In a highly-awaited review of the UK’s Catapult network, Hermann Hauser – serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and adviser to the UK Government – has updated conclusions on the UK’s ability to foster translational research that fills the void between early-stage publicly funded studies and industrially supported commercialization.
Back in 2010, Hauser highlighted the need for the UK to close the critical gap between research findings and their subsequent development into commercial propositions, and proposed a network of technology and innovation centres to “deliver a step change in the UK’s ability to commercialise its research.” Specifically, the centres would provide hubs of technical expertise, infrastructure, skills and equipment.
Fast-forward to today and seven of these centres or “Catapults” are now in operation –
- High Value Manufacturing
- Advanced Forming Research Centre
- Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre
- Centre for Process Innovation
- Manufacturing Technology Centre
- National Composite Centre
- Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre
- Warwick Manufacturing Group
- Transport Systems
- Offshore Renewable Energy
- Satellite Applications
- Digital Economy
- Cell Therapy
- Future Cities
With two more in the pipeline for 2015 –
In his 2014 report, Hauser is largely positive about the progress made since 2010, and recommends that Innovate UK should grow the network of Catapults at a rate of 1-2 centres per year, with a view to having 30 Catapults by 2030.
Full details can be found on GOV.UK
Related stories on TMR+