Catapults

What is a Catapult?

A network of nine world-leading technology and innovation centres

The UK Catapult centres are independent, not-for-profit technology and innovation centres set up by Innovate UK, on behalf of the UK government, with the headline objective of closing the gap between concept and commercialisation to drive UK economic growth.

Catapults act as industry convenors and thought leaders, bringing together business, academia and government to drive innovation, improve regulation and build markets.

The nine Catapults collectively form the Catapult Network.

UK-wide presence helping businesses commercialise

Catapults are a national R&D capability; a translational infrastructure that provides concentrated expertise, access to cutting-edge equipment and specialist facilities, allowing businesses to develop and test new products and services.

There are nine Catapults with centres spanning over 50 locations across the UK, employing around 5,000 people.

Since 2013, Catapults have worked with around 11,000 businesses across a wide range of sectors, such as manufacturing, space, health, digital, energy, transport, telecoms, the urban environment and many others.

The impact
of Catapults

18,785

Industry collaborations

11,916

SMEs supported

5,560

Academic collaborations

5,130

employees in 2022

£1.4 billion

of research and demonstration facilities under management

1,120

international projects

Shaping
future skills

What is a Catapult?

Developing skills is key part of a Catapult’s remit and a pressing priority for businesses, who find it difficult to attract the right talent in sufficient numbers.

This is particularly critical in sectors that are at the forefront of innovation, where the availability of skills will help deliver national and global priorities such as Net Zero, health, digitalisation, levelling up and inclusivity.

Catapults help to attract, train and retain talent, and transfer expertise into their sectors through innovation programmes and by supporting the implementation of skills delivery across supply chains.

Catapults also work coherently to map and foresee the future requirements for skills in evolving industries.

“The Catapult Network is a really important part of the UK’s innovation ecosystem. The talent, the skills, the connections that we have already built up with and through the Catapult Network are extremely important assets for the UK.”

Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Innovate UK

“The Catapult Network has an important role to play in the UK’s post-pandemic recovery. Bringing together researchers and innovators from across the public and private sectors is vital to our efforts to support a dynamic and vibrant economy in which new ideas, products and services flourish.”

Ottoline Leyser, CEO of UKRI

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