Future Cities and Transport Systems Catapults awarded investment to create innovation powerhouse

Further investment has today been announced in the Future Cities and Transport Systems Catapults.

The investment is part of £215 million committed to the Digital, Medicines Discovery, Future Cities and Transport Systems Catapult centres as part of the government’s Modern Industrial Strategy.

It builds on the announcement made in August by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, of nearly £1 billion for the Catapult network as part of their Modern Industrial Strategy, and fully funds all centres for the next 5 years.

Future Cities Catapult and Transport Systems Catapult will unite to create a new organisation that will bring together their skills and expertise to tackle the problems of modern city living and address the future of mobility. The new Catapult will drive even faster growth for the UK economy by exploiting the strong synergies between the two organisations. This Catapult will be named Connected Places Catapult Innovation.

The UK’s urban areas are home to 83% of the population and by 2050 more than two thirds of the global population will live in urban areas. The world of transport will transform dramatically over the coming decade as new technology, such as decarbonised power sources, mobile communications, AI and big data radically transform the way that transport outcomes can be delivered.

The success of these engines of economic growth and prosperity relies on their ongoing good management – including their ability to adapt swiftly to growth and the changing demands of their citizens and businesses. The new Catapult will better help businesses access the UK’s world-leading research expertise, enabling them to grow faster and generate more jobs. It will accelerate the opportunity for UK business to be at the forefront of urban and transport innovation.

Business Secretary Greg Clark MP 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.”

Minister of State for Housing, Kit Malthouse MP, said: “I look forward to working with the experts at the newly combined Future Cities and Transport Systems Catapults as they help us make the housing market work and supply communities with more, better, faster homes.”

Paul Campion Chief Executive of Transport Systems Catapult said: “The whole Transport Systems Catapult team is delighted by the confirmation today of five years of funding to continue the work we are doing to grow the UK economy and jobs. The plan to bring together all the experts in the Future Cities and Transport Systems Catapults will enable us to reach higher and deliver the UK’s Industrial Strategy with even more confidence and capability. We are excited and optimistic about the future and our joint part in putting the UK in the global lead.”

Nicola Yates, OBE, Chief Executive of Future Cities Catapult, said: “It’s a time of true opportunity for innovators in both areas of Transport and Future Cities. Our unified Catapult will strengthen the Catapult network enabling these opportunities at the critical interface between urban infrastructure, transport and the urban systems and services that impact upon population health, wellbeing – and the economy of the whole country.”

The boards of the existing Catapults will form a single board to drive the enhanced organisation forward. It will be chaired by Terry Hill, the current Chair of the Transport Systems Catapult, following Keith Clarke, Chair of Future Cities Catapult, announcing that he is stepping down as Chair. He will continue in the role of Vice Chair during the transition period.

Terry Hill says: “The new Catapult brings together over 200 specialists who are the very best in their fields and I look forward to working with the united team, who will use their combined expertise to rapidly advance UKR&D into global commercial success. I look forward to working with Keith as we bring the two Catapults together.”

The new Catapult is expected to be formed by April 2019 and will continue to operate from its two existing centres in Milton Keynes and London and new locations are planned for Glasgow and Leeds.

Notes to Editors

The Catapult centres are a network of world-leading centres designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in specific areas and help drive future economic growth and are managed by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).