Catapulting growth in 2023 and beyond

In the face of many challenges – changing customer desires, cost pressures, supply chain disruption, expected regulatory changes and fierce competition – UK innovation is on the rise.

New evidence from The UK Innovation Report 2023 shows UK companies are investing more in research and development (R&D) than ever before, recognising the boost it can give to growth and resilience. But whilst both industry and government increasingly acknowledge the potential value R&D and innovation can deliver, questions remain around return on investment: how can a business be sure their investment will deliver results? How can it reduce the risks of trying something new that could transform their prospects?

Katherine Bennett CBE, Chair of the Catapult Network and CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult has the answer:

“Catapults form a key part of the UK’s national infrastructure. As the name suggests, Catapults act as catalysts within the innovation ecosystem, helping businesses to transform their performance through technology and collaborating regionally to develop innovation clusters. UK businesses need a North Star to help them navigate the science, innovation and technology ecosystem. That’s where Catapults fit in.

“Over the last 12 months, Catapults have worked together and alongside Innovate UK to address major national challenges, seeking to anticipate the needs of UK industry and capitalise on the technology opportunities of tomorrow. 2023 really demonstrated what can be achieved when Catapults collaborate. We hosted a Skills Conference, kickstarted new collaborative programmes including the Workforce Foresighting Hub, and scaled up existing collaborations like the Innovation Launchpad Network+ and the Hydrogen Innovation Initiative.

“I am proud of what we achieved in 2023. It is brilliant to see Catapults working together to rise to the nation’s challenges and helping great businesses thrive. I eagerly anticipate the exciting developments that 2024 promises to unearth.”

This article showcases how Catapults helped to deliver great results for business and industry in 2023; it summarises our predictions for technology-driven advances in 2024 and the years ahead.

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