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Innovate UK

Update on the Catapults

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If you’re anything like me, it’s quite easy to miss news during the summer period. July is usually busy with everyone trying to clear the decks before the break, and hopefully in August we all have a deserved break from the day-to-day.

So I wanted to use this blog to highlight a few important developments in the Catapult programme that you might have missed.

A new Medicines Technologies Catapult

Firstly the good news that the Catapult network of technology and innovation centres will increase to 10 this year. This follows the announcement by the Chancellor earlier in the summer that a new 10th Catapult will be focused on medicines technologies and will be located at Alderley Park in Cheshire.

It builds on plans to put science and innovation at the heart of building the government’s Northern Powerhouse, ensuring that the region maximises the world-class R&D facilities at Alderley Park.

Network of medical Catapults

The new Catapult will work closely with our existing two healthcare Catapults – Cell Therapy and Precision Medicine – to create a world-leading network of medical Catapult centres, co-ordinated by Innovate UK, to tackle some of the biggest challenges in healthcare. Having spent a good part of the summer recuperating after unexpected eye surgery it feels very right to have a world beating network of catapults in the health area.

High Value Manufacturing Catapult review

The recent publication of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult’s annual review clearly demonstrates the impact the more established Catapults are now having on the UK economy. It shows continued growth for the HVM Catapult’s seven advanced manufacturing centres with strong industry demand, growing skills agenda, significant new facilities and some important success stories.

Cell Therapy Catapult

Another huge step forward this month was the granting of planning permission for the Cell Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Centre at Stevenage in Hertfordshire. This will be the first building of its kind in the UK and will provide essential manufacturing scale up facilities for advanced therapies developed through the Catapult laboratories in Guys Hospital.

Digital Catapult Copyright Hub

Finally the Digital Catapult saw their Copyright Hub project produce its first live transactions at a launch event with Baroness Neville-Rolfe, and has since received ringing endorsements from leading industry figures. Take Lord Puttnam who said: “The Copyright Hub is an idea whose time has come - it takes advantage of the internet to make licensing clear, simple and transparent, facilitating millions of transactions in a way that was simply impossible in an analogue age. It's a visionary initiative."

Here to solve complex problems

This is exactly what Catapults are established to do, solve complex problems the market will not solve by themselves. Without the Catapult this technology would not have come about into what is going to be a huge market.

You can follow Simon on Twitter @SJSEdmonds


See this blog if you want to know more about the Catapult network

You can follow Innovate UK on Twitter @innovateuk and see our YouTube channel

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