CPI partners with North East universities to launch business support programme

11 Oct 2023

Multimillion-pound project will strengthen North East economy and drive Levelling Up agenda.

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CPI has partnered with universities from across the region to launch the Innovating Together — Universities in the North East (In-TUNE) partnership. 

Working alongside Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University and University of Sunderland, the partnership will deliver two business support programmes to strengthen the region’s economy. 

The programmes have received £4.75 million from Durham County Council and North of Tyne Combined Authority through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), part of the UK government’s £2.6 billion Levelling Up funding. 

Led by Durham University, In-TUNE is targeting one of the key objectives of the Fund, aiming to boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards by growing the private sector, especially in those places where they are lagging. 

Innovation is key to unlocking the region’s untapped potential. CPI has a vital role to play in strengthening the local economy, helping businesses connect the dots so that they can transform ideas into innovations that benefit people, places and our planet. 

Dr Tim Hammond, programme lead for Northern Accelerator, said:

Since 2016 Northern Accelerator has evolved into a six-university partnership, continuing to grow and expand the support to allow academic spinouts the best chance of success. De-risking investment opportunities and creating strong management teams to lead businesses that employ people in high-value jobs here in the North East. 

This new funding from UKSPF is a huge boost to the partnership, allowing us to further develop the flagship elements of our programme that have embedded our best-practice support across our partner universities, ensuring the pipeline of high-tech businesses continues to accelerate, and strengthening the North East’s innovation ecosystem.”

Sarah Slaven, Managing Director of Business Durham, said:

The dynamic collaboration between our local universities and businesses is essential to our region’s economic growth. Together, we can provide pioneering businesses with not only additional support but also vital infrastructure, such as the cutting-edge workspace at the North East Technology Park (NETPark). Our strong relationships, particularly with Durham University, have helped us to develop an innovative ecosystem that is creating high-value jobs for the future.”

Councillor Nick Kemp, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Innovation and Growth at North of Tyne Combined Authority and Leader of Newcastle City Council, said:

Innovation is key to unlocking the great potential in Newcastle and the wider region. Our universities, innovation assets such as the CPI and the In-TUNE project have a key role to play – ensuring we stand out globally as the UK’s test-bed location, a Living Lab’ for rapid innovation, demonstration and commercialisation of products and services which will address inequalities and lead to a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive economy. 

I welcome the significant investment being made by NTCA to open up the world class assets and expertise within our universities for the benefit of regional businesses and the creation of high-value jobs. There has never been a more important time to invest in innovation in our region.“ 

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