Leeds and Transport Systems Catapult announce alliance

The Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) and the University have announced the signing of an agreement to support the development and implementation of innovative transport technologies in the UK.

Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands, and the CEO of the TSC, Paul Campion, signing the agreement

Sir Alan Langlands and the CEO of the TSC signing the Deep Academic Alliance March 2018

‘Deep Academic Alliances’ are key partnerships between universities, industry, government and the TSC, which align transport-related research with industry strategies. They aim to maximise the potential of local Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) networks and create a strong group of universities that can lobby for funding for transport innovation and develop enabling capabilities with industry.

The new alliance between the TSC and the University will support the TSC’s new five-year academic engagement strategy, which aims to ensure that transport innovation (under the banner of ‘Intelligent Mobility’) is given greater focus in budget planning and allocation within Government (national and local), through Research Councils, at universities and across industry. The goal is to take knowledge and ideas from academic institutions and commercialise them through collaborations with industry and government to create jobs and growth.

It is estimated the global market for Intelligent Mobility will be worth £900bn a year by 2025, therefore the benefits of tapping into this market are clearly very significant. Furthermore, there will be many areas where university research can support these activities by providing the evidence and policy advice to underpin new systems, as well as their planning and regulation.

Mark Westwood, TSC Chief Technology Officer, said: “The University’s expertise in the area of Intelligent Mobility is world leading. Together, we can turn this knowledge into real benefits for the travelling public and help ensure the UK is recognised as a world leader in transport innovation.”

Professor Lisa Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation at the University, said: “The mission of this new alliance is to maximize the economic and social benefits of Intelligent Mobility through the coordinated efforts of industry and academia within a UK centre of excellence. This centre will lead collaborative research and innovation with industry and Government and promote the sustainable and efficient flow of people and goods. It will support the development of solutions that minimize congestion, energy consumption and emissions, and which maximize economic opportunity and social wellbeing.”

The University is preparing to launch Nexus – its innovation and enterprise centre – later this year. Nexus, a £40m project, will act as a gateway for industry to collaborate with the University’s experts and make use of its technological platforms in the way envisaged by the new Deep Academic Alliance.

The relationship with the TSC has been driven through Leeds Institute for Transport Studies (ITS). ITS is recognised internationally as a centre of excellence and is the largest transport research centre in UK (comprising 70 academic staff; 500 students taking undergraduate modules; 100 students on Masters programmes; more than 60 PhD students and many delegates on short courses).


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