Brighton Digital Catapult Centre – coffee fuelled innovation

Published on July 22, 2015 by Red River

Posted in Business, Community, Technology


It’s billed as ‘A National Centre to Rapidly Advance the UK’s Best Digital Ideas to Market’

The Digital Catapult, which became operational in 2013, is designed to support UK businesses in their mission to ‘unlock new value from sharing proprietary data in faster, better and more trusted ways.’ With the Digital Catapult Centres providing physical hubs for such activity.

Red River co-founder and tech lead, Kieren, recently went along to one of the first Brighton Digital Catapult Centre Business Breakfast Drop-In Sessions (bit of a mouthful!), which are designed to help attendees understand more about the goals and opportunities of the Digital Catapult initiative and identify opportunities for engaging with the project, as it develops.

Internet of Place

“Among tasty pastries and coffee, the session I went to was focused on planning, I guess in order to facilitate meetings of interested parties to discuss ideas. The sessions also offer targeted discussions on interesting topics, one of which is something they call Internet of Place (IoP).

The concept of IoP is to combine the Internet of Things (IoT) with people, location and context. It’s an interesting idea – IoT can be seen as a kind of platform or technology set, but is high-level and doesn’t bother itself with the detail. IoT is almost just the idea that technology can be used in new ways to pull and push data and intent around; but IoP is working out a way to make it relevant and extract value from it.

The session was a great mix of people from big business, academia, SMEs and entrepreneurs. I will be there again this week to discuss more big ideas and talk about innovative technology – a great way to kick off a Friday.” Kieren Johnstone

Digital Catapult – Vision

So what’s it all about?

Closed organisational data

Creating secure environments that allow UK organisations to safely mix their closed data and open it up to data innovators.

Personal Data

Helping to overcome the challenges of creating trust in the use of personal data.

Creative content

Unlocking new value in the creative industries by making the reuse of creative content easier. For example, working with the Copyright Hub to reduce licensing friction.

The Internet of Things

Including being a convening force in creating large scale Internet of Things demonstrators.

Digital Catapult – About

Ultimately, the Catapult, which does not give funding to businesses, provides support by working in collaboration with a wide range of partners and experts. This then offers platforms for small businesses to innovate at speed and with less risk. This means new digital products and services can be accelerated to market.

They are aiming big. Set up by (funder) Innovate UK to drive future economic growth in the digital economy. They are a company limited by guarantee and a not-for-profit research and development organisation. By 2018 they want to have generated £365m of additional economic revenue and made a difference to 10,000 organisations in the UK.

The Digital Catapult Centre launched in November 2014 to provide a new physical space for innovators, businesses and academia to showcase their products and connect and collaborate. Local centres, including The Digital Catapult Centre Brighton, launched just this year.

Digital Catapult Centre – Brighton

Brighton will focus specifically on projects that encourage innovation and value from real-time and location-based data – known as the Internet of Place. An additional £4m of inward investment has been created as a result of this new project.

Over the next three years, led by Coast to Capital LEP alongside core delivery partners – the University of Brighton and Wired Sussex, the centre will be tasked with delivering on a range of projects, designed to be accessible to start-ups and SMEs to use and learn from. The Centre will work across the whole Coast to Capital region, that includes West Sussex, Lewes and Brighton & Hove.

In the coming weeks, the Digital Catapult Centre Brighton will launch a programme of events to help create opportunities for SMEs, big business, public sector and academia to unlock new value for this region.

As part of this, the Centre will create links between universities and business that enable cutting edge, pre-commercial R&D findings in the Digital Catapult challenge areas to be converted into commercial market opportunities which can be prototyped and piloted by start-ups and SMEs.

Brighton Digital Catapult Centre *

*Some copy reproduced from this website.