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Technology Strategy Board announces Connected Digital Economy Catapult

26 January 2012

Issued by the Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board today announced that it will establish a Catapult centre for the connected digital economy.

The new Catapult is a technology and innovation centre which will accelerate innovation and stimulate growth in this important area of the economy. It will bring together technological expertise to help the UK's world-leading digital businesses to develop, test and apply new technologies, reducing the risk associated with creating hugely profitable products and services in the future. The centre may focus on areas such as:

  • How digital media and content are traded and used - in order to find sustainable ways to help businesses co-operate to create profitable services
  • The pervasiveness of digital services - addressing the impact of new technologies and systems such as cloud computing and identity management, as businesses and industries become more digital
  • The blending of digital and physical worlds - looking at how our devices, clothes, cars and other consumer goods become better connected to enhance our physical lives.
  • The Connected Digital Economy Catapult will also help businesses that traditionally are less active in the digital market place, such as health, retail and education, by transferring knowledge and experience from industries which are leading, such as the media and creative sectors. This will help a broad spectrum of UK business take advantage of digital technology and quickly exploit profitable new business models.

The Catapult will also enable small and medium enterprises to collaborate with the wider digital value chain and showcase their products using state-of-the-art demonstrators that will be found at the Catapult.

The combined market for the UK's software, ICT and creative industries today accounts for £109bn of GVA. The UK's internet economy (e-commerce) is also larger, per head, than in any other country and it is forecast to grow 10% per year for the next four years, and contribute 10% of UK's GDP by 2015*.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said: "We are extremely pleased to be supporting such an important technology area with a Catapult centre. With many, if not all, industries searching for ways to utilise digital technology, the opportunity for the Catapult will be enormous. It will also be applicable to all internet-using businesses and industries as they attempt to innovate with digital technology to provide consumers and businesses with new products and services.

Business Secretary, Vince Cable said: "We have world leading, innovative businesses in the ICT, Digital and Creative sectors which have considerable potential for growth. For instance, a few years ago, there were just fifteen technology start-ups around Old Street and Shoreditch- now there are hundreds of high-tech companies in the area, including Holition where I am today.

"I and the rest of the Government want to make sure that we can maintain that position in the future, taking new technologies and using them in an innovative way to make a product or service that people want. The Connected Digital Economy Catapult will be instrumental in making sure that happens.

"In the coming weeks, we will be announcing the final areas that will be covered by Catapult centres, further areas where we have a cutting edge which we can support, nurture and exploit to help us rebalance the economy and deliver strong, sustainable and balanced growth."

The announcement is another milestone in the establishment of the new network of Catapults by the Technology Strategy Board, following news in December of the Cell Therapy Catapult, to be established in London, and the Satellite Applications Catapult announced earlier this month.

  • Find out more about Catapults here


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