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Case Study

How Catapults are helping innovation in the UK

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Charley Rattan's picture
Global Hydrogen Advisor and Trainer , Charley Rattan Associates

Charley Rattan, Advising and informing the global energy transition. Charley heads Charley Rattan Associates, a team of seasoned trainers and advisors driving forwards the energy...

  • Member since 2019
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  • Jul 30, 2019

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How 'Catapults' are helping innovation and offshore wind in the UK

This week I spent time with an organisation looking to expand and to engage with small and medium businesses and encourage them to innovate and look to the future.

I was with the Manufacturing and High Value Catapult currently based within the University of Central Lancashire at Preston.

I was shown around a building embedded within the University and being fitted out with testing bays for such futuristic ideas as augmented reality, robotics and the testing of sensors for the "internet of things". Some of the equipment is so rare that only two examples exist in the whole of Europe with one of them about to become operational at Preston.

As the name suggests ‘Catapults’ - of which there are ten - wish to ensure business and technologies can make massive gains quickly; Wikipedia defines a Catapult as ‘a ballistic device used to launch a projectile a great distance without the aid of explosive’

I already encountered the ORE or Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult during my time working for a big-six utility in Glasgow. In those days it was still being set up and the vision underpinning it evolving. It has since grown to encompass facilities in the East of Scotland, also at Blyth and more recently, become part of the renewable energy cluster proving so successful on Humberside: offshore-wind-industry-supply-chain-event.... Read more

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jul 30, 2019

I'm only slightly disappointed to learn that these clean energy catapults aren't some sort of projectile machine to send transmission wires from the land to deep offshore wind turbines or ways to send PV panels closer to the sun so they can extract more energy.

That said, really cool program-- seems similar to the philosophy of ARPA-E in the United States in trying to fund moonshot game changers. 

Charley Rattan's picture
Charley Rattan on Jul 30, 2019

There is a full size working Trebuchet at Warwick castle which may sate your liking for projectiles Matt.

The good thing is that the CAtapults are looking at solving real business problems and for gaining commercial advantage. We have not always been the best at converting bright ideas into money on this side of the Atlantic.

Charley Rattan's picture
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