AIRTO welcomes the entire Catapult Network into membership

AIRTO is delighted to welcome the entire Catapult Network into membership with immediate effect.

The Catapults form a network of world-leading technology and innovation centres designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation and help drive future economic growth. They are a series of physical centres where the very best of the UK’s businesses, scientists and technical experts work side by side on late-stage research and development – transforming high potential ideas into new products and services to develop the global markets of tomorrow.

The Catapults were established by Innovate UK to support innovation by UK business. Each Catapult does this by providing access to expert technical capabilities, equipment, and other resources required to take innovative ideas from concept to reality, helping accelerate commercialisation and adoption. Read more about the Catapults…

For several years, some of the earliest Catapults have been members of AIRTO including Digital, High Value Manufacturing (a network of another seven centres), Satellite Applications and Connected Places (previously Transport Systems and Future Cities). This new arrangement brings the other centres into membership: Cell and Gene Therapy, Medicines Discovery, Offshore Renewable Energy, Energy Systems, Compound Semiconductor Applications.

Speaking on behalf of the Board, AIRTO’s Chair Dr Paul Howarth FREng (CEO, of the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory), welcomed the closer working relationship with the Catapults that membership will bring: “the Catapults are a critical part of the UK’s innovation ecosystem, and we are delighted that they are all joining us”.

On behalf of the Catapult Network, Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and Chair of the Catapult Network CEOs, said:

“We are delighted to join AIRTO through a single joint membership allowing all Catapults to further contribute to the growth and expansion of the UK businesses and research and technology sector.”

Notes for editors



AIRTO is the Association of Innovation, Research and Technology Organisations. Its membership comprises approximately sixty of the principal organisations operating in the UK’s Innovation, Research and Technology (IRT) sector. The IRT sector has a combined turnover of £6.9Bn, employing over 57,000 scientific and technical staff (equivalent to the academic staffing of the Russell Group of universities) and, for comparison, it is significantly larger than the network of Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany both in size and its scope of activities. The sector contributes £34Bn to UK GDP. AIRTO’s members work at the interface between academia and industry, for both private and public sector clients.

Members include independent Research and Technology Organisations, Catapults, Public Sector Research Establishments, National Laboratories, some university Technology Transfer Offices and some privately held innovation companies.

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Jane Gate, Executive Director, AIRTO Ltd