Browse Catapults

Research & Academia

Effective engagement with UK research organisations and Higher Education Institutions is critical to the cycle of innovation, overcoming barriers to innovation, up-skilling the talent base and ultimately bringing research to market quicker. Catapults work closely with researchers and with UK Research and Innovation to build better connected, collaborative ecosystems. Catapults aim is to encourage wider access to our facilities, expertise and infrastructure, exploring every opportunity to maximise collaboration.

Joint Programmes and Projects

Catapult activities take many forms, including collaborative projects, commercialisation activities, technology and capability road-mapping, large-scale sector-focused programme activities and network building. Ultimately though, project structures are not rigid and depend on the nature of the challenge. 

Most importantly, we want to create a collaborative culture that promotes further exchange and growth, where Catapults and the wider research and development community jointly shape the UK innovation ecosystem.

Innovation Launchpad Network+

The University of Sheffield, leading a cluster of 7 national universities, has recently secured funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to establish the Innovation Launchpad Network+.

The Network builds on the success of the Researchers in Residence (RiR) pilot programme and will facilitate engagement between academia and the nine Catapults across three thematic areas – Net Zero, Healthcare and Wellbeing, and Resilience.

The Innovation Launchpad Network+ will identify engagement opportunities to enable academic researchers to collaborate with Catapults, undertaking activity areas of strategic importance for the Catapults and boosting the connections of the innovation ecosystem. This initiative will stimulate rich knowledge exchange across the partners and will provide researchers with a valuable exposure to Catapult environments and their industry networks, with a view to solving real-life problems, understanding end-user perspectives and enhancing market focus in research.  

For further information, visit the Innovation Launchpad Network+ website here.

Talent and Skills

Economic growth arising from innovation and rapid technological advances is creating the demand for new skills development and training. With close relationships with industry across sectors extensive knowledge of emerging technologies, the Catapult Network is well placed to identify skills gaps and help companies meet them. 

The Catapults are already playing a strong role in shaping future workforce development through their training centres in key sectors, whilst also providing professional development and secondment opportunities.

Strategic Relationships

By bringing business and the research community together we can stimulate more demand led research and form important strategic relationships.  Through collaborative projects and contract research for example, jointly we can address key technological challenges and accelerate the translation of knowledge. We use our valuable connections with Government Departments and Agencies, especially those with Innovate UK, UK Research and Innovation, the Knowledge Transfer Network and others, to help identify and form strategic academic partnerships both in the UK and internationally.

Informing Policy Development

Catapults work with government, regulators, businesses and academia to develop practical, solution-focused and industry-relevant policy recommendations in their sectors through input to Government inquiries, participation in Government advisory and strategy groups, and Industry Leadership Forums.