PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has introduced his plans to ensure the UK’s world-leading science and ideas turn into solutions for public good, as part of the ambitions to become a global science superpower. Ahead of this announcement Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield, has been a regular visitor to the North East Technology Park, NETPark, Sedgefield, an exciting new ecosystem for high value technology and advanced manufacturing, with good transport links to the A1(M) and mainline railways, as well as Durham University. Paul has seen, first-hand, the innovative businesses that are world-leaders in scientific and technological development.
Paul Howell said: “The Prime Minister has said we need to build on the momentum of the vaccination programme, a development that proved the UK can achieve innovation at scale and at speed. The North East has a tradition of technological excellence and our future shines brightly with businesses based at NETPark such as Kromek, Evince and PragmatIC at the forefront of research, development and innovation who are also committed to generating ultra-high value manufacturing jobs in the region.”
Kromek were recently awarded a new c. $6m contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ("DARPA"), an agency of the US Department of Defense, for Phase II of its development of a biological threat detection system that senses, analyses and identifies airborne pathogens. A trial of this system, that can identify trace levels of all COVID-19 within 30 minutes, has started at Teesside International Airport.
Evince Technology has recently completed projects with the European Space Agency (ESA) and European partners under a Eureka programme that demonstrate the impact potential of its breakthrough diamond-based electronics technology in two very different applications relating to satellite propulsion and x-ray systems respectively. The company is now poised to roll-out a new generation of components that will sit at the heart of electron microscopes, x-ray systems, additive manufacturing systems and high frequency applications to name but a few.
PragmatIC Semiconductor have been nominated for the premier award for UK engineering innovation, the MacRobert Award 2021. Its electronic engineering innovation takes the silicon out of silicon chips, resulting in ultra-low-cost thin and flexible integrated circuits which can be inexpensively embedded in everyday objects from food and drink packaging to medical consumables, addressing a range of application sectors including the circular economy and digital healthcare.
Paul Howell MP said: “The collaborative network that exists for NETPark companies is impressive, it can link into several national and international networks including the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), and the Institute of Physics (IoP). Companies can also access potential global partners at over 450 other science and technology parks through NETPark’s active participation in the International Association of Science Parks (IASP) and the United Kingdom Science Park Association (UKSPA).
“It isn’t just the technology that’s exciting, it’s also the change in perception of what we have to offer in the North East. Without doubt, we have everything here in County Durham to embrace the ambition of the UK being a global science superpower; not least the wonderfully innovative and collaborative businesses in NETpark; the Government, literally putting its money where its mouth is, by moving the Treasury to Darlington and not forgetting the breath-taking countryside of County Durham, the Dales and beyond. The North East is a place where families can live and enjoy everything our exciting and revitalized region has to offer.”
“I have today written to the Prime Minister, and other ministers, extolling the virtues of the North East, as exemplified by the collaborative companies at NETPark, and making the Cabinet team aware that there are multi-level benefits for investors who will appreciate the assets and the unique core skill base in this region of the UK. Within the ‘levelling up’ agenda, the ecosystem/hub of this region is creating educational stimulus, long term career progression and community growth.