Business secretary Vince Cable opens new transport innovation centreJun 13, 2014
Dr Cable (pictured) said the Imovation Centre run by the Transport System Catapult research organisation will play a key role in keeping pace with the demand for transport improvements.
He told guests at the launch yesterday (Thursday): "Britain has a long history of transport innovation; from the shipbuilders who paved the way for globalisation, to the railways, that underpinned the industrial revolution.
"This new innovation centre will ensure the UK is well placed to profit from the increased demand for high-tech transport solutions- creating jobs, supporting businesses, and driving economic growth."
Dr Cable launched the centre by entering the first journey on a new app designed to measure journey experiences across multiple modes of transport.
The app, developed by British SME Commonplace, was chosen to exemplify the sort of business ventures that the Catapult is promoting as part of its mission to make journeys more seamless, smart and efficient and to support UK business growth and positioning in the emerging market of ‘intelligent mobility’.
Miltlon Keynes South MP Iain Stewart, who attended the launch event, said: The new immovation centre will be a significant addition to the growing research and development sector in Milton Keynes. I am extremely proud to represent a city which is leading the way when it comes to smart cities.”
Based in 36,000 sq ft at The Pinnacle in Central Milton Keynes, the Imovation Centre includes demonstration and visualisation studios, development labs, presentation areas and workspaces . It aims to attract innovators, entrepreneurs, research organisations and businesses using the latest technological developments.
It also holds modelling and testing facilities for new products to be trialed and demonstrated.
The Imovation Centre aims to bring 10% of the global ‘intelligent mobility’ market – estimated to be worth £900 billion a year in ten years time – to the UK.
Transport Systems Catapult chief executive Steve Yannni said: "Intelligent Mobility harnesses new technologies to create seamless journeys, where transport is smart and connected, and delays and congestions are a thing of the past.
"The Imovation Centre will take the brightest solutions to the most pressing transport challenges, and help make those ideas a commercial success."
At the launch event, Imovation Centre staff demonstrated some of the projects already being worked on, including the LUTZ Pathfinder programme which will see driverless pods being tested on the pavements of Milton Keynes.
Key players from the transport industry and members of the media were also able to tour the facilities and see examples of the centre’s state-of-the-art modelling and visualisation capabilities.
Mr Stewart said: “Back when this project started, I was pleased to help lobby Ministers for the centre to be based in Milton Keynes I am look forward to hearing of their successes over the coming months.”
The Transport Systems Catapult is one of a new network of elite technology and innovation centres established by the Technology Strategy Board as a long-term investment in the UK’s economic capability. Applying business-led research, Catapults help businesses transform great ideas into valuable products and services to compete in the global markets of tomorrow.