Roll-out of £1bn Catapult Centres network will go live in 2013

Government-led innovation programme for engineering and technology growth making ‘great progress’, says Technology Strategy Board CEO

Sir James Dyson’s vision for high-level technology and innovation hubs will be realised this year, with all seven Catapult Centres announced as part of the £1bn programme due to be up and running by the end of 2013. First announced in 2010 after the idea was championed by Dyson in his Ingenius Britain report as well as entrepreneur Hermann Hauser in The Current and Future Role of Technology and Innovation Centres in the UK, the Technology Strategy Board-led programme is a network of innovation centres designed to bring businesses and researchers together to accelerate technology development. The programme is set to consist of seven centres, each focusing on a specific area of technology, including health, renewable energy and transport developments. The High Value Manufacturing Catapult, Cell Therapy Catapult, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Satellite Applications Catapult, Connected Digital Economy Catapult, Future Cities Catapult and Transport Systems Catapult will see £1bn of investment into research and development from government and the private sector over the next few years. Following the launch of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult in October 2011, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board Iain Gray will announce in a talk at the house of Lords today that the six remaining Catapults are due to be rolled out throughout 2013. Speaking at a meeting in the House of Lords on realising the vision of the Catapults programme, Gray will announce that the Technology Strategy board has made “great progress” in establishing the innovation centres. The event will also see a new report of technology and innovation centres by the Big Innovation Centre published, which will detail similar projects across Europe and outline how the Catapults can work with businesses, universities and public bodies to drive technology innovation.

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