Since 2016, Connected Places Catapult has been supporting leaders in Belfast to create new opportunities for businesses, leading to a successful bid for a City Region Deal that will deliver £2Bn in additional GVA and 10,000 new jobs.
In 2016, Connected Places Catapult catalysed an SBRI open call to identify innovative ways to maximise business rates capture. The project funded four companies, resulting in the creation of innovative tools by two UK firms, and the identification of around £1M additional annual revenues for the council. Both firms have now scaled those products to new customers. Connected Places Catapult then worked with Belfast to create the Smart Belfast Framework, outlining further city challenges and opportunities for investment totalling £1M – £2M a year. 300 firms attended the launch and 75 businesses are now involved in this growing market.
Building on its trusted relationship with Belfast City Council, Connected Places Catapult was then invited by the city to drive development of an ambitious, robustly evidenced plan for the economic development of the region. Connected Places Catapult’s CEO Nicola Yates OBE chaired the digital and innovation workstream, bringing together six councils, two universities and a range of private sector allies, to develop a The Belfast Regional City Deal. This deal secured £500M of investment in the region’s digital and innovation economy, including over £150M of private investment into the region from the likes of Catalyst Inc. Caterpillar, Ryobi, Bombardier, GSK, Belfast Harbour, BAE Systems and others.