Vince Cable opens centre for smart transport technology in Milton Keynes
The Transport System Catapult’s new Imovation Centre was officially opened on Thursday (12 June) by UK Business Secretary Vince Cable.
Dr Cable launched the centre by entering the first ever 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 while also supporting UK business growth and positioning in the emerging market of Intelligent Mobility.
“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,” Dr Cable told guests and media representatives at Thursday’s media launch.
“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.”
Located in Milton Keynes and spread across an area of 36,000 square feet – encompassing demonstration and visualisation studios, development labs, presentation areas and workspaces – the new centre offers a world-class collaboration space for innovators, entrepreneurs, research organisations and businesses using the latest technological developments to improve the transportation of people and goods.
Named by combining Intelligent Mobility and innovation, the Imovation Centre will also offer modelling and testing facilities, allowing new products to be properly trialled and demonstrated.
It is estimated that the global market in Intelligent Mobility will be worth around £900bn a year by 2025, and the Imovation Centre aims to help the UK secure at least a ten percent share of that market.
“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,” said Steve Yianni, Chief Executive of the Transport Systems Catapult. “The Imovation Centre will take the brightest solutions to the most pressing transport challenges, and help make those ideas a commercial success.”
Following the official opening by Dr Cable, staff at the centre provided a series of demonstrations and simulations of 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.
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.