Durham University, a world top 100 university, has world-class research in space science and several spin-out companies on site at NETPark.
CPI is an internationally recognized technology innovation center and has invested in and secured three national centers for NETPark (Healthcare Photonics, Formulation and Printable Electronics) as well as being a founding member of the prestigious High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
Business Durham develops and manages NETPark on behalf of Durham County Council and provides innovation services via NETPark Net, its innovation network, organizes outreach and engagement with local communities and has made NETPark the only science park in the UK with two Catapult centers, leading a North East partnership to secure a Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications.
Building on the success of the past 10 years at CPI, a new vision has been crafted for NETPark, one that will see it through the next 10 years and beyond, turning the NETPark science park into a global powerhouse.
The vision for NETPark is to be a global hub for materials integration. Prof. Ray Hudson, acting vice chancellor for Durham University said that a spin out from the University inspired the three partners to create this new ambition.
“Kromek plc started out as a ‘materials’ company, with the intention of producing a semiconductor material, cadmium zinc telluride, for direct sale to customers,” Hudson said. “However, Kromek realized that it would be more successful if it integrated that material into innovative products, such as ionizing radiation detectors and airport security scanners for liquids. Kromek became a ‘materials integration’ company and transformed from two employees to over 60 at NETPark, with two U.S. subsidiaries. The company exemplifies how Durham University’s internationally leading research can be translated into products that have impact across the world.”
Nigel Perry, CEO of CPI, described a similar story for Polyphotonix, another NETPark company which CPI has intensively supported.
“PolyPhotonix started out as experts in the research and development of OLED lighting technology, but it was the integration of the OLED into an innovative product that has transformed the company; in this case it is a sleep mask to treat diabetic retinopathy, which is projected to save NHS England £1BN a year,” said Perry. “CPI is delighted with the MoU announcement and the work that we have done with PolyPhotonix is just the start of things to come. The North East has world class materials integration capability and we are working closely with Durham University and Business Durham at NETPark and a number of exciting SMEs to build upon this capability and to help the region transform its research ideas into commercialized products.”
“This is our ambition for NETPark,” added Simon Goon, managing director of Business Durham. “It will be home to hundreds of companies and thousands of people, all working to unleash the potential of materials by integrating them into products which address our most significant societal challenges: a new biosensor to detect infection remotely, a new way of storing renewable energy, uncovering the secrets of the universe, or even securing our data to help us feel more comfortable in the world.”