What is a Catalyst Project?

There are two types of sub-projects in Catalyst: ‘sprints’ and ‘launchpads’. In both cases, Catalyst provides financial, human and technological resources for communities and academic researchers to work together for a fixed period of time on community-driven research problems. Selection of sprints and launchpads is through a competitive bidding process (see below for details of open calls).

Research Sprints

Large projects – or research sprints – are six to nine month intensive research investigations, bringing together academics from different disciplines and members of a community, who work together to carry out research towards Catalyst’s main research questions.

Communities and academics involved in research sprints are be able to draw on 4 post-doctoral researchers, the input from academics from a range of disciplines (computing, environmental science, design, management, social science) as well as equipment and resources for expenses.


Small projects – or launchpads – are much smaller projects, similar in spirit to research sprints, but that perhaps are more speculative or proof of concept. Launchpads are given a small amount of funding, typically £2-10K, for launchpad activities.

Get Involved:

There is an open ended call for for Catalyst launchpads. As of November 2013, we are no longer accepting applications for Catalyst sprints.

Contact Us

School of Computing and Communications
InfoLab21, Lancaster University

t: ++44(0)1524 592467

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