Innovation & Enterprise


UCL forms strategic academic alliance with the Transport Systems Catapult

25 March 2019

UCL and the Transport Systems Catapult have signed a Deep Academic Alliance agreement to work together to develop and implement world leading intelligent transport solutions.

Dr Celia Caulcott from UCL and Paul Campion from Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) signing a partnership between UCL and TSC

Towards intelligent mobility

The Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) brings together businesses and researchers to work collaboratively on harnessing emerging technologies to improve the movement of people and goods around the world.

The Deep Academic Alliance is a three-year strategic collaboration designed to help universities more closely align their transport-related research with commercial opportunities and the needs of industry and government. These collaborations are playing a leading role in the fast-growing intelligent mobility sector, which is projected to be worth £1.4 trillion a year by 2030.

UCL’s world leading transport research

The agreement with UCL will focus on maximising the opportunities arising from UCL’s status as the only UK member of MOBiLus. MOBiLus is a pan-European consortium which is working to set up an international innovation community for urban mobility after winning funding in December 2018 from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. 

The Transport Systems Catapult will also help support the development and promotion of UCL’s new Person-Environment-Activity Research Laboratory (PEARL). This is a 4,000m2 highly configurable simulation space which can be used to create extremely life-like mock-ups of large-scale vehicles, urban environments and buildings such as train stations and airport terminals.

Collaboration agreement

The agreement between UCL and the Transport Systems Catapult was formally signed at UCL’s Bloomsbury Campus on 25 March 2019, by Dr Celia Caulcott, UCL’s Vice-Provost (Enterprise), and Paul Campion, Transport Systems Catapult CEO. 

Dr Celia Caulcott said: “As London’s global university, a key part of UCL’s mission is to create more connected, sustainable cities both here in the capital, across Europe and further afield. This Deep Academic Alliance with the Transport Systems Catapult will help to align UCL’s existing and long-standing expertise in transport research with the needs of industry,  government and, of course, citizens. Major societal and technological challenges of this sort require collaborations between academia, industry and government and I look forward to seeing some of the solutions and innovations that will result from this partnership.”

Professor Nick Tyler, Director of the UCL Centre for Transport Studies, added: “UCL greatly welcomes the opportunity to form a deep alliance with the TSC around innovation at the intersection between mobility and the built environment. UCL’s recent £38m commitment to fund the PEARL Laboratory, with a further £9m from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), as well as being the only UK member of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Urban Mobility knowledge innovation community, provides a strong basis for this alliance.”

Transport Systems Catapult CEO Paul Campion said: “UCL is one of the world’s leading organisations in the field of intelligent mobility, as demonstrated by their participation in the MOBiLus consortium and by their development of the cutting edge PEARL facility, and we’re truly excited about this opportunity to work closely with them as we continue to grow the UK’s share of this major new market for smarter, cleaner and more efficient transport solutions.”


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