A GOVERNMENT minister heard how the North East is leading the way in the global security and printable electronics sectors when he visited two companies at the North East Technology Park (NETPark), in County Durham.
Lord Prior of Brampton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy, visited two of the Sedgefield-based science park’s cutting edge companies – PragmatIC and Kromek.
Lord Prior enjoyed a tour of multi-award winning PragmatIC at the Centre for Process Innovation by Ken Williamson, the company’s chief operating officer, where he heard how the company’s designs feature in a vast range of products – from intelligent packaging of fast moving consumer goods to wireless document traceability for security and identification.
He later visited Kromek, which originally spun out of Durham University, where he saw how its highly sought after technology is being used in the security, nuclear and medical markets, including bottle scanners for airports which can classify liquids accurately in under 30 seconds.
He also heard from Sarah Slaven, interim managing director of Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham which runs NETPark on behalf of Durham County Council. She explained about NETPark’s recent expansion as part of a 10-year strategy which includes creating 3,000 jobs and adding another £400m to the region’s GVA.
Ms Slaven said: “Lord Prior was genuinely interested in the growing technology sector in the North East and what it has to offer the world in terms of innovation and problem solving. It was great for him to see first hand how two of NETPark’s companies are leading the way in the field of security and printable electronics.”
NETPark is home to Durham University’s Centre for Advanced Instrumentation, two of the Government’s Catapult centres - the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence and High Value Manufacturing, and four national technology centres: Printable Electronics, Formulation, Graphene Applications and Healthcare Photonics, all managed by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI).
Ken Williamson, chief operating officer at PragmatIC, shows Lord Prior how their technology can feature in everyday products during his visit to NETPark.
NETPark is the premier location for science, engineering and technology R&D in the North East.
Run by Business Durham, it focuses on supporting companies that are integrating materials into high value innovative products, particularly printable electronics, microelectronics, photonics and nanotechnology and their application in the fields of energy, defence, and medical related technologies.
NETPark offers high-tech companies office, incubation, growth space, offices, science labs and clean room facilities. It encourages collaborative innovation networks and helps companies access an international network.
NETPark is a member of the United Kingdom Science Park Association and represented on the board of the International Association of Science Parks and areas of Information.
Business Durham is the economic development company for County Durham, working on behalf of Durham County Council to deliver the environment for business and economic growth.
It is a knowledgeable and trusted guide which connects businesses with the right funding, advice, and networks they need to grow and thrive.
Business Durham works closely with partners to encourage an enterprise culture, helping entrepreneurs to turn bright ideas into successful reality and students to develop enterprise skills to become our future business leaders.
The company manages a portfolio of business property and excels in finding the right space for businesses to grow – commercial office space, modern laboratories and industrial property units.
Business Durham attracts capital and inward investment to the county, and develops an innovative economy that enables companies to grow and flourish.
Business Durham builds long-term relationships to foster sustainable growth in businesses, raising economic aspirations and making Durham a place where business is done.
For more information visit www.businessdurham.co.uk.