With the arrival of a new CEO bringing a series of changes to Transport Systems Catapult (TSC), IT director Alex Farr took the opportunity to engage in change himself. During the past 12 months, he has created a new IT business model at the organisation, which researches 'intelligent mobility'.

Although highly regarded in TSC, IT had been treated as an overhead cost. After a series of consultations with the business and the senior leadership team, Farr had IT moved from corporate services to operations. To some, it might sound like a mere change of departmental livery, but it gave Farr greater visibility of where technology can be used to deliver external projects. As a result, not only has the IT value-add been direct, clear and positive, but IT staff are also more fully engaged.

Thanks to the new IT business model, in 2017 Farr delivered a big data and analytical platform providing unique datasets and expert analysis to power innovation within an industry which, historically, has been bad at sharing data. The data hub gives small SMEs access to datasets and a powerful platform, and also helps uncover industry challenges. Clients can access the platform as a service model, collaboratively on projects or as an internal resource.