The Connected Places Catapult, a new organisation which combines the Transport Systems and Future Cities Catapults, has officially begun operations. The new Connected Places Catapult will accelerate smarter living and travelling, in and between the places of tomorrow. The new Catapult will grow businesses with innovations in mobility services and the built environment, that enable new levels of physical, digital and social connectedness – driving even faster growth for the UK economy.
The Connected Places Catapult will focus on working across boundaries, bureaucracies, public and private sectors, on a whole system approach to achieve this goal. Like the legacy organisations before it, the new Catapult will engage academic networks, diverse SME ecosystems, business and government departments as it seeks to foster new markets, boost demand for innovation and increase the supply of proven products and services across transport, cities, towns and villages.
The global market opportunity for firms that develop, service and sustain urban settlements is already estimated to be worth $500bn and is expected to double by 2023. The closely related global markets for connected autonomous transport and new mobility services are estimated to value £581bn and £525bn respectively by 2030.
The Connected Places Catapult will operate out of innovation hubs in London, Milton Keynes, Glasgow and Leeds, as part of an elite network of not-for-profit technology and innovation centres established and overseen by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.
The new Catapult is headed by Nicola Yates OBE who commented:
“We know that cities and towns thrive on their ability to connect people – to resources, opportunities, ideas and to each other. The smooth flow of people, goods and services into, around and between places is a vital component of economic success and wellbeing. Ensuring that flow is a significant commercial opportunity for innovative businesses.
“The Connected Places Catapult will deliver all that was promised by the founding centres and more. We will help British businesses address the grand challenges of today – including the future of mobility, clean growth, ageing society and the use of data – in order to create Connected Places, fit for the future.”
Dr Ian Campbell, Executive Chair, Innovate UK said:
“The new Catapult will combine the expertise of the Future Cities and Transport Systems Catapults to provide a world-class offer to UK companies and help keep the UK at the forefront of urban and transport innovation.”
You can find out more information about the Connected Places Catapult at cp.catapult.org.uk.