the time required to align resources to needs and reduce the risks of making poorly-informed choices.
Research agendas permit researchers and research funding organizations to:
- Focus efforts on the topics most likely to result in rapid technology transfers from research to high impact commercial or community-based solutions serving their target audiences,
- Contribute directly and indirectly to one or more overarching, multi-project visions and/or research roadmaps.
XR is an umbrella term which is used to encompass both Virtual and Augmented Reality. Virtual and Augmented Reality have different use cases: AR relies on the user’s context in the real world, as detected by sensors, to trigger the introduction of digital information which can then be manipulated. For more information about these concepts, please read about Milgram’s Continuum.
AR and VR can be used by students, citizens, tourists as well as for employee training and improving workplace performance, decision making and planning.
It has long been predicted that XR-based technologies will replace existing computer-human interfaces for certain data- and information-centric experiences. Advances in computer processing, micro-electronics and optics, power management, software and communications networks have reduced the obstacles to widespread XR adoption. However, many challenges remain.
The XR4ALL Common Research Agenda
The CSA XR4ALL – eXtended Reality technologies for ALL (Grant-No.: 825545), has the mission to establish and operate a XR community (technology providers, potential users, VCs, multipliers) and a XR forum as the voice and main collaboration space for XR technologies stakeholders as well as to define the forum’s composition, structure and its governance.
The project aims to elaborate a research agenda for Interactive Technologies. This will consist of two main steps. In the first step, a research activities landscape will be produced and a technology watch will be established, in which the research areas will be categorized. This will provide an overview of ongoing research activities, describe the state of the art in interactive technologies and give an outlook of what can be expected in the coming years. Out of this overview, gaps in research will be identified.
In the second step, the research agenda will be developed. On the one hand it will consist of a concrete agenda for the next 3 years and on the other hand of a vision for the coming 5-10 years. This will also include an expectation concerning opportunities for European industries.
By November 2019, the project has provided a first version of the research agenda for the European Commission. Initial results are presented in . A first version of a publicly available research activities landscape report  as well as a map of funding sources  and an overview of the state of EU XR funding  have been elaborated. In 2020, the final version of the research agenda on interactive technologies will be developed in close cooperation with the European XR community especially with the growing network of XR4ALL members.
Publicly-available Resources for Research Planning
As resources focusing on XR and efforts to address growth obstacles with research increase, research agendas are valuable tools for decision makers. That said, research agendas differ in their methodologies, target audiences, scope, depth and the length of time they seek to address or influence.
On this page is a compilation of research agendas, related tools and resources which can offer perspectives and insights for those developing policies which will impact XR and funding XR research as well as those directing and conducting research in XR fields.
As this is a community resource for increasing awareness and contributions to a healthy XR ecosystem, all those who have material they wish to contribute to this list of resources are warmly invited to complete this form:
 2019, Dec: Current state of XR technologies, applications, and ethical aspects, Talk at XR4ALL annual event, Brussels, Oliver Schreer (Fraunhofer Institute, HHI; XR4ALL, Germany)
 2019, Dec: European Commission’s perspective about the future of XR technologies, Talk at XR4ALL annual event, Brussels, Thomas Carlu (European Commission, Luxembourg)
 2019, Dec: XR4ALL report, Landscape Report
 2019, Dec: XR4ALL report, Map of funding sources for EU XR technologies
 2019, Dec: XR4ALL report, State of the EU XR funding: Toolkit
 2018, Dec: Research Agenda for VR and AR in UK AEC industry, University of West England, Bristol, UK
 2018, Sept: Augmented and Virtual Reality in Operations, report by capgemini research institute (www.capgemini.com)
 2017, Oct: Digital Transformation Monitor: Augmented and Virtual Reality, report prepared by the consortium composed of PwC, CARSA, IDATE and ESN, under the contract Digital Entrepreneurship Monitor (EASME/COSME/2014/004), Authors: Laurent Probst, Bertrand Pedersen & Lauriane Dakkak-Arnoux PwC
 2017, May: Virtual reality and its potential for Europe, ECORYS report