Government technology board chief outlines £1bn vision

Two years after the Prime Minister announced that the Technology Strategy Board would create a national network of government-funded technology centres, Iain Gray, chief executive of the TSB, will announce today seven centres will open this year.

Iain Gray will be speaking at a meeting in the House of Lords on realising the vision of the Catapults programme, organised jointly by the Technology Strategy Board, the Institute of Engineering and Technology and the Big Innovation Centre and hosted by Lord Broers.

He will say that with investment of around £1bn over the coming few years, the centres called “Catapults” represent one of the most important developments in UK technology.

Hermann Hauser and Sir James Dyson

Technology and innovation centres were first proposed by the entrepreneur Hermann Hauser in a report for Government “The Current and Future Role of Technology and Innovation Centres in the UK” and by Sir James Dyson in his “Ingenious Britain” report.

Gray believes this programme is uncharted territory, so it is important to ask what success will look like.

A new report sets out some recommendations for how Catapults might best work with businesses, universities and public bodies to become catalysts for driving technology innovation and contributing to economic growth.

Tags: strategy board

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