Skip to main content

Committee launches inquiry into role of Catapults in delivering R&D Roadmap

26 November 2020

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee launches an inquiry into the contribution of the UK’s innovation Catapults to delivering the UK’s Research and Development Roadmap.


The Committee will investigate the contribution of the UK’s innovation Catapults to delivering the UK’s Research and Development Roadmap, including their role in stimulating long-term private investment and supporting new innovation tie-ups. The Committee will be taking oral evidence in December and early January, and will publish a report shortly afterwards.

The UK Government has an ambition that 2.4% of UK GDP is spent on research and development by 2027, equating to around £65bn per year. This is a key aspect of the UK Research and Development Roadmap that was published in July 2020.

Currently, the level of spending is around 1.7% of GDP, with the private sector contributing around two-thirds of the funds. The Government plans to increase public sector funding to £22bn by 2024/25, which would be one-third of the target. Reaching the target will require the private sector to provide significant additional funds.

The UK R&D Roadmap recognises that there is a pressing need to support applied science, engineering and innovation (as well as discovery science). To achieve the Government’s objectives in innovation, the Roadmap sees an important role for the UK’s innovation ‘Catapults’. These nine Catapults operate in key sectors to “help businesses accelerate the development, deployment and adoption of new technologies”. The Roadmap states that the Government will do more to facilitate access to Catapults and their capability, stimulating long-term private investment, and supporting new innovation tie-ups.

This inquiry will seek to understand the potential for the Catapults to stimulate additional R&D funding from the private sector, to contribute to delivering the UK’s R&D Roadmap. The Committee will explore issues including:

  • the latest science and technology developments that can be commercialised, and how these developments could lead to substantial increases in private sector R&D funding;
  • the role of Innovate UK in enabling the Catapults to stimulate more private sector investment in R&D;
  • how the Catapults support different sizes of private sector companies including large companies and SMEs;
  • whether more universities should be involved with Catapults;
  • how the Catapults’ activities may help the Government’s levelling-up agenda.

The Committee is not issuing a call for written evidence submissions. Please contact for further information about the inquiry.

Further information