Blog Type, IPT Blog | July 2017

Catapult Reception with Innovate UK

On Tuesday 11 July the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT), in partnership with Innovate UK, hosted a Drop-in Reception focusing on the ten Catapult Centres scattered across the United Kingdom. The reception included speeches from Innovate UK Chief Executive Officer Dr Ruth McKernan CBE, Chief Executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Dick Elsy, and Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Space Systems -a space technology business that has been supported by the Catapult programme - Mike Lawton. . The event brought together senior representatives from each of the Catapult Centres, and Innovate UK, alongside MP’s and Peers to learn more about the work of the individual Catapults.

The Catapult Centres are a network of world-leading centres designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in specific areas and help drive future economic growth. The series of not-for-profit,  independent physical centres connect businesses with the UK’s research and academic communities, offering a space with the facilities and expertise to enable businesses and research to collaborate and develop new products and services on a commercial scale.

The Catapult Centres:

  • Cell and Gene Therapy: Based in Guy’s Hospital in central London, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult has over 120 cell and gene therapy experts with state-of-the-art development and viral vector laboratories.
  • Compound semiconductor Applications: Based in South Wales, The Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult is a world-class, open access research and development facility to help businesses exploit advances in compound semiconductor technologies across key application areas such as healthcare, the digital economy, energy, transport, defence and security, and space.
  • Digital: The Digital Catapult is based on Euston Road, London and has centres in Sunderland, Northern Ireland, Brighton and Yorkshire. The Catapult currently focuses on two sectors, digital manufacturing and creative industries, alongside exploring opportunities in digital health and care. The Catapult works across a range of technology layers including data driven, connectivity, artificial intelligence and immersive interfaces.
  • Energy Systems:  Based in Birmingham, Energy Systems aims to build a consensus on the transition pathways to a future energy system and develop a vision for a clean, intelligent, energy system that works for people, communities and businesses.
  • Future Cities: The Future Cities focuses on advancing urban innovation to make cities better. Based in London at their Urban Innovation Centre, the Catapult helps innovators turn ideas into working prototypes that can be tested in real urban settings. In addition the Cities Lab provides data analysis, modelling and visualisation capabilities to understand city problems. The Catapult focuses on three core themes: integrated urban infrastructure, healthy cities and urban mobility.
  • High Value Manufacturing:  Consisting of seven centres across the United Kingdom, including a significant presence in the Midlands and North of England, HVM focuses on being a catalyst for future growth and success of manufacturing in the UK. The seven centres combine to create a sustainable high value manufacturing future for the United Kingdom.
  • Medicines Discovery:  Housing 10,000 square feet of laboratory and collaboration facilities at their Alderley Park Headquarters in Cheshire, the Medicines Discovery Catapult works to develop approaches for the discovery and early development of new medicines.
  • Offshore Renewable Energy: Based across three sites in Glasgow, Blyth and Levenmouth respectively, The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult has a flagship technology and research centre for advancing wind, wave and tidal energy.
  • Satellite Applications:  Based in Harwell, near Didcot, the Satellite Applications Catapult helps organisations make use and benefit from pioneering satellite technologies and seeks to help fulfil the UK’s ambition to increase its share of the global space market to 10%. The Catapult’s mission is to place the UK at the heart of the ongoing revolution in satellite services.
  • Transport Systems: Working from a headquarters in Milton Keynes, the Transport Systems Catapult seeks to enhance the use of Intelligent Mobility, using emerging technologies to enable smarter, greener and more efficient movement of people and good. The Catapult aims to tackle wider societal challenges such as a growing and ageing population, climate change, depletion of traditional energy resources, and increasing urbanisation. Transport Systems was responsible for the first demonstration of an autonomous driving vehicle in the United Kingdom in October 2016.

The event marked the latest collaboration between Innovate UK and the Industry and Parliament Trust, having also undertaken the ‘Shaping the Future’ series of events in parliament. The programme has seen two events take place on the subjects of Industry 4.0: The Future of Digital Manufacturing and Healthcare of the Future: Greater Efficiency through Innovation. ‘Shaping the Future’ culminates with the dinner discussion ‘Securing Access to Finance for Innovation’ on Monday 16 October.