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Catapult Centres development in the UK

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

The British government has announced an additional investment of £185 million in two new technology and innovation or Catapult Centres in 2015-2016 in the field of Diagnostics for Stratified Medicine and Energy systems.

Established in 2011 by the Technology Strategy Board (UK’s innovation agency), the Catapults are a network of seven technology and innovation centres covering a range of sectors: Satellite Applications, Cell Therapy, Offshore Renewable Energy, Future Cities, Transport Systems, the Connected Digital Economy and the High Value Manufacturing. The latter was the first to open for business in October, 2011 and has already created 700 jobs, with projected commercial income of £10m for the first six months of operation.

Following the success of these centres, a commitment has been made to invest in two new Catapults in 2015/16:

- An Energy Systems Catapult will help innovative UK businesses tackle the challenge of creating energy systems that meet future supply and demand, both in the UK and overseas ;
- a Diagnostics for Stratified Medicine Catapult will help identify and provide the right care for individual patients, allowing businesses to develop new treatments and reducing the cost of healthcare.

Furthermore, this represents an additional fund of £185m which will be allocated to the Technology Strategy Board.

Among recent events, the Catapult centres forum which was hold at Hallam Conference Centre (London) on October 23, 2013. It aimed to provide different actors (heads of enterprise, heads of research and development, academic representatives …) with an insightful look into the progress made by these centres as well as future opportunities to develop private-public partnerships.