Hermann Hauser to look at future of Catapults

Ministers have commissioned a review on the possibility of expanding the Technology Strategy Board’s network of Catapult centres.

March 13, 2014

Source: BadgerHero

Business secretary Vince Cable and science and universities minister David Willetts have asked entrepreneur Hermann Hauser to look at how best to build on the progress of the technology and innovation centres.

Dr Hauser first proposed in 2010 that the UK develop a series of centres bringing together academia and industry to help commercialise new technology.

Since then the TSB has developed a network of seven Catapults, which are loosely based on Germany’s successful Fraunhofer applied research institutes. A further two Catapults, in energy systems and precision medicine, are due to open next year.

Dr Hauser’s latest report is due in the summer and will feed into the Science and Innovation Strategy for the Treasury’s Autumn Statement.

It will look at the different Catapult models, give recommendations on future funding models, international strategy, and how the network can link with the British Business Bank and the Green Investment Bank.

Mr Cable made the announcement at the official opening of the latest catapult in offshore renewable energy. He said: “Britain has an enviable track record in innovation but in the past we have sometimes failed to commercialise new technology.”

He added: “That is why the Catapult centres are so important for securing future economic growth, and ensuring that not only can we seize new global opportunities, but more importantly that we can leave the competition trailing in our wake.”

Chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, Iain Gray said: “This is the right time to take stock of the significant progress already made by the Catapults as we think about the future scope and scale of the network in the future.”

He added: “There is no one better than Hermann Hauser to do this review and we are absolutely committed to working with him to ensure a productive consultation period.”

holly.else@tsleducation.com

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Reader's comments (1)

The latest call by some MPs for Catapult Centres to take a leading role in providing Higher level apprenticeships in their joint venture contracts, presumably lines up with the new 'trailblazer' apprenticeship scheme of BIS approved Standards for tightly defined generic job categories designed by employers (and sector skills councils) with Awarding Bodies plus the relevant Profession(s), Presumably such a joint CC/employer funded R&D project/contract would need to incorporate a mandatory Higher apprenticeship Standard and (expensive for SMEs) training agreement.

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