North East Innovation funding leads UK

North East Innovation funding leads UK

North East businesses are leading the way in winning funding from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

Speaking ahead of her keynote speech at the Innovation Supply Chain Conference at NETPark in Sedgefield, chief executive of Innovate UK Dr Ruth McKernan CBE, explains the importance of a successful innovation infrastructure.

“The North East is a very strong area and a very successful area when it comes to winning funding from Innovate UK. There are 300 projects in the region which is something to be proud of,” she said.

“An innovation infrastructure is absolutely critical.

“But one of the things I’ve learnt talking to companies is that it’s not always about money. Sometimes what’s required is connecting businesses together so that they learn from each other.”

Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham, which runs NETPark, organised next month’s conference to educate and engage with local businesses.

 “We are big supporters of the North East and we’d encourage people to come along and learn, if not from me, then from the companies around them.

“It’s vital we put companies together that actually have something to share, be it process innovation, electronics or renewable technologies, and that we understand what each region’s strengths are,” adds Dr McKernon.

Alongside Dr Mckernan, the conference, on March 10, will feature a talk from previous grant recipient and NETPark based company Polyphotonics CEO, Richard Kirk.