BIG boost to North East innovation

01 Jun 2011

NETPark, The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and Durham University have married their expertise to develop the Business Innovation Gateway, a portal which will offer expert information and advice, access to finance, development support and access to premises for aspiring firms

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The Business Innovation Gateway (BIG) is aimed at building upon the variety of services and support already available in the region and will complement the work of the three organisations that created it.

The trio bring vast knowledge to the project. NETPark (the North East Technology Park), managed by the County Durham Development Company (CDDC), is one of the fastest growing science parks in the UK; CPI is a key part of the Government’s elite technology innovation centres, focusing in the area of high value manufacturing, and Durham University is a world leader in physics and other science disciplines.

Stewart Watkins, CDDC managing director, said: Tremendous efforts have been made to develop an attractive home in the region for exciting science and technology businesses. This has proven successful, yet there is more to be done to encourage spin-out companies from North East universities to base themselves here and to attract innovators from outside of the region to locate here. The Business Innovation Gateway is a key strand in efforts to make the North East a destination of choice for aspiring entrepreneurs.”

The Gateway will let users source space and premises available for both start-ups and high growth companies at NETPark as well as accessing state of the art equipment at Durham University and CPI.

The portal will also provide access to world-leading experts in fields including space science, printable electronics as well as energy and security technologies.

Users searching for funding will benefit from a complete range of finance tools including a funding database, investment readiness assessment, help with business plans and links to investors.

Dr. Michael Anderson, Manager of the Innovation Accelerator at CPI said: at CPI we are heavily focussed on moving from innovation to commercialisation and through this collaborative venture we can provide practical market sector support to north-east based technology SMEs; enabling them to better understand their markets and their intellectual property and ultimately help grow their businesses faster”.

Professor Brian Tanner, Director of Knowledge Transfer for Durham University said: Durham University is delighted to contribute its skills and expertise to support this project, the NETPark Research Institute is home to some of the University’s world class research groups.”

The Business Innovation Gateway will be launched at Petec, NETPark, 15th June 2011 at 12pm


For more information contact Mike Parker at Stride PR on 07714 845616 or email mike.​parker@​stridepr.​co.​uk



The North East Technology Park — is located in Sedgefield, County Durham. It is North East England’s premier science, engineering and technology park for the commercialisation of cutting edge R&D, where companies lead the way in developing world-class technologies, creating new products and new mar​kets​.www​.north​east​tech​nol​o​gy​park​.com

County Durham Development Company is the innovation and strategic investment arm of Durham County Council, responsible for maximising the positive economic impact of the knowledge-driven economy in County Durham for the benefit of the people and businesses of County Durham. CDDC is responsible for managing and promoting NETPark. www​.weare​durham​.com


The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is a key part of the Government’s first elite technology innovation centre, focusing in the area of high value manufacturing. It offers market and technology expertise along with cutting‐​edge development assets to help its public and private sector clients build and prototype the next generation of products, processes and services quickly and efficiently, and with minimal risk.

CPI has designed and established national technology centres in Printable Electronics and Industrial Biotechnology. The centres are equipped with development laboratories, prototyping facilities and pilot plants that enable clients to prove and scale up processes from the laboratory stage through to commercial reality. There are commercially experienced scientists and engineers on site to offer expertise and guidance. CPI also offers a multi‐​disciplined team who work together on project management, investment and market opportunities to ensure each business fulfils its potential.

CPI is the only open access centre of its kind in the UK with such an extensive combination of equipment and specialist knowledge serving the process industries. CPI has designed an environment that fits the needs of companies whatever their size and demands, and consistently delivers customers’ requirements, on time and to bud​get​.www​.uk​-cpi​.com

Durham University

Durham University is a world top 100 university with a global reputation and performance in research and education. The most recent UK league tables place Durham in the top handful of British universities; we are ranked 5th in the country in the influential Complete University Guide. Based in North East England, we are a collegiate university based at two locations: Durham City and Stockton-on-Tees. Durham is England’s third oldest university and has at its heart a UNESCO World Heritage Site, jointly owned with Durham Cathedral. www​.durham​.ac​.uk Durham is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading UK research-intensive universities: www​.1994​group​.ac​.uk


The ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007 – 13 for North East England is managed by One North East on behalf of the European Commission, national government and regional partners.

ERDF 2007 – 13 is focusing on:

•Innovation – promoting science, technology and innovation in businesses and institutions across the region. •Enterprise and business support – encouraging more people to start up in business, particularly those in disadvantaged areas, and helping established businesses develop, grow and innovate.

More than £300m ERDF investment is available for the region from 2007 – 13. ERDF investment is limited to 50% of total eligible cost and must be matched by other public and private sources. For every pound of ERDF investment, regional partners lever in another pound for the key priorities of innovation, enterprise and business support. The programme is underpinned by the three important cross cutting themes of environmental sustainability, equality of opportunity and sustainable communities.

CPI is your innovation partner to make your ideas a reality.