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Technology and Innovation Centres Forum

Catapult centres

Catapult

Closing the gap between concept and commercialisation

 

We are investing over £200m over the next four years in a new network of technology and innovation centres called Catapults that will stimulate innovation, accelerate growth and anchor high value activity in the UK.  
 
The Technology Strategy Board, as the UK’s innovation agency, was in 2010 tasked with establishing and overseeing a network of world-class technology and innovation centres to help commercialise the results of research in specific focus areas.  
 
These Catapults will help stimulate economic growth by focusing on innovations that will give UK businesses a technological edge in global markets worth hundreds of billions of pounds per year.  They form a key part of the Government’s work to rebalance the UK economy.
 
In March 2012 we completed the selection of areas in which we are setting up a Catapult, completing an important phase which started in the summer of 2011 with a major programme of consultation.  This involved engaging with thousands of UK businesses and research organisations and other stakeholders to identify areas where the need, the opportunity and the capability come together to make a Catapult the right answer at the right time – creating a long-term resource that does not currently exist. 
 
The seven Catapults are in:
• High Value Manufacturing
• Cell therapy
• Offshore Renewable Energy
• Satellite Applications
• Connected Digital Economy
• Future Cities 
• Transport Systems
 
The Catapult in high value manufacturing is already open for business. Plans are now firmly under way to establish the other Catapults with a view to have them fully operational in 2013. 
 
How to engage
You can comment here on _connect or email your comments to catapult@tsb.gov.uk.  
 
A series of sub-groups or Special Interest Groups has either been set up or is in the process of being set up to help shape the discussions for many of the Catapults:
Cell therapy (available by end March 2012)
Offshore Renewable Energy (TBA)
Transport Systems (TBA)
High Value Manufacturing
 
We are developing the Catapult website as main online information point. The Technology Strategy Board's Catapult centres overview also holds valuable information, including all press releases that have been published on the Catapults or technology and innovation centres, as they were called before they became Catapults. 
 
Essential reading: 
In March 2012 we published a “Catapult status update – shaping the network of centres”, which provides an overview of progress made since the Catapult strategy and implementation plan, titled “Closing the gap”, was published in May 2011.
 
For background information, please see the reports by Herman Hauser and James Dyson on the role of technology and innovation centres in the UK:

The Current and Future Role of Technology and Innovation Centres in the UK

Ingenious Britain - Making the UK the leading high tech exporter in Europe

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