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Group stood outside Palatine Centre for Northern Accelerator project

More successful businesses and more and better jobs are in the making, thanks to new funding for an innovative research commercialisation programme.

Introducing Northern Accelerator…

Northern Accelerator is a partnership between ourselves and three other universities in North East England that helps turn world-leading research into sustainable businesses, creating more and better jobs.

Since it was launched in 2016, Northern Accelerator has helped create 34 new businesses, as well as making investments, linking experienced business executives with new spin-out companies and training university researchers in impact and entrepreneurship.

Examples from here at Durham include:

  • Magnitude Biosciences, an innovative life sciences firm;
  • Sphera, a student spin-out company which develops low carbon construction materials;
  • Lightox, who develop light activated therapeutics focusing initially on oral cancers;
  • Geoptic Infrastructure Investigations, who specialise in bespoke instrumentation in support of energy, transport and agricultural sectors;
  • Nevragenics, a drug discovery and development company focused on innovative and novel medicines for neurodegenerative disease;
  • Nascent Semiconductor, who develop electronic technology that can operate in extreme environments that are not possible with conventional, commercially available semiconductor technologies; and
  • ai, which develops artificial intelligence for the medical, environmental and industrial sectors.

New funding

Now Research England, part of UK Research and Innovation, has announced a further £3.6 million of funding for Northern Accelerator.

This will see Teesside University join ourselves, Newcastle, Northumbria and Sunderland in the Northern Accelerator family and the project’s executives into business model rolled out to five universities in southern England: Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey.

Dr Tim Hammond, our Director of Commercialisation and Economic Development, who is the project lead for Northern Accelerator, said the extra funding was fantastic news and would allow the project to continue its good work contributing to the economic and social prosperity of North East England.

The new money will come from the UK Government’s Connecting Capability Fund and brings Research England’s total investment in Northern Accelerator to nearly £8.5 million.

We think this is a great endorsement of Northern Accelerator, and look forward to supporting more researchers turn their great ideas into great businesses in future.

Find out more

Visit the Northern Accelerator website
Learn how we’re supporting spin-out businesses through our Developed in Durham campaign
More about our Research and Business

Image caption: Northern Accelerator programme leads. From left to right:

  • Omar Al-Janabi, Innovation, IP & Commercialisation Manager – Teesside University
  • Tim Hammond, Director Commercialisation & Economic Development – Durham University
  • Edwin Milligan, Northern Accelerator Project Manager
  • Nickola Gray, Business Development Manager – University of Sunderland
  • David Huntley, Head of Company Creation – Newcastle University
  • Lizzie Withington, Company Creation Manager – Newcastle University
  • Hugh Rhodes, IP & Commercialisation Manager – Northumbria University