New strategic academic alliance for UCL and TSC

University College London (UCL) and the Transport Systems Catapult have signed a Deep Academic Alliance agreement which will see the two organisations work together to develop and implement world leading intelligent transport solutions.

The three-year strategic collaboration is part of a Transport Systems Catapult programme that is designed to help universities more closely align their transport-related research with commercial opportunities and the needs of industry and government.

The agreement with UCL will focus in particular on maximising the opportunities arising from UCL’s status as the only UK member of MOBiLus, a pan-European consortium which is working to set up an international innovation community for urban mobility after winning funding in December 2018 from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

The Transport Systems Catapult will also help support the development and promotion of UCL’s new Person-Environment-Activity Research Laboratory (PEARL) – a 4,000m2 highly configurable simulation space which can be used to create extremely life-like mock-ups of large-scale vehicles, urban environments and buildings such as train stations and airport terminals.

The agreement between UCL and the Transport Systems Catapult was formally signed at UCL’s Bloomsbury Campus by Dr Celia Caulcott and Paul Campion.

Dr Celia Caulcott, Vice-Provost (Enterprise), UCL, said:

“As London’s global university, a key part of UCL’s mission is to create more connected, sustainable cities both here in the capital, across Europe and further afield. This Deep Academic Alliance with the Transport Systems Catapult will help to align UCL’s existing and long-standing expertise in transport research with the needs of industry,  government and of course citizens. Major societal and technological challenges of this sort require collaborations between academia, industry and government and I look forward to seeing some of the solutions and innovations that will result from this partnership.”

Professor Nick Tyler, Director of the centre for Transport Studies, UCL, Said:

“UCL greatly welcomes the opportunity to form a deep alliance with TSC around innovation at the intersection between mobility and the built environment. UCL’s recent £38m commitment to fund the PEARL Laboratory, with a further £9m from BEIS, and being the only UK member of the recently announced ‘EIT Urban Mobility’ knowledge innovation community provides a strong basis for this deep alliance, with the opportunities it provides to engage more broadly with the UK innovation community.”

Transport Systems Catapult CEO Paul Campion said:

“UCL is one of the world’s leading organisations in the field of Intelligent Mobility, as demonstrated by their participation in the MOBiLus consortium and by their development of the cutting edge PEARL facility, and we are truly excited about this opportunity to work closely with them as we continue to grow the UK’s share of this major new market for smarter, cleaner and more efficient transport solutions.”

Launched in 2017, the Deep Academic Alliance programme is aimed at universities that are playing a leading role in the fast-growing Intelligent Mobility sector, which is projected to be worth £1.4 trillion a year by 2030.

The agreement with UCL follows on from the Deep Academic Alliances that the Transport Systems Catapult has already formed with the University of Leeds, the University of Nottingham, Cranfield University and the University of Birmingham.

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