Connected Places Catapult opens office in Leeds

The Connected Places Catapult, the new organisation formed from the Future Cities and Transport Systems Catapults, has opened an office at the University of Leeds new Nexus Hub.

The Catapult specialises in bringing together businesses, universities, Local Authorities and investors to commercialise and exploit innovation for the good of people living in the UK, and now can do its work in providing SME Innovation to the North.

The Connected Places Catapult will help the North west and Yorkshire regions access a £1.5 trillion global market opportunity to develop smart cities and transport technologies, such as self-driving cars. The region’s world leading tech businesses and Local Authorities will also benefit from links to the Catapult’s London, Milton Keynes and Glasgow offices.

The University of Leeds Nexus, where the Catapult will be based, is a hub for the local innovation community which enables businesses from all sectors to connect with the expertise, talent and facilities at the University. The office opening follows the signing of a partnership between the two organisations in 2018.

Previously the Connected Places Catapult has spearheaded the Digital Infrastructure and Innovation strand of the £700 million Belfast Region City Deal and was responsible for the first public demonstration of a driverless vehicle in the UK, trailblazing a £435 million investment in the technology.

The Connected Places Catapult’s Chief Technology Officer, Mark Westwood said,

“We are extremely excited to bring our world leading organisation to Leeds. Our vision is for the UK to lead the world in creating cities, towns and places which thrive on their ability to connect people to resources, opportunities, ideas and each other. Where the smooth flow of people, goods, transportation and services, drives economic success, productivity and wellbeing.

We are here in Leeds to make new market opportunities for businesses and forge closer links between the University and industry. We will also help to ensure the social and environmental benefits of new technologies are fully felt in the region and help create transport networks and strategies fit for the future.”

Dr Martin Stow, Nexus Director, University of Leeds said:

“We’re thrilled to welcome the Connected Places Catapult into the Nexus Community. This exciting initiative has real synergy with the University’s strengths in transport, simulation and future cities and we look forward to seeing the outcomes of these collaborations.”

The Connected Places Catapult is part of an elite network of nine not-for-profit technology and innovation centres established and overseen by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK which focuses on areas of technology where it is felt the UK can have a global impact.

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