Definitive list of questions
We expect many questions around the process of - and the actual creation of - the scope and vision (read the Scope and Vision document here) for the Transport Systems Catapult.
Many of these will be ones that lots of people will ask, some will be specific to a particluar sector or even individual.
We will post all questions and answers to this article, to form a definitive guide. We will anonymise questions that come in via email, and post these, and will post questions that anyone from the Catapult delivery team or the Transport KTN has been asked.
More questions and answers
A list of questions and answers from the webinar held on 15th June 2012 is available to download from the document library here.
All the questions from the webinar have been added to the end of this article as well.
If you haven't already joined this group and are interested in being a part of the Transport Systems Catapult, please click the Join This Group button above to join this group. We will be using this group to keep everyone informed of developments and if you're not a member, you may miss out on vital information in a timely fashion.
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If you have a question that is not addressed here, please log in and post a comment below with your question.
Questions & Answers
Q1 - How do I submit my ideas for the Catapult so that I am considered for involvement and participation at a later date?
A1 - Submit your email address here, and you will be sent the links to the online form to enable you to feed into the process.
Q2 - When is the closing date?
A2 - Please submit your online response before 29th of June. This closing date is rigid. Please respond as early as you can to help inform our July board submission. All responses received before 29th of June will inform our Outline Business Plan.
Q3 - Do we submit as individuals, individual organisations or can consortia also participate?
A3 - you can submit as you prefer. Note that the Technology Strategy Board is NOT not seeking consortia to lead or to run the Catapult. If you are offering something to the Catapult as a consortium or you are considering running a project or programme through the Catapult as a consortium, then the option is given here for you to express your intentions. Submitting an individual contribution will not preclude you from being involved.
Q4 - Are non-EU and international companies invited to participate?
A4 - If you have a substantial R&D commitment in the UK or can see the clear benefit to multi-modal R&D brought by a Transport Systems Catapult, then your involvement now will increase the influence you have over its formation.
Q5 - What happens to my submissions?
A5 - All submissions will be reviewed and used with other information that we are gathering concurrently, to create an overall vision and scoping document which will go on to form the outline business case for the Catapult.
Q6 - When will I find out if I am going to be invited to be part of the Catapult?
A6 - Your participation in the Catapult can begin right now with your input to the survey which signifies your registration of interest. If you have a specific project which can be carried out in or through the Catapult, please describe it and we can begin to consider it as a potential part of the wider Catapult programme. If you have specific resources you are considering offering to the Catapult, we can factor those into the Outline Business Plan too. In each of these cases, we will want to discuss with you what needs to be done to turn your considerations into intentions and commitment.
A timetable of events and project milestones will be posted on these pages. These events will include communication days and workshops.
Q7 - How can I ask a question about the Catapult?
A7 - the best and preferred way is to log in and click Add comment at the bottom of this page and post your question there. Questions posted here will be answered the fastest. Please note that we will post all relevant questions here, with their answers, and it would help us if you would post your question here.
Q8 - Can I see the questions that are asked in the survey, so I can discuss my organisations' response with my colleagues?
A8 - We have created a non-interactive PDF version of the survey, and an editable Word version, which may help you to prepare your response offline. These enable you to see the questions, and circulate them to your colleagues for feedback and contribution. Note that these offline versions have been created merely to help you to work with your colleagues in compiling your response to the survey questions. Your response is only accepted through the online survey, by 29th June 2012. The PDF can be downloaded via this link and the Word version via this link.
Q9 - How can I alert my contacts to the survey?
A9 - If you would like to alert anyone to the survey, we advise you to send them the link to the subscription page: http://bit.ly/KYWdM2.
Q10 - Can a survey be saved halfway and finished later?
A10 - Yes, you can even begin the survey from one computer or device, leave the survey early, and then re-access the link to finish on a the same or a different computer or device.
Q11 - Can the survey be answered on smartphones or tablets?
A11 - The survey works with devices that have modern, standards-compliant browsers. It works on iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches. Other media or hand-held devices such as Blackberry, Treo, Palm, etc. may work, but is not guaranteed.
Q12 - I have submitted my email address, but I haven't received the link to the survey. When will I get it?
A12 - You will receive the survey via a link in an email within two working days of submitting your email address. If you submitted your details over the bank holiday weekend, expect the link in the afternoon of Wed 6th June. Please remember to check your spam folder, in case it has ended up there. If you have not received the link within two working days from submitting your email address via the link above, please email us.
Q13 - Can I please have a list of all the links that I need for this submission?
A13 - Please use the links below
Q&As from webinar held on 15.06.12
What is the long term vision for the Catapult - is it a permanent organisation?
Yes, it is a permanent organisation.
What will be the ownership model?
The Catapult will be an independent, autonomous organisation. It will be incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee. It is intended that the CEO will be a permanent employee. The Chairman will sit outside the CLG, on a supervisory board.
Can we have some clarity on the structure and specific personnel will deliver the direction for the catapult?
As described in the webinar (15/6/2012), we currently envisage a three-layered structure within the company limited by guarantee (CLG). The top, executive layer will comprise the Chief Executive and his/her top team. The top layer will own the vision and will deal with strategy. The middle (tactical) layer will be responsible for developing and maintaining the programme of projects and other activities being carried out in and through the Catapult – in line with the strategy. The bottom (operational) layer will be where the projects and other related activities are carried out. It is envisaged that all the above will be permanent staff of the Catapult CLG. It is also envisaged that a group of representatives from the transport community will be assembled around the top and middle layers (exec and programme teams) to ensure the interests, perspective, experience and capability of the community are reflected in what the Catapult does.
What will the funding actually cover - just the permanent staff?
No. Part of core funding will be used for permanent staff. Some parts of matched funding might also be used appropriately for permanent (including fixed term contract) staff. However, the core funding will also be used for capital expenditure and to cover some other revenue costs.
Does the creation of the Catapult effectively centralise all the Transport related R&D (with a focus on D) in the UK?
I believe the Catapult should provide a substantial centre of mass for Transport-related R&D. But it is one of a network of essential nodes in a network of centres, organisations and complementary networks. One of its aims is to drive greater collaboration between the existing members of the transport community.
Any thoughts on structure and how programmes of work will be prioritised?
The initial programme of work is being worked on over the next couple of months in conjunction with members of the transport community. This will lead on from the responses to the June 2012 survey.
The catapult is intended to support wealth creation. How will the catapult agenda be managed to ensure that its outputs will maximise the potential for UK wealth creation, on the supply side, and not be distracted, where in conflict, with solving more general issues?
This will be part of the remit of the (Programme) management team in the Catapult. A balanced programme must be generated with outcomes which are immediate wealth generators and others which have complementary benefits.
How will the catapult manage conflicting interests? For example, current regulation & subsidies enable and promote the success of some transport systems over others.
The governance structures and best practice in programme management will address this.
What cross-working between the five catapults is taking place?
The TSB has an over-arching Catapult Programme and each of the Catapult teams is in regular liaison with the others. There are a number of people and organisations who are participating in more than one of our Catapult projects.
How are you ensuring that focus is not just on problems and the realities of transport across the UK not just the view of London?
The Catapult is a national centre which will aim to generate solutions to challenges facing the wider transport system. With respect to London, TfL acknowledge that a part of their latent (unused or unusable) capacity might be released through consideration of transport outside and beyond the capital.
How will the catapult work with government departments to overcome perverse taxation and funding barriers to progress - these are often more important than the lack of funding.
We are working closely with DfT and BIS.
How are you going to drive the cooperation between organisations like the HA, DfT, TfL and other front end users with SMEs and other participants? How do you plan to learn from international programmes? How will you link with the EC?
The organisational network and how it can be optimised is a key area of focus now. We do not want to pay lip service to the SME agenda and we do want to engender cooperation and collaboration between all participants – including those in government. Leading by example!
How do you think the Catapult scope and vision sits with UK Transport Polices (which are largely infrastructure based and fairly devoid of any innovative thinking)?
We would like the Catapult to be in a position to provide objective, pragmatic and intelligent input to the UK transport strategy and policy.
How do you see the role of public transport organisations like London Underground/ Transport for London in the Catapult and how can we best participate?
This is a question with a range of answers. The short answer is we would like you to be heavily involved. You form a critical part of the UK transport system. You have a worldwide reputation and corresponding skills and facilities. We need a full complement of participants, contributors and influencing beneficiaries to make the Catapult work. Right now, we want you to work with us to shape the Catapult such that, if you put in enough effort, you can be confident of getting more back in time.
Is the Catapult seeking to help those who have to PROVIDE mobility / reduce congestion or those who have to use / endure it?
Both, at various times but with an overall view to satisfying both. There is, of course, a pairing there: mobility-use (both objective) and congestion-endurance (subjective).
Is transport systems research being prioritised above technology focus?
The Catapult will be part of a whole innovation infrastructure and will play a particular part in supporting transport system level innovation. The TSB has various other mechanisms to support other technology development, for example that Low Carbon Vehicle Innovation Platform which supports vehicle level research and development mainly through collaborative research and development grants.
The Catapult seeks to develop solutions that address the common challenges and drivers across the transport sector. Technology development will provide part of the solutions, but the people and process activities required to deliver successful implementation are also required.
FUNDING & INVESTMENT
How is the Catapult funded?
1/3 core funding (e.g. DfT funding)
1/3 collaborative R&D (matched funding)
1/3 commercial R&D
Is the DfT support additional funding, or is it moved from other pots that already should be spending in transport systems?
The DfT support is additional funding.
How will "investors" and "customers" be involved so that there is an improved route to market?
We are trying to involve a wide demographic through the survey, webinar, focus groups and other routes.
Is there scope for even broader international collaboration?
It is intended that the Catapult generates funding from the EC and beyond – both state and commercial funding.
Under Horizon 2020, transport has been identified as a Grand Challenge with around €7bn funding allocated. How will the work programme of the Catapult relate to Horizon 2020?
We are looking into this. It has been noted that Horizon 2020 is fairly explicit in its call for something that looks very like the Catapult we are designing.
Is the Catapult linking with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) to identify High Value Opportunities for UK companies overseas (as the UK demand for transport innovation is limited)?
Yes it will be linking with UKTI.
How are you and your funders measuring success?
This is work in progress. A good question. Thank you.
If there is so much opportunity, are pure finance investors being approached and engaged?
They will be.
So the Catapult would, in a systems world, look at *incentivisation*. In what way are you planning to model the incentives on people in order to provide support and influence change?
Human factors, psychology etc will be addressed in the Catapult.
How much involvement do you expect from investors? Can we participate without investors?
This point is under consideration.
By definition innovative improvements will NOT be in the business interests of some existing parties: if they were they would not need a catapult. There is a large risk that there will not be innovation if existing interests are allowed to dominate project direction and selection. How will you make sure a few do not dominate the many?
That is why the Catapult has a permanent core team which will own, direct and drive the programme. It is also why the Catapult is being established as an independent, autonomous company rather than being controlled by a consortium of transport organisations.
How will you stop the catapult being dominated by the established interests of big corporates?
The Catapult is being established as an independent, autonomous company rather than being controlled by a consortium of transport organisations. A balanced programme and a successful, innovative environment can only be achieved if all interests are heard and acknowledged but none have undue influence. The permanent core team will define and own the vision, strategy, and the programme, thereby maintaining objectivity and balance.
Do you have a mechanism for allowing funding to flow to innovative SME's?
We are carefully considering how we can engage with SMEs and other essential parts of the community. This is work in progress.
Current TSB funding model locks out many SMEs - How will Catapult be different?
There will be a range of funding routes. The Catapult is not a grant distribution organisation. Also, funding of Catapults is not purely from the state. I think this will make a significant difference.
How will SME's and larger companies be funded by the Catapult? e.g. If they take part in a project, how much of their work will be funded? Will it be a similar model to FP7?
The Catapult will not ‘fund’ other organisations. It will be a company in its own right which will be able to apply for UK and EU funding. If the Catapult partners with other organisations then a collaboration agreement will be needed and the funding for each partner will be discussed and agreed with the partners. The funding levels available are described in the relevant TSB and EU documents
I can envisage problems with IPR. How will this be handled?
This is being addressed centrally by the Catapult programme team as it is an significant issue for all the Catapults. We need to protect interests while stimulating innovation in an open, collaborative environment.
Will you ensure academic participation?
Is the Catapult interested in underpinning TRL 1-4 research and how will it engage with Universities to achieve this?
There is an overlap between TRL1-4 research and the Catapult’s activities. Engagement with universities and other organisations in the TRL1-4 space will be carried out to design this part of the Catapult’s organisational structure and processes.
LARGE SCALE DEMONSTRATORS
There is much talk about the aspirations - all the great and good things that we would like to achieve - but an absence of clarity on how this will be achieved. What the catapult needs to provide is surely very dependent upon the types of projects it will support. Many of the potentially most beneficial transport improvements require relatively large scale infrastructure investments. Are such solutions within scope?
Yes. An example is the National Transport Systems Model and Database which is being considered as an early demonstrator. We are already getting significant interest in participating in establishment of a model and database which can be used to investigate large scale transport challenges. For example, a significant offer of their virtual model (including usage data and asset data) has been made by a major transport operator and infrastructure owner.
One of the barriers to entering the market has been the need to have large scale trials that can measure the impacts. Will the Catapult fund infrastructure and evaluation (incl measurement)?
Objective assessment will be made of any initiative or proposal. Also, offers of in kind contributions so far have included access to large scale test facilities by major infrastructure providers and operators.
How will the location for the centre be decided? Will the centre use existing building space or will it be new build?
Objective selection criteria and thresholds are being established for the location. These will be communicated to the transport community for discussion.
Would it make good economic sense to locate this centre in the same location / building as the Future Cities centre?
Co-location of the Transport Systems with other major centres and facilities will be factored into the selection process.
WHO IS INVOLVED
Will we be able to see who is offering what?
Transparency will be important if we are to develop an effective collaborative environment. Trust and clarity are key.
How much will the scope build upon the consultation and workshops performed last year by the KTN for the transport systems catapult?
That work forms a substantial part of the development to date. It has informed the scope and will continue to do so.
With whom have you already been working. There is a sense (at least me) that the "influencing" has already been done?
A list of organisations that were consulted with is published in the bibliography of the document Demonstrating the benefits of a Transport Systems and Integration Technology Innovation Centre in the United Kingdom that was produced by the Transport KTN. It is available to download here.
Will you actively be managing balance between sectors (Rail, road, marine, intermodal infrastructure)?
Yes. There will be a management team in the Catapult responsible for developing and maintaining the programme of projects and other activities being carried out in and through the Catapult. The programme will be balanced in terms of modes, nearness to market (TRL 3+), size of project, nature of project and so on.
What's the engagement with active management and capacity development in the rail sector, e.g. the relationship with TSLG?
The TSLG has a Transport Systems Catapult working group. There is frequent attendance of this working group’s meetings by members of the Catapult project team.
Why does mode definition not include new modes specifically designed to address all of these issues, eg Personal Rapid Transport? The modes seem very preset in the draft modal objectives.
A fair point. If we can move away from consideration of specific modes we will be making progress to considering mobility rather than just transport. Personal Rapid Transport is just one of the newer forms of transport that must and shall be considered.
From a 'traveller' perspective, if the move to low/no-carbon travel is key then are we missing a trick if we tie ourselves to the mindset of 'road' as walkers/cyclists can go almost anywhere plus the greenest solution is NO travel. Presumably on the last point, this is where the interface to other Catapults comes? e.g. CDE?
Agreed. Mobility involves enabling people and goods to be where they need to be, whether that involves moving or staying put. I believe enhancing movement means encouraging and enabling people and goods not to need to move; as such it is in the Catapult’s remit. Travel Demand Management and Movement Management are definitely in scope.
Isn't the key problem that all the relevant modes are saturated? What work has been done to validate the proposition that there are significant benefits to be harvested from multi-modal integration?
Modelling has been carried out by the Olympic Delivery Authority in conjunction with TfL to establish the capacity available through increased integration of transport during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The inputs from the extensive consultation with various industry and academic organisations identified Modal Integration as one of the four key thematic areas that the catapult should focus on. This is based on their view of market opportunity and UK capability. The catapult is addressing global markets, so whilst one might agree that the modes are saturated (as times) in the UK, there are opportunities to develop solutions and sell them to the world.
There seems to be a split between passenger and freight applications. What do you expect the breakdown of efforts of the catapult to each sector to be?
There is no planned breakdown. A balanced programme of work will be maintained. This will mean that, over time, there will be a proportion of projects focusing on each of personal mobility, mobility of goods (freight) and those which address issues such as the sharing of ‘space’ and capacity.
A focus on electrically-assisted bicycles – would this be of interest for the catapult/anyone present? see www.smart-ebikes.co.uk
This will be included in our portfolio of potential project areas. Thank you.
Is "manage demand" the right form of words for objective1 - are we not talking about making optimal use of the capacity by optimising at transport (as opposed to sector) level? Some things we can manage, come things we seek to influence in wider sectors but most of the time it is getting buy in from users across the world that defines business success, so language like “managing demand” is probably not right.
I agree that an overall objective is to optimise the network. This will be achieved by a combination of mechanisms which include managing demand and influencing usage to, in effect, release latent capacity and generate more. We will consider re-wording objective 1.
As well as efficient and cost effective will the centre look at safety and/or security?
Safety isn't explicitly included in the scope and priorities - was this deliberate?
The Catapult will consider safety.
It would seem sensible to include road safety given the European targets, economic and socio-economic savings of future systems can/will deliver, however is "road safety" a term that is too modal and not systemic?
The Catapult will not focus on “road safety” per se, because this is being addressed very well elsewhere in the UK. The Catapult will need to link to those centres of excellence. It will consider work which draws together those activities where there is multi-modal benefit or where opportunities exist for work done in one area (mode) to benefit another.
Will it include a focus on human/ behavioural factors related to take up of transport?
Human factors, organisational behaviour and psychology and other related topics will be essential parts of the Catapult’s activities.
UK PLC should place great emphasis on the customer/passenger, who will be paying/using all transport infrastructure. What is the passenger's organisations participation/place in the Catapult?
We encourage participation by passenger organisations and operators of passenger services.
Seems to me that the End User should be central to the positioning of the catapult. The end user requirements should also be consulted on publically as they (we) are paying for much of this.
Do the objectives include improving the passenger experience? or is this a top level objective?
I understand passenger experience to be predominantly the responsibility of each operator. However, where there are cross-modal activities or opportunities which can enhance passenger experience and that can be shown to, ultimately, affect mobility, then it will be of interest to the Catapult.
To what extent is the TSB interested in socio economic research on transport, and will this be funded?
Yes, socio-economic research will be carried out as part of the Catapult’s programme. For example, I see this as feeding into the objective generation or influencing of policy.
On the survey would it be useful to have a box where people can add in the name/names of the people in their organisation that could make the decision on whether that organisation takes part in the catapult and how much? The reason for this is that I expect many people on the call think that the Catapult is a great idea, but in larger organisations we don’t hold the purse strings. Therefore we can name the people that may need to be "convinced"?
That would be useful. As an alternative, please send us names by email to firstname.lastname@example.org