Digital Catapult
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Our story

Promoting the development and early adoption of advanced digital technology

Digital Catapult is the UK’s leading advanced digital technology innovation centre. It drives the early adoption of digital technologies to make UK businesses more competitive and productive to grow the country’s economy.

Our story

Advanced digital technologies can accelerate growth and increase productivity across the UK economy. To help reach this full potential Digital Catapult, in 2017 alone, has had meaningful engagements with 638 startups and scaleups, 42 new industrial collaborations and 31 new academic engagements to drive innovation and adoption of advanced digital technologies. To make this happen, Digital Catapult delivers three core technology programmes, across two industry sectors, driven by three regional centres and a national centre in London.

How Digital Catapult promotes development and the early adoption of advanced digital technology

  • We provide physical and digital facilities for experimentation and testing that would otherwise not be accessible for smaller companies.
  • Our innovation programmes drive collaboration and encourage use of the facilities. By bringing together small companies, corporates, researchers and investors, the right solutions are developed to solve industry challenges, increase productivity and open up new markets faster.
  • We connect corporations, small businesses and academic researchers to get the latest thinking into the heart of industry and discover new ways to solve big challenges in the manufacturing and creative industries.  
  • We convene and deliver collaborative research and development that leads to commercial exploitation and companies reducing risk.
  • We leverage public funding to yield increased private investment.

As well as breaking down barriers to technology adoption for startups and scaleups, our work de-risks innovation for large enterprises and uncovers new commercial applications in Immersive, Future Networks, and Artificial Intelligence technologies.

Our technology focus

Digital Catapult specialises in three areas of advanced digital technology namely, Future Networks, Artificial Intelligence and Immersive.

Digital Catapult focuses on these areas because each has demonstrated:

  • UK strength in both the research base and startups.
  • Accelerating pre-market innovation indicating that the time to act is now.
  • A clear global opportunity for UK companies in manufacturing or the creative industries.
  • A clear opportunity for Digital Catapult to add value and to speed up the processes of digital transformation.

Artificial Intelligence (AI and machine learning)

Digital Catapult is leading technology adoption in the Industrial Strategy’s AI Grand Challenge. We are rapidly expanding our AI programme to accelerate adoption by industry and grow the UK’s machine learning ecosystem. Key projects include Machine Intelligence Garage and ContractAI.
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Future Networks (5G and Low Powered Wide Area Networks)

Digital Catapult is driving the development of future networks business models from concept in university labs, to commercial reality with our projects within IoT, 5G and LPWAN that includes Things Connected.
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Immersive (virtual, augmented, mixed reality and haptics)

Digital Catapult is making the UK the best place in the world to produce immersive content and applications through our projects such as CreativeXR, Augmentor and the Immersive Labs.
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Our industry focus

Advanced digital technologies have huge potential to accelerate growth and increase productivity if they are applied to real world challenges. Digital Catapult is working in two industry verticals, manufacturing and creative industries, where we believe we can have the most impact. Within manufacturing we are initially targeting the aerospace & defence, food & drink, construction and pharmaceutical sectors.

Within this our goals are to:

  • Accelerate the number of trailblazer companies working with advanced digital technologies.
  • Deliver increased applied research, development and innovation in advanced digital technologies.

Digital Catapult is uniquely positioned to bring together the right innovators, academics, corporates and investors to drive early adoption of digital technologies into industry. We run innovation programmes and offer facilities that help to translate world leading research and innovation into products and services that will transform these industries, increase productivity and secure the UK’s future global competitiveness.


New academic engagements
International partners engaged
Meaningful business engagements
Cohort members across our programmes
Registrations of interest to CreativeXR
New industrial collaborations/partnerships developed