The Catapult in Blyth, a former coal port near Newcastle, is a world-leading offshore wind R&D centre, helping to regenerate the region through the manifold opportunities created by the just transition to low-carbon energy.

Catapult’s story

Catapults, of which there are now nine in the UK, make up a network of world-leading technology and innovation centres, established and funded by Innovate UK. They pull together into one place specific expertise, capabilities, physical and intellectual property assets, to enable and scale up innovation leading to greater productivity and growth.

Each centre has a different technology focus, forming a bridge between academia and business in their area. The Catapult in Blyth, on the north-east coast of England, is the UK’s leading technology and innovation centre for Offshore Renewable Energy. It is helping to regenerate that area with the numerous commercial and employment opportunities created by the just transition to low carbon energy. Blyth was once a key port for the UK coal industry, setting export records in the 1960s. The same combination of North Sea coastal location and local pool of engineering talent has enabled Port of Blyth to transform itself into a thriving centre for offshore wind turbine installations.

The Catapult philosophy is to encourage and enable companies of all shapes and sizes to seize their opportunities, test and demonstrate their ideas, and get them to market.

Useful learnings from Catapult

Catapults reach into local communities to find the best talent, regardless of where it may be found.

Encouraging diversity is central to their approach, as evidenced by the recent launch of the Catapult Inclusivity and Innovation Charter. Their long-term goal is to have a major impact on fairness and levelling up across the UK

Catapult’s metrics

Number of innovation projects.
Number of R&D projects.
Number of SMEs supported.
Number of innovative products & services brought to market.
Number of academic papers published.
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The Digital, Autonomous and Robotics Engineering (DARE) Centre opening day.
ORE Catapult's 100m blade test facility.
Levenmouth 7MW demonstration turbine. Credit: ORE Catapult.