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Innovation In County Durham

Matching what's needed with what's possible.

Innovation support in County Durham

An innovative idea needs assets and knowledge to get it to market.

We can connect you with research expertise and specialist equipment from five universities – Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside – to help you access knowledge and facilities which will support you quickly through the product development process.

In Durham, we also have four national centres in Healthcare PhotonicsFormulation, Graphene Applications and Printable Electronics which contain a wealth of equipment and expertise to help you prototype and scale up your product without the need for large capital investment before you know it works.

These centres take the risk out of the product development process by working with SMEs and large companies to help them develop new concepts to market. All three are managed by CPI, the UK’s national technology and innovation centre to serve and support the process manufacturing industries.

CPI is also part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, the catalyst for the future growth and success of manufacturing in the UK.

Did you know? NETPark is the only science park in the UK to have two Catapult Centres.

Read on below for a list of support in the North East:

North East Business and Innovation Centre 

SME Innovation Programme 

The NE SME Innovation Programme tackles perceived barriers to innovation by helping SMEs understand and undertake the innovation process, facilitating access to expertise and enabling them to achieve sustained growth through commercial success. Financial support in the form of an SME innovation grant to leverage expertise which bridges capabilities and lessens the risk associated with the innovation process, resulting in an increase of one or more of the following: Broadening product base; Introduction of a new service; Introduction of a new market; Innovative approaches to operating methods; Better use of new technology; Increasing sustainability. Read more


RTC North 

The Innovation Pathway

The Innovation Pathway increases the competitiveness of North East SMEs operating in or around the healthcare sector through the delivery of a programme of support for the uptake and /or commercialisation of new products, processes and intellectual property identified within the North East NHS Trusts. Read more


RTC North  

Innovate2Succeed (Enhancing Management Innovation Capacity in SMEs)

Innovate2Succeed (i2s) provides tailored support to SMEs to help them enhance their innovation management capability, resulting in increased effectiveness in generating and commercially exploiting their ideas. Beneficiaries undergo an in-depth diagnostic assessment of their business and a bespoke package of support is designed and delivered to embed innovation management capability within the company. Read more


North East Business and Innovation Centre 

North East Innovation Supernetwork

The Innovation Supernetwork  enhances innovation activity in the region by increasing collaborative working between clusters and networks, promoting best practice in innovation support amongst these clusters and networks, strengthening the area’s innovation profile and supporting collaborative, cross-sector innovation projects involving North East SMEs. The Innovation Supernetwork uses conferences, online tools and expert advice to facilitate the development of a collaborative innovation culture in the area, allowing North East businesses to become involved in larger and more impactful innovation projects which will accelerate their growth and generate economic benefit for the North East. Read more


Newcastle University - lead 

Commercialisation of university research 

A university spin-out company is centred on unique, often world class, technology. However, to be successful, it requires, most critically, top quality business leadership and this programme provides some funding to secure this. Read more


Centre for Process Innovation 

Emerging Electronics Manufacturing Centre 

This programme supports the design, development, testing and commercialisation of interactive (smart), industrial and consumer products. The Emerging Electronic Manufacturing Centre brings together investors, entrepreneurs, SMEs, large corporates and universities to establish collaborative partnerships, address manufacturing challenges and exploit the opportunities offered by the emerging ‘Internet of Things’. Read more


Centre for Process Innovation 

Centre for Innovative Formulation 

The Centre supports regional/national formulation SMEs to extract additional value from enhanced engineered surfaces and materials. Products can be improved in five ways: (1) improving the product per se, (2) enhancing shelf life/ stability, (3) enhancing manufacturability, (4) making products more easily used by end customers, and (5) enabling substitution of sustainable component raw materials. Dedicated innovation expertise covers the concepts of segmentation, routes to market, proposition definition and competitive advantage. Assistance with technical and patent literature surveys will also be offered. Read more


Newcastle University 

Creativity Works 

Creative and cultural SMEs are typically agile and adaptive but are often constrained by scale and resources. Creativity Works utilises expertise from four universities to embed innovation potential, processes and know-how within North East creative and cultural SMEs, enabling growth and fostering best practice; exploits the potential for creative and innovation spillover, driving collaboration between creative and cultural SMEs and emerging areas including manufacturing, data and health. Read more

Contact Us Today

  • Catherine Johns

    Catherine Johns

    Innovation & Marketing Director
    Call 03000 265504

Did You Know

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