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Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire

Posted in Insights by Jon on 15 Apr 2015 at 11:32 BST :357



What is The Digital Catapult Centre? 


In just one sentence:

Specifically we help UK businesses unlock new value from sharing proprietary data in faster, better and more trusted ways.”


The Digital Catapult, headquartered in London, opened its doors in November 2014. Last month three regional Digital Catapult Centres opened in Bradford, Sunderland and Brighton to drive digital data innovation forward:


- The Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire

“will benefit the region with the power of data, unlocking new value from the data value chain and the Internet of Things to put Yorkshire firmly on the global digital innovation map.”


- The Digital Catapult Centre North East & Tees Valley

“will focus specifically on projects around the controlled delivery and security of data. Helping businesses from a wide range of sectors to understand and exploit the value of data to increase information sharing amongst businesses and organisations, opening up new business models and revenue streams.”


- The Digital Catapult Centre Brighton: Coast to Capital

“will focus specifically on projects that encourage innovation and value from real-time and location-based data – known as the Internet of Place.”


All nine Digital Catapult Centres aim to “create collaborations with business, universities and other not-for-profits to jointly invest in projects that build platforms and capabilities for many small businesses to innovate on at speed and with less risk.”


By 2018 The Digital Catapult Centres are expected to have collaborated with 10,000 organisations (UK business and public sector organisations) and have generated £365m of additional economic revenue.


When opening The Digital Catapult Centre in London, the Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey said: “It is an exciting time to be a tech business in the UK. Our digital economy is already one of the strongest markets in the world, valued at more than £100bn. The new Digital Catapult Centre will provide a thriving,

state-of-the-art hub for some of the country’s most innovative digital companies and entrepreneurs.”


At the same event Neil Crockett, CEO, The Digital Catapult said: “Some of the most exciting digital innovation in the UK is happening in local communities that bring together new ideas, businesses, universities and the public sector. As a national centre, it is important we support and collaborate with these local innovation communities who are doing amazing things in our focus areas.“


Great... but isn't this just another talking shop?


In a word – NO.




Each of the nine Digital Catapult Centres are aiming to boost future regional economic growth in the national digital economy. The Digital Catapult Centres will promote open innovation, acting as acatalyst to help facilitate expertise and create new working partnerships with:


- businesses: large / SME and startups

- not for profits: research / charities

- regional universities


To jointly invest in projects.


Four specific areas have been identified (Data Value Chain) to provide value helping both innovators from public and private sector to successfully overcome and hurdle how to share proprietary data's many innovation challenges:


- Closed organisational data:

“Creating secure environments that allow UK organisations to safely mix their closed data and open it up to data innovators.


- Personal Data:

Helping to overcome the challenges of creating trust in the use of personal data.


- Creative content:

Unlocking new value in the creative industries by making the reuse of creative content easier. Firstly by working with the Copyright Hub to reduce licensing friction.


- The Internet of Things:

Including being a convening force in creating large scale Internet of Things demonstrators.”


For a further explanation of The Digital Catapult “Data Value Chain”, please check out their video explainer.


What does Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire Do?


The Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire is led by Leeds City Region LEP and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP. Their central objective is to support digital health innovation and the development of new healthcare products and social services technologies.


Key partnerships will be led by University of Bradford alongside Bradford Council, Yorkshire Universities and digital SMEs. The Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire will play a pivotal role as part of the Digital Health Enterprise Zone including:


- delivering a range of open innovation innovative data projects, designed to be accessible to start-ups and SMEs within the Yorkshire region


- create, incubate and grow innovations in digital health products and social services health technologies


- use open innovation as a launch platform between consortia key partnerships to convert R&D findings into prototyped commercial products / services piloted by start-ups and SMEs.


Over the next three years these initiatives will inject an additional £3 million of investment in the Yorkshireregion.


Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership said:

“The launch of the Digital Catapult is fantastic news for small and medium-sized businesses across the Leeds City Region. It will enable SMEs to develop new innovative ideas and products in the creative and technology sectors, and facilitate

collaboration with larger business, universities and public sector organisations across the country. This strengthens the already thriving creative and digital sector within the region and has the potential to contribute significant economic growth for both Leeds City Region and the wider northern economy. “


Professor Shirley Congdon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Bradford said: “We’re delighted that the Digital Catapult will become a key part of Yorkshire’s innovation landscape. There is much anticipation among our collaboration partners that the projects undertaken with the Digital Catapult and SME innovators,

and in partnership with our Digital Health Enterprise Zone, will lead to real improvements in people's health and wellbeing as well as sustainable high technology business growth and job creation.”



Yorkshire How to Collaborate = Unlock = Accelerate


Ian Sharp, Director of Khemeia Consulting & Head of Business Consulting said:

“Being Yorkshire’s Innovation agency you can imagine we were really excited about the opening of The Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire. This is the chance for firms across Yorkshire to collaborate on innovative projects which will build on existing capability and grow new talent. The Catapult Centre will do such good for the region - jobs, economy, data and health."


The five main ways to engage and start to collaborate with The Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire


1. Open Calls Space:

Call outs to the open innovation network, promoting the latest national collaborative opportunities available

2. Meet Us:

Go on pop along to coffee mornings, please check out their latest Yorkshire Event diary

3. Join a project / Pitstop

Get involved and take part in targeted events designed to give everyone an intensive ‘lift’ in a short timeframe

4. Events Calendar:

Check out their latest Yorkshire Event diary, designed to inform, promote and facilitate innovation, collaboration and networking

5. Become Part of the Network

If you’re either a startup or SME, join an ever growing UK wide best practice ecosystem based on the four challenge areas: organisational data, creative content, personal data and internet of things



Blog Image: Cameron Almas Khemeia Consulting

About the Author


This post was written by Jon Stephenson - our Head of Business Insights

SUPER POWERS: Business Modelling, Business Analysis, Business Intelligence, Market Research, Marketing Strategy, Bicycle Repair Man

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