Digital Catapult
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Working with businesses

Accelerating growth for UK businesses

Digital Catapult drives the development and early adoption of advanced digital technologies. We do this by providing facilities and running innovation programmes. Depending on who you are and what you do, there are a number of different ways you can engage with us.

"We accelerate the sustainable growth of small innovative businesses and help larger organisations access the right digital experts"
Geraldina Iraheta

Director Of Business Development, Digital Catapult

How we work with startups, scaleups and other small businesses

We accelerate the sustainable growth of small innovative businesses and support them to develop new business models, products and services using advanced digital technologies.

Using our technical experts and leading-edge facilities, we work with startups and scaleups to jointly undertake collaborative research and development (CR&D).

Through Open Calls we identify high calibre startups and scaleups and invite them to participate in innovation activities such as Pit Stops and Hack & Pitch competitions. By getting involved, these businesses have the opportunity to meet and pitch to industry decision makers, potential partners, clients and investors. A Pit Stop is a highly focused open innovation activity designed to accelerate the growth of new ideas.

Small businesses also benefit from the events, expertise and facilities we offer that help to remove the barriers to growth. To find out about forthcoming events and to apply to live Open Calls, including CR&D opportunities, go to Get involved.

How we work with larger organisations

We help larger organisations access the right advanced digital technology experts and noteworthy innovators to develop transformative solutions that meet their industry challenges.

We support every stage of the innovation journey, from developing a strategy, to engaging in open innovation, from partnering on collaborative research and development projects, to delivering scalable technology sprints and proof-of-concepts.

Digital Catapult offers short- and long-term innovation services, which are tailored to critical business challenges. A typical 12 month engagement would include a mixture of technology sprints.

Services we offer

Collaborative research and development

Making use of our expertise and facilities, we partner with companies to undertake collaborative research and development (R&D) that relate to our focus industry sectors, manufacturing and creative, or our core technologies, future networks, Artificial Intelligence and immersive.

We want to hear from organisations that are exploring collaborative research and who are thinking of applying for publicly-available national and international research funding via Horizon 2020 and Innovate UK.

We also offer contract R&D services to undertake specific research and development projects. Its benefits can be significant, as contract R&D projects typically result in the delivery of finished, leading-edge technology products.

Contract R&D Services

Contract R&D services describe work that is undertaken to perform specific research and development for a principal customer in a given target sector. The potential impact of Contract R&D projects on the customer’s business is significant, as these projects typically deliver a finished, leading-edge technology product.

Market driven innovation services

We offer a range of market driven innovation services that seek to overcome business challenges with advanced digital technologies. These services include: digital strategy definition and visioning, technology future scoping workshops, rapid Hack & Pitch competitions, as well as our market-leading open innovation offering, Pit Stop.

The Digital Catapult’s Pit Stop is a unique way for customers to innovate by partnering with a network of disruptive technology startups, as well as other key partners or companies within their supply chain.

Open Innovation sprints

The Catapult has a strong track record in helping large, established companies to deliver significant digital transformation by running innovation sprints with hand-picked external innovators. The sprints take ideas through to either ‘proof of concept’ or ‘minimum viable product’ stages over a period of weeks - rapidly building, testing and adapting solutions towards the desired model. Our clients are able to learn this new skill and develop the ability to work with and eventually adopt the best parts of these innovative and agile new partners.

Making use of our facilities

Digital Catapult has world-leading facilities to help companies develop new products and services and get their products to market faster. These include our 5G Brighton testbed, the Immersive Labs, and expertise in Machine Learning.

We offer specific services that make use of these facilities, including Immersive 101 workshops that introduce customers to VR/AR technologies, Machine Intelligence Sprints to support with the development and deployment of new AI algorithms to solve customer challenges, and asset management solutions that make use of the Catapult’s LPWAN network.

For more information about how Digital Catapult could help your business, please contact [email protected].

Some of our partners and clients