The Catapult centres are a network of world-leading technology centres designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in specific areas and help drive future economic growth.
They are a series of physical centres where the very best of the UK’s businesses, scientists, technical specialists and engineers work side by side on late-stage research and development – transforming high potential ideas into new products and services and accelerating adoption to generate economic growth.
The Catapult centres were established by Innovate UK as a way to support innovation by UK business. Each Catapult does this by providing access to world class expert technical capabilities, equipment, and other resources required to take innovative ideas from concept to reality.
Back in 2010, entrepreneur Hermann Hauser produced an influential report, The Current and Future Role of Technology & Innovation Centres in the UK, which identified best practice from around the world and made a robust case for long-term UK investment in a network of technology and innovation centres which would ‘deliver a step change in the UK’s ability to commercialise its research’.
Catapults are not-for-profit, independent physical centres which connect businesses with the UK’s research and academic communities.
Each Catapult specialises in a different area of technology, but all offer a space with the facilities and expertise to enable businesses and researchers to collaboratively solve key problems and develop new products and services on a commercial scale.
Whether a business is in need of a new manufacturing process, a fresh approach to digital rights protection, or a new way of balancing energy demands in a future city environment, Catapults can help them.
The Catapults are transforming the UK’s capability for innovation in specific industry areas. They turn commercial ideas into a reality, support businesses to access global growth markets, anchor high value jobs and attract inward investment from globally mobile technology businesses.
Each Catapult is focused on a specific area of technology and expertise with significant global market potential. They bring together the best people in their fields with cutting-edge facilities to develop new products and services.
Hundreds of thousands of businesses in the UK are striving for growth and capable of bringing brilliant new products and services to market.
However, only a few have all the resources, expertise, equipment or contacts they need to develop and demonstrate their ideas to create new products and services.
The Catapult mission is to bridge the gap between these ambitious businesses and the expertise of the UK’s world-class research communities. Catapults exist to:
Each Catapult focuses on an area in which the UK has genuine potential to generate growth in strategically important global markets. Our vision is to create the setting which enables you to be part of this success.
Catapults are there for all businesses – large and small – looking to undertake late stage research and development and commercialise traditional academic research.
There are nine Catapults in the network with a national presence covering over 30 locations:
Each of the Catapults has a business development team who would be keen to speak with interested businesses. Each Catapult has an online presence with a dedicated website and social media channels.
There are a number of other ways to engage with each individual Catapult. As well as these standard routes in, each of the centres run individual and industry specific events such as walk-in surgeries, hackathons, consultation clinics and networking sessions. Check their events page for the latest opportunities.