Unlock inclusive, innovation-friendly procurement

Customer Case Studies


Network Rail was supported by Connected Places Catapult in developing a safety innovation for the railways known as Geofencing.


Connected Places Catapult supported place leaders in Belfast to create new business opportunities, leading to a successful bid for a Belfast City Region Deal.

Benefits of innovation procurement

Keep the momentum moving

Streamline your procurement processes and implement cutting-edge technologies, practices and services.

Strengthen supplier relationships

Find loyal, innovative suppliers and build strong, collaborative relationships thanks to the programme’s structured challenge format.

Make significant cost savings

Increase your efficiency, optimise operations in your supply chain to reduce your resource consumption with new innovative solutions.

Attract new investment

Boost local economic growth and promote entrepreneurship and job creation that attracts new investment.

Create a competitive advantage

Leverage new cutting-edge technologies, set yourself apart from the competition, and gain global recognition as an innovation location.

Improve the experience of citizens

Address specific urban challenges and improve quality of life for the people in your region.

Our Impact

Access to Fresh Ideas and Solutions

Innovation Procurement attracts a diverse pool of suppliers, including innovative SMEs, startups, and established companies, ensuring a wide range of ideas and solutions.

Increased Supplier Engagement

Enhance supplier engagement. Suppliers are encouraged to invest their expertise in developing tailored solutions.

Accelerated Innovation Adoption

Facilitating the adoption of innovative solutions by streamlining the procurement process, allowing clients to quickly identify and implement cutting-edge technologies, practices and services.

Mitigation of Risks

Enabling clients to evaluate proposed solutions through business appraisal and live testing, mitigating risks associated with novel solutions.

Cost Savings

Adopting innovative solutions can lead to cost savings through increased efficiency, optimised operations, and reduced resource consumption.

What our Customers Say

“Procurement can be a very black and white way of looking at something in terms of customer and supplier relationship. We’ve realised the best procurement should encourage a collaborative focus on outcomes – not solutionism.”

Deborah Colville, Belfast City Innovation Manager and Head of the Smart Belfast Programme

“Connected Places Catapult is a valued partner in Network Rail’s Accelerating Innovation programme, helping to connect us with exciting innovators and technology to deliver real business impact quickly.”

Andy Doughty, CTO – Network Rail.

What does the programme involve?

Your Innovation Procurement service will be tailored, designed to solve your unique challenges. Each one is run by experienced specialists who have delivered an impressive array of successful programmes to date, built around the following core elements:


Capturing Requirements

First, we identify and prioritise your innovation challenges to address your needs and goals, articulating them in ways that will inspire innovative responses.



We then engage and attract a diverse pool of suppliers and innovators to participate in your innovation challenge.



We will empower you to navigate any uncertainty around innovation-friendly procurement, and adopt emerging and leading practices so that in future you can replicate the approach yourself.


Participant Selection

Working with you, we will identify and select the most promising participants to engage in your innovation challenge.


Technical Evaluation

We assess the technical aspects and readiness of the identified solutions and the firms supplying them, so you can be confident of their credibility.


Testbed and Trials

This stage is designed to further validate the performance and functionality of selected solutions in real-world testbeds or living labs.


Impact Evaluation

Finally, we evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the implemented solutions and the process.

All of the above is delivered in a way that you can progress directly to contract with any supplier who demonstrates they can meet your needs.

Talk to an expert

To find out more information about our Innovation Accelerator service, get in touch.

Our services

Solve your innovation challenges at scale

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Tackle industry challenges with 
a cohort of key sector players

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Prioritise your challenges and unlock 
your full innovation potential

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Get tailored investment and support
 for your business

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Connect with the right partners to achieve your innovation ambitions

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Overcome the barriers in your funding strategy and de-risk the investment process

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Unlock inclusive, innovation-friendly procurement

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Validate your investments and 
maximise their real-world impact

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