Catapult centres

Catapult centres - overview

We are making fast progress in creating a network of world-leading Catapults centres to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in seven specific areas and help drive future economic growth.

The seven areas are: high value manufacturing, cell therapy, offshore renewable energy, satellite applications, connected digital economy, future cities and transport systems.

Catapult centres can create a critical mass for business and research innovation by focusing on a specific technology where there is a potentially large global market and a significant UK capability. These centres will be an important part of the UK's innovation system, making a major long-term contribution to UK economic growth.

They will allow businesses to access equipment and expertise that would otherwise be out of reach, as well as conducting their own in-house R&D. They will also help businesses access new funding streams and point them towards the potential of emerging technologies.

The new investment will further bridge the gap between universities and businesses, helping to commercialise the outputs of Britain's world-class research base. The Catapults will also complement and link with the other programmes which the Technology Strategy Board already manages to promote collaboration between universities and business, and to drive innovation and find commercial opportunities for new technology and ideas.

Catapults are just one element of our long-term support for innovation across many critical areas in the UK.  Areas where Catapults are not the appropriate or timely solution may still be a key target for innovation support through other programmes and mechanisms.

More information about Catapult programme and the Catapults is available on the website.


The first Catapult, in high value manufacturing, opened for business in October 2011, less than a year after Prime Minister David Cameron announced the £200m+ technology and innovation centre programme.  The six other Catapults are in development.  All are expected to be fully operational in 2013.

The Technology Strategy Board’s powerful networking platform _connect is used to engage with the communities. The following Catapults have Special Interest Groups already set up: Satellite Applications, Future Cities, Connected Digital Economy, Offshore Renewable Energy, Cell Therapy and Transport Systems.


In January 2011 the Technology Strategy Board published a prospectus to begin the process of establishing these world-leading centres. It described our proposals for the objectives, role, governance and funding for the centres, and invited input on these and on the centres’ potential areas of focus. Over 500 overwhelmingly positive responses were received. A summary of the responses to the prospectus is here

Based on this input and our own assessment we published our strategy and implementation plan for the programme in May 2011. This explains the vision for the Catapults, outlines the three technology areas already identified for setting up a Catapult, and ten other candidate areas for further centres.

Following extensive consultation with business and other stakeholders, Technology Strategy Board published a Catapult update brochure which covers the outcome of the consultation and assessment process in March 2012.

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