News story

Hauser report calls for long-term expansion of Catapult network

The report, published today at Innovate 2014, calls for a long-term expansion of the Catapult network - creating 30 centres by 2030.

In his original 2010 report leading technology entrepreneur Hermann Hauser recommended the creation of a network of technology and innovation centres around the UK.

Four years later his second report sets out recommendations to ministers on the future scope, shape and ambition of the Catapult network, including:

  • sustained investment in existing Catapults and long-term expansion of the network - with one or two new centres created each year.
  • maintaining the current ‘third/third/third’ funding model:
    • core public funding for long-term investment in infrastructure and applied R&D projects into key sector challenges
    • business-funded R&D contracts, won competitively
    • collaborative applied R&D projects, funded jointly by the public and private sectors, also won competitively.
  • more effective engagement with small businesses
  • a more coherent model for working with universities.

Hermann Hauser said:

I’ve been genuinely surprised at the degree of progress made and impressed by the quality of the people and facilities in the emerging network. The UK is playing catch up with the best innovation systems in the world in translational infrastructure, so I was very encouraged to see how rapidly we are closing the gap.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

Innovation without commercialisation is like a car without an engine.

While the Catapult Network has been a success story for British innovation, taking our world-leading capabilities in areas like high value manufacturing and satellite applications to new and promising levels, I want to make sure we are getting enough bang for our buck.

That’s why I asked Hermann Hauser to conduct this follow up review…We will carefully consider the findings of this review, which will inform the thinking around our upcoming Science and Innovation Strategy to be published next month.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of Innovate UK, said:

I am very pleased that Hermann Hauser has recognised the positive role Innovate UK has played to date in setting up the Catapults, and how they fit with our full range of innovation support for businesses.

His recommendations to Government present a very clear vision of the long-term future for Catapults, and he sets out key challenges for sustained progress, such as more effective SME and university engagement, and how we develop a pipeline of future Catapults.

There are currently 7 Catapult centres across the country with a further 2 due to open in 2015. Each is focused on a specific area of technology and expertise with great global potential for UK businesses. They bring together sector experts and cutting-edge facilities to help business develop new products and services.

The cost of expanding the existing network is consistent with recent calls, such as by the CBI, to double the UK’s innovation spend to bring Innovate UK’s budget closer to £1 billion per annum by 2020.

Read the full report Read the original 2010 report

Case studies - read more about how being part of a Catapult helps companies grow.

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