Welcome: QA Passed – Transport Systems Catapult Blog Now in Commission

The Chargemaster electric car charging point across from us on Midsummer Boulevard may be awaiting its commissioning but it’s all systems go here at Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) in Milton Keynes.

This is the first post of a new departure: a blog to raise the profile of the Transport Systems Catapult through highlighting and weaving together the many strands of our activities, outside the more formal structure of our News section.

But this blog won’t be all about us. We hope that the wider transport professional community will find it a useful source, in combination with our Twitter feed, of news and developments of interest.

So, expect a free-form, expressive coverage of matters around the TSC and Intelligent Mobility in general.

Some of the internet ‘plumbing’ isn’t fully connected as yet, but, on the assumption that not everyone reading this will be familiar with the work of Transport Systems Catapult, let’s begin with some background.

What is a Catapult?

Catapults are centres for innovation set up to connect businesses with the UK’s research and academic communities. Catapults could, for example, help commercialise new manufacturing processes, assist in devising fresh approaches to digital rights protection or a provide consultancy services for balancing energy demands in a future city environment.

Here’s a helpful graphic that provides a clear description of the benefits of the Catapults. Click on the image to see the full pdf hosted on the central Catapult site.

What do Catapults offer?

There are currently seven Catapults, with two more on the way.

Each is different, but all offer to businesses and research communities state-of-the-art facilities and skilled experts to help with commercialisation, routes to funding, networking and IP.

Transport Systems Catapult will be working with all sizes of organisations and academia to promote technologies and innovations that promise to help accelerate the time to market of solutions that promise “intelligent mobility”.

By Intelligent Mobility, a phrase we’ll be mentioning a lot, we mean the cost-effective and efficient movement of goods and people.

We will also be a forum where industry can work with policy makers, public sector and sources of finance to gain exposure and insight into future thinking, innovation and market creation.

What’s going on at TSC right now?

Recruitment continues apace, and we’ve launched a programme to reach out and engage with academia across the UK, plus we’re up-and-running with activities aimed at developing and commercialising solutions for the transport sector.

We’d like to highlight the following projects that are underway:

Where the project is underlined, it links to a dedicated project page within our website.

TSC Innovation Centre

At an early stage of delivery of our Five Year Delivery Plan, we’re looking to offer our Innovation Centre in Milton Keynes as a ‘magnet’ for innovation activity – offering to help create a market for Intelligent Mobility.

Also, as part of our ‘innovation drive’, we’re looking for help to address what we call our our ‘ten key innovation challenges’ – so please pass on your wisdom via our online questionnaire.

Intelligent mobility trumps tunnel vision

There’s an illuminating interview of Steve Yianni (TSC’s Chief Executive), in the latest edition of The Railway Engineer magazine, examining the new organisation from the viewpoint of the rail industry, or as their reporter Marc Johnson puts it, “Unusually for The Rail Engineer, this article is not about railway engineering.”

Which is the point. If TSC is to help the UK “lead the world in intelligent mobility” – and help give Britain the joined up transport it needs – we need to connect, and broaden horizons across and between the transport sectors.

So, for continuous updates on developments, forthcoming events and exciting opportunities to come, watch this space for coverage of the breadth of TSC’s activities, and news on Intelligent Mobility in general.

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