Having transformed research commercialisation across the North East of England and North Yorkshire, the Northern Accelerator partnership has secured an additional £4.3m to expand its support and create more successful businesses in crucial sectors.
Led by Durham University, Northern Accelerator is a partnership between Newcastle, Northumbria, Teesside, Sunderland and York Universities.
In 2016 Northern Accelerator set out to increase the rate at which universities in the North East could translate their research findings into commercial products and services to make a social and economic impact. The trailblazing programme introduced a range of support to ensure spinout businesses had the best chance of success, and in just a few years it has transformed the university innovation ecosystem, creating 47 businesses and set to deliver over £123m additional GVA (Gross Valued Added) to the region’s economy over a 10-year period.
Today the Northern Accelerator universities have a strong pipeline of innovative commercial opportunities, with spinout businesses being created in a range of sectors from cancer-curing drugs to carbon-negative building materials. Most of those businesses are based in the North East and North Yorkshire, creating high-value jobs in the area.
Recognising the importance of this contribution to the North East’s economy, North of Tyne Combined Authority and Durham County Council awarded £2.79m Shared Prosperity Funding to continue Northern Accelerator’s best practice research-commercialisation model at Durham, Newcastle and Northumbria Universities, via the InTune project. And last week Research England announced an additional £1.5m Connecting Capability Funding for the full six-university partnership to pilot new activity alongside the well-established existing offering, trialling new interventions and additional support programmes.
In a blog announcing the new CCF Awards, Dame Jessica Corner said: “These allocations will provide funding to reinforce the critical innovation ecosystem building that is already playing a vital part in levelling up, and to contribute to technology sector developments. Projects here address a range of technologies, and an impressive set of university and private partner collaborations.”
Photo: Northern Accelerator Lead, Dr Tim Hammond with spinout EcoTech69 Team.