Future Cities Catapult funding

£215m additional investment for UK innovation centres

The £215m Government investment is in the Digital, Medicines Discovery, Future Cities and Transport Systems Catapult centres.

It builds on the announcement made in August by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, of nearly £1 bn for the Catapult network, which will fully fund all centres for the next five years.

The Catapult network is managed by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.

The Catapults are a network of world-leading centres that are designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in specific areas. They are helping to drive future prosperity by transforming high-potential ideas into new products and services that generate economic growth for the UK.

The Digital Catapult is making UK industries more productive and competitive by supporting them to take up advanced digital technologies, such as AI, 5G and augmented and virtual reality. Meanwhile, the Future Cities and Transport Systems Catapult centres will be combining to bring together their skills and expertise in tackling the problems of modern city living and shaping the future of mobility.

To date, Catapult projects have included establishing a 5G testbed in Brighton, and releasing reports examining the future impact of autonomous vehicles and open data in local government, as well as releasing a property technology manifesto with the British Property Federation.

Business Secretary Greg Clark, said: “The Catapult network offers the technical expertise and equipment to allow businesses to take on the challenges and opportunities we expect to face in a future world.

“We’re backing experts to push new boundaries, so our future economy reaps the benefits of new technologies with more highly skilled jobs. Investment in research and development is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy as we build on the UK’s reputation for scientific innovation.”

Dr Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair of Innovate UK, said: “The Catapult network is making a significant impact to our modern Industrial Strategy. It is playing a key role in realising the government’s ambition to spend 2.4% of our GDP on research and development by 2027.

“This additional support fully funds the Catapult network for the next 5 years and cements their place at the heart of the UK’s innovation infrastructure. By combining the expertise of the Future Cities and Transport Systems Catapults, they are bettering the offer to innovative UK companies that are improving the way our cities work and revolutionising how we get around.”

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