Connected Places Catapult

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Company overview

Connected Places Catapult is a human-centred, solution-led innovation accelerator for transport, cities, and place leadership. Committed to connecting places for the future, it supports infrastructure providers, businesses, and public bodies with:

  • ‘Innovation as a service’.
  • Ground-breaking research that facilitates innovation and new market growth.
  • Technology demonstrations and SME accelerators that enable businesses to launch and scale new solutions.

With a focus on peoples’ experiences, connected intelligence, and climate action, Connected Places Catapult works closely with major organisations – including Network Rail, HS2, and the Department for Transport. This work spans a range of sectors and areas, including rail and stations.

Rail and stations

Connected Places Catapult understands that railways have the potential to connect communities and boost economic growth. Now, the organisation is working to speed up innovation in the rail sector – whether by tackling technology and market barriers, or connecting challenge owners and the supply chain.

To date, Connected Places Catapult has:

  • Delivered over 30 rail ecosystem projects.
  • Facilitated 40 SME partnerships, accelerating activities.

Projects, programmes and opportunities

Programme: Freight Innovation Fund

A Department for Transport-funded programme, designed to speed up the deployment of commercially-ready solutions – and, in turn, help the UK freight sector to overcome a range of challenges.

Project: Station Innovation Zone

This programme was launched to make innovating in train stations easier – and to ensure that innovations benefit passengers. Innovators were invited to address four key challenge themes – Safe Station, Seamless Station, Social Station and Sustainable Station.

Project: Decarbonising the Rail Freight Estate

The rail industry must work to decarbonise freight terminal operations. Connected Places Catapult and the Department for Transport are seeking to learn more about the products and services that could help to address this challenge.

Case study: managing rail capacity with data

Connected Places Catapult has partnered with technology company Citi Logik and data visualisation specialist Buzz Radar, creating a prototype real-time data visualisation for the rail industry.


Connected Places Catapult delivers a range of events, showcasing its work and sharing insights. Learn more about its upcoming events – from online webinars and innovation weeks, to in-person summits.


In this profile article, rail software specialist 3Squared discusses the funding it has received through the Transport Research and Innovation Grants programme.