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Digital Catapult and University of Bristol form South West innovation partnership

A partnership between Digital Catapult and the University of Bristol aims to cement the city’s status as one of the most innovative places in the UK.

universities across the UK are engaged with Digital Catapult in innovation programmes

Boosting national capability in digital engineering innovation and skills

Boosting the West of England innovation powerhouse

With five regional centres in London, North East Tees Valley, Northern Ireland, MediaCity, Brighton and most recently opening a South West regional office in Bristol, Digital Catapult’s national network currently engages more than 45 Universities across the UK in their innovation programmes.

Building on multiple ongoing projects between Digital Catapult and the University of Bristol, the new Digital Catapult South West partnership announced in May 2021 will boost national capability in digital engineering innovation and skills and aims to cement the city’s status, as well as the wider region, as one of the most innovative places in the UK. The South West Partnership is a culmination of several successful collaborations between the two partners.

On of these collaborations involves the 5G Smart Tourism project which brought together Digital Catapult, University of Bristol Smart Internet Lab, King’s College London, Zeetta Networks, CCS, BBC, Aardman, BT and Bristol City Council and many other partners blending 5G and immersive technologies to create interactive visitor experiences for the cultural, heritage and tourism sectors.

Another example is focusing on manufacturing, a two-year DETI (Digital Engineering Technology and Innovation) project which aims to accelerate digital engineering across multiple sectors for future generations of engineers and engineering products. It is run in partnership with the National Composites Centre, the Centre for Modelling & Simulation, the University of the West of England (UWE), the University of Bristol and the University of Bath, alongside Industry partners including Airbus, GKN Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, and CFMS, with in kind contributions from UWE, Digital Catapult and Siemens. West of England Combined Authority funding of £5m is match funded by the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and industry.

In June 2020, the £46 million University of Bristol led MyWorld project was also announced, bringing partners including the Digital Catapult, BBC, Aardman Animations, BT, Bristol Old Vic and Theatre Royal Trust. It aims to generate more than 700 new jobs and boost the economy by £223 million by forging collaborations to progress innovation, creative excellence, inclusive cultures and knowledge sharing, to develop a ‘creative media powerhouse’ in the region.

Research England welcomes this deepening of the partnership between the University of Bristol and the Digital Catapult to unlock the potential for translational research. It is great to see universities and Catapult centres developing new ways of engaging by exploring common objectives and possible new collaborative ventures.

David Sweeney
CEO of Research England

We’re excited by this opportunity to work together and how it will help find new ways to translate academic R&D excellence into practical industrial adoption. The recent BEIS Catapult Review highlighted the need for the Catapult Network to work more closely with the UK’s world-leading universities, we’re looking forward to developing this partnership with Bristol in innovative and productive new ways.

Dr Jeremy Silver
Chair of the Catapult Network and CEO of Digital Catapult

We are very pleased to partner with Digital Catapult to establish a base in Bristol to collaborate on supporting both traditional industries and high growth companies in the South West. Our intention is that this partnership links Bristol to the rest of the world through opportunities to scale its businesses, and for global companies to see what Bristol can offer them.

Professor Hugh Brady
University of Bristol’s Vice-Chancellor & President