Digital Catapult partners with data companies to support data innovation

Digital Catapult, a government-backed initiative dedicated to driving the UK's digital economy, has announced new partnerships with four companies: Cisco, Visa Europe Collab, ViiV Healthcare and PwC.

These companies have been chosen for their involvement in data innovation, and will now work alongside Digital Catipult supporting new start-ups, SMEs and academics.

Work will also be done on a number of open innovation development projects focusing on data.

On the new partnerships, CEO of Digital Catapult Neil Crockett said: "The partnerships will provide these organisations unprecedented access to innovators, start-ups, academics and individuals within their sectors in an environment of open innovation.

"The Digital Catapult is here to help create new opportunities across the UK and unlock innovation and value from sharing closed and proprietary data. These partnerships will accelerate our journey toward this goal and pave the way for others to follow in their footsteps."

Digital Catapult previously expanded its reach across the country with new digital innovation centres in Brighton, Yorkshire and North East & Tees Valley.

The new centres, created in collaboration with three Local Enterprise Partnership-led groups, work to help local entrepreneuers develop new digital projects, with a further 9 million also being invested.

Crockett said: "The Digital Catapult is here to help create new opportunities across the UK and unlock innovation and value from sharing closed and proprietary data.

"The truth is the most exciting digital innovation is happening in local communities, like the North East and Tees Valley, who are bringing together new ideas, businesses, universities and the public sector."

Digital Catapult launched in November 2014, aiming to provide support to entrepreneurs, SMBs, researchers and corporate organisations.

It also plans to address challenges including trusting companies with personal data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and reusing copyrighted content, a slow process Crockett plans to speed up to make innovation easier.

A recent report from Tech Nation noted that 74 per cent of digital technology companies now reside outside of London, with more than 47 digital tech businesses across the UK.

And Crockett said: "As a national centre, it is important we support and collaborate with these local innovation communities, it is from these local hotspots that we will find the best innovation, create the most relevant products and reap the economic benefit from the UK."

Each of the new centres will have a different focus, tackling challenges digital businesses face such as data in health and social care in Yorkshire, the IoT in Brighton, and data sharing innovation in North East & Tees Valley.

Andy Green, chairman of the Digital Catapult, said: "Our aim is to create a network of new centres across the nation to accelerate the growth of the UK's Digital Economy.

"Building on existing clusters and supporting them with national resources will give digital entrepreneurs a collaborative environment with specialist support from universities and elsewhere to accelerate their idea to market."

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

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