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Holistic Systems Thinking Links Catapults Together - Obviously!

During the Transport Systems Catapult webinars, a frequently asked question is "How will the Transport Systems Catapult link in with other Catapults?"

Obvious links with other Catapults

It is surely crystal clear that there will be very obvious linkages with the Future Cities Catapult.  From David Bott's recent comments (see my article on the Transport Systems Catapult for more on this), it seems that they will share aspects of modelling using data from real world demonstrators, to create and enhance knowledge of systems integration.  

However, it surely doesn't stop there.  Extending this, and thinking from a systems perspective, it is also obvious that there will be comparable and synergistic integration with the Connected Digital Economy Catapult and the Satellite Applications Catapult. 

The Connected Digital Economy Catapult aims to help the UK "develop and launch digitally-­enabled systems, services and products".  Tell me that future integrated transport systems won't require new digital services to support them, and I'll eat my copper coaxial telephone cable before you get around to installing my high speed optical cable.

Likewise with Satellite Applications.  If we aren't going to need to precisely locate where people, goods and transport are - or will need to be - then I'll give you my iPhone 5 (you may have to surgically remove it first!).

What about the future manufacturing technologies that will be needed to deliver these amazing services?  Well, luckily the High Value Manufacturing Catapult is already well underway, with no less than SEVEN locations strategically placed around the UK, acting as attractors for key innovative processes to be developed.

Where will the power for our future low carbon world come from?  How are we going to power our carbon-efficient homes, cities, infrastructure and vehicles?  Well, undoubtedly, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult will engender innovative solutions....

And this leads me neatly back to Transport and integrated systems..... How will the offshore renewable energy generators be serviced, monitored, upgraded, etc?  We'll need sensors, digital systems, satellite applications and earth observation, advanced manufacturing technologies, ships, engines... you name it.

So, when you think of Transport SYSTEMS, remember it's all integrated.  However.... don't just look at the usual suspects....

Innovation happens on the periphery 

As a Knowledge Management professional, I know that innovation and creation of new knowledge needs a number of factors - chaos is good, so is uncertainty, so is a big shock ("neccessity is the mother of invention" remember that one?).  But so is randomness.  Randomness often happens on the periphery of the domain of familiarity.  A recent Harvard Business Review blog article by @ScottDAnthony highlights the importance of peripheries.  

So, if you picture a Venn Diagram of where the Catapults overlap, the interesting parts are where they just touch.  Seeing the same problem through different eyes, you bring a different set of knowledge to an existing domain.  

Integrated Systems - Catapult Programmes

So, the team at the Technology Strategy Board who are overseeing the Catapults are from different domains, they meet and share their experiences and plans, and there is obvious synergy between the Catapults.

But what they really need is for people in industry and academia to get involved - take the leap of faith and look BEYOND - to see patterns and linkages and connections with something random and different and share this with others to come up with some genuine new ideas.

New info on @TransportKTN

So.... for my small part, to help you do this, I have reconfigured the @TransportKTN Twitter feed to include the update articles from the other Catapults listed above.

So...for your part, at the very least, sign up to the feed and start thinking.  And tell me what else you'd find useful.  Tweet me directly @tessadarley, or via @TransportKTN, or comment on this article.

'See' you at the next Transport Systems Catapult webinar!

 

 

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