Catapults and similar Centres of Innovation such as the National Physical Labratory, are at the heart of translating research and innovation into technology applications that can make our work more productive. However, firms will still continue to need people with a range of skills, some new, if they are to benefit from opportunities created by this emerging technology.
The Innovation Strategy notes that Catapults and other Centres of Innovation are uniquely placed to enable the skills system to prepare people at all stages of their working lives to take advantage of tomorrow’s technologies. We are continuing to build on the evidence base we have generated through previous work with Cell and Gene Therapy and High Value Manufacturing Catapults to demonstrate the critical role of these types of Centres of Innovation part in closing the gap between the UK's skills and innovation systems.
Catapults were set up to work with academia and industry to help bridge what is often called 'The valley of death', from research (where the UK is world class) - to commercialisation (where the UK has been less successful). A major output of Catapults is the creation and dissemination of knowledge that would enable the development of new technology and its deployment in industry. Up until now the Catapults have not had a systematic role in helping businesses understand the skills requirements of new technologies and the actions necessary to secure the relevant skills when needed. Our current work seeks to identify any challenges that to date may have hindered the bedding in of this role for the Catapults.