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Project IMPACT – CPI

Are you a Small to Medium-sized Enterprise based in North East England? Are you looking to develop a new product or process or improve an existing one? Do you have a challenge that requires technical expertise?

CPI is delivering a programme on behalf of the European Regional Development Fund called IMPACT (Innovative Materials via Precision Additive Coating Technologies). This programme is fully funded through the State Aid Scheme, and support is based around challenges within additive manufacturing (3D printing) and the precision coating of materials. This can include coatings, adhesives, inks, resins, textiles, polymers and specialist sensors.

Companies can benefit from the following support from CPI:

  • Technical expertise located in state-of-the-art research facilities
  • Feasibility and research studies
  • Proof of concept and prototyping
  • Assisting the development of new and/​or improved products, materials and processes
  • Formulation
  • Evaluation of novel materials including inks, coatings, adhesives and resins
  • Material characterisation
  • Understanding material behaviour in extreme environments
  • Signposting to continuation funding via collaborative projects, or national programmes

Find out more here.

CPI logo

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Keep up to date with the latest NETPark news and events.

NETPark Logo

The North East Technology Park provides a dynamic and supportive environment to accelerate the growth of ambitious, innovative, high tech companies into global markets. NETPark encourages collaborative multidisciplinary links, driving innovation, enterprise and economic prosperity.
We provide companies with access to a focused and international community where talent flourishes, ideas are generated and businesses have the support and resources to compete with the best in the world.

NETPark North East Technology Park

NETPark, North East Technology Park,
Sedgefield, County Durham TS21 3FD

Call Us: (+44) 01740 625250
Email: enquiries@northeasttechnologypark.com
Web: northeasttechnologypark.com

It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.

Stuart Wilson, - CEO, Ascarii

Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.

Steve Clements, - Managing Director, aXenic

CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.

Dr Jon Helliwell, - Director of Printable Electronics, CPI

We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.

Ken Williamson, - COO, PragmatIC Printing

The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.

Dr Arnab Basu, - CEO, Kromek

The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.

Dr Neil Loxley, - Chief executive, IBEX

Newcastle University Arrow

Growing a small business brings a variety of challenges, but you don’t have to do it all alone. Newcastle University provides a range of support to help you take your next steps. Through our Arrow programme, we can equip you with the tools you need to succeed on your innovation journey.

Arrow is part-funded through ERDF, so can offer support at no cost to your business.

Whether you’re starting a new business from scratch or looking to expand your existing business with new products or services, we can provide support that’s tailored to your needs.

This includes:

  • innovation support for start-ups
  • help with research and development
  • proof of concept and validation
  • specialist data science expertise
  • access to state of the art research facilities and equipment

Depending on your business needs, this support could include access to research, university experts, facilities or match funding, and access support from one of our leading national institutes including:

Could Arrow be right for you?

We provide business support for small and medium-sized enterprises that need help to innovate and grow, as well as early-stage businesses in the start-up phase.

For us to support you, your business needs to be:

  • a registered business, charity, CIC, partnership or sole trader
  • based in the North East LEP area
  • needing support to develop a new or existing service, product or process
  • fewer than 250 employees
  • under €50 million turnover

If this sounds like your business, we’d love to chat further about the options available. Find out more here.

Follow NETPark On Social Media

Keep up to date with the latest NETPark news and events.

NETPark Logo

The North East Technology Park provides a dynamic and supportive environment to accelerate the growth of ambitious, innovative, high tech companies into global markets. NETPark encourages collaborative multidisciplinary links, driving innovation, enterprise and economic prosperity.
We provide companies with access to a focused and international community where talent flourishes, ideas are generated and businesses have the support and resources to compete with the best in the world.

NETPark North East Technology Park

NETPark, North East Technology Park,
Sedgefield, County Durham TS21 3FD

Call Us: (+44) 01740 625250
Email: enquiries@northeasttechnologypark.com
Web: northeasttechnologypark.com

The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.

Dr Arnab Basu, - CEO, Kromek

CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.

Dr Jon Helliwell, - Director of Printable Electronics, CPI

The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.

Dr Neil Loxley, - Chief executive, IBEX

Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.

Steve Clements, - Managing Director, aXenic

We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.

Ken Williamson, - COO, PragmatIC Printing

It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.

Stuart Wilson, - CEO, Ascarii

Durham Flexible Support Programme

The Durham Flexible Support Programme is available to SMEs based across the county who are keen to explore their innovation potential, but need a helping hand to understand what innovation means for them.

Offering twelve hours’ one-to-one support (typically delivered within a four to six month period) to eligible businesses. The support covers four themes and a ‘pick and mix’ approach ensures that support is provided where it is needed most, and is tailored to the specific needs of the business.

The four themes are

Eligibility

The flexible Support Programme is available to:

The North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) has received £899,250 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The new programme is part funded through the fund.

Find out more at Durham Flexible Support Programme

North East BIC

Follow NETPark On Social Media

Keep up to date with the latest NETPark news and events.

NETPark Logo

The North East Technology Park provides a dynamic and supportive environment to accelerate the growth of ambitious, innovative, high tech companies into global markets. NETPark encourages collaborative multidisciplinary links, driving innovation, enterprise and economic prosperity.
We provide companies with access to a focused and international community where talent flourishes, ideas are generated and businesses have the support and resources to compete with the best in the world.

NETPark North East Technology Park

NETPark, North East Technology Park,
Sedgefield, County Durham TS21 3FD

Call Us: (+44) 01740 625250
Email: enquiries@northeasttechnologypark.com
Web: northeasttechnologypark.com

It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.

Stuart Wilson, - CEO, Ascarii

We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.

Ken Williamson, - COO, PragmatIC Printing

The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.

Dr Arnab Basu, - CEO, Kromek

Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.

Steve Clements, - Managing Director, aXenic

The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.

Dr Neil Loxley, - Chief executive, IBEX

CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.

Dr Jon Helliwell, - Director of Printable Electronics, CPI

North East SME Innovation Programme

The SME Innovation Programme is designed to help SME’s realise their innovation potential. It offers project funding and advice for eligible SMEs with an innovative project that will help their business to adapt and/or grow.

Today, we need innovation more than ever. Every business is feeling the pressures of globalisation, technological changes and of course the impact of Covid19.

The SME Innovation Programme offers:
40% grant funding for projects from £5,000 to £50,000.
Signposting to industry experts for independent confidential advice.

What is business innovation?
For us, innovation is the process of using new ideas and technology to improve a business. It doesn’t have to be a ground-breaking idea, just something new to the business to help it to survive and adjust to new market conditions. The ultimate goal of innovation is to reinvigorate a business, creating new value and boosting growth and productivity.

What types of project are supported?
Developing a new product, service or process.
Exploring a new business model or adopting new technologies (e.g. bespoke software and digital innovations).

Innovation Programme

Follow NETPark On Social Media

Keep up to date with the latest NETPark news and events.

NETPark Logo

The North East Technology Park provides a dynamic and supportive environment to accelerate the growth of ambitious, innovative, high tech companies into global markets. NETPark encourages collaborative multidisciplinary links, driving innovation, enterprise and economic prosperity.
We provide companies with access to a focused and international community where talent flourishes, ideas are generated and businesses have the support and resources to compete with the best in the world.

NETPark North East Technology Park

NETPark, North East Technology Park,
Sedgefield, County Durham TS21 3FD

Call Us: (+44) 01740 625250
Email: enquiries@northeasttechnologypark.com
Web: northeasttechnologypark.com

It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.

Stuart Wilson, - CEO, Ascarii

Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.

Steve Clements, - Managing Director, aXenic

The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.

Dr Arnab Basu, - CEO, Kromek

CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.

Dr Jon Helliwell, - Director of Printable Electronics, CPI

The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.

Dr Neil Loxley, - Chief executive, IBEX

We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.

Ken Williamson, - COO, PragmatIC Printing

Innovation SuperNetwork Grant

The Innovation SuperNetwork grant is an ERDF funded project which provides a limited number of grants to help innovative SMEs in the North East LEP area bring new products and services to market, or innovative processes to their businesses.

What will I get?
The grants provide a 40% contribution up to a maximum of £4,000 to projects totalling up to £10,000.

Am I eligible?
To be eligible for an Innovation SuperNetwork grant, your business must be:

  • a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • a registered business
  • based in the North East LEP area
  • not be in financial difficulty and comply with State Aid rules.
growthhub-ne-g-logo

Follow NETPark On Social Media

Keep up to date with the latest NETPark news and events.

NETPark Logo

The North East Technology Park provides a dynamic and supportive environment to accelerate the growth of ambitious, innovative, high tech companies into global markets. NETPark encourages collaborative multidisciplinary links, driving innovation, enterprise and economic prosperity.
We provide companies with access to a focused and international community where talent flourishes, ideas are generated and businesses have the support and resources to compete with the best in the world.

NETPark North East Technology Park

NETPark, North East Technology Park,
Sedgefield, County Durham TS21 3FD

Call Us: (+44) 01740 625250
Email: enquiries@northeasttechnologypark.com
Web: northeasttechnologypark.com

Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.

Steve Clements, - Managing Director, aXenic

CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.

Dr Jon Helliwell, - Director of Printable Electronics, CPI

We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.

Ken Williamson, - COO, PragmatIC Printing

The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.

Dr Neil Loxley, - Chief executive, IBEX

The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.

Dr Arnab Basu, - CEO, Kromek

It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.

Stuart Wilson, - CEO, Ascarii

County Durham Growth Fund

The County Durham Growth Fund is for small or medium businesses planning a capital investment of at least £100,000, which will lead to the creation of additional employment.

If your business is looking to expand or establish new operations in County Durham the County Durham Growth Fund may be able to help.  It is a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support capital expenditure for County Durham businesses.

The fund is being delivered in partnership with UMi, so if you are interested please contact one of their dedicated advisers who will check your project eligibility and will support you with your application.

Find out more at www.countydurhamgrowthfund.co.uk

Cathedral over river

Follow NETPark On Social Media

Keep up to date with the latest NETPark news and events.

NETPark Logo

The North East Technology Park provides a dynamic and supportive environment to accelerate the growth of ambitious, innovative, high tech companies into global markets. NETPark encourages collaborative multidisciplinary links, driving innovation, enterprise and economic prosperity.
We provide companies with access to a focused and international community where talent flourishes, ideas are generated and businesses have the support and resources to compete with the best in the world.

NETPark North East Technology Park

NETPark, North East Technology Park,
Sedgefield, County Durham TS21 3FD

Call Us: (+44) 01740 625250
Email: enquiries@northeasttechnologypark.com
Web: northeasttechnologypark.com

The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.

Dr Neil Loxley, - Chief executive, IBEX

CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.

Dr Jon Helliwell, - Director of Printable Electronics, CPI

We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.

Ken Williamson, - COO, PragmatIC Printing

Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.

Steve Clements, - Managing Director, aXenic

The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.

Dr Arnab Basu, - CEO, Kromek

It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.

Stuart Wilson, - CEO, Ascarii

Finance Durham

Finance Durham is a £20m investment fund from Durham County Council which will help businesses in County Durham grow creating thousands of jobs.

It is managed by Business Durham and administered by Maven Capital Partners.

The fund will make financial investments in local businesses based in the county supporting up to 70 companies in its first ten years.

Funding will range between £150,000 to £800,000, with ten per cent of the fund being smaller investments, between £10,000 and £40,000 for incubation businesses.

Businesses must be based in County Durham or be relocating to the region when the investment is made.

Find out more information at Finance Durham.

Finance Durham

Follow NETPark On Social Media

Keep up to date with the latest NETPark news and events.

NETPark Logo

The North East Technology Park provides a dynamic and supportive environment to accelerate the growth of ambitious, innovative, high tech companies into global markets. NETPark encourages collaborative multidisciplinary links, driving innovation, enterprise and economic prosperity.
We provide companies with access to a focused and international community where talent flourishes, ideas are generated and businesses have the support and resources to compete with the best in the world.

NETPark North East Technology Park

NETPark, North East Technology Park,
Sedgefield, County Durham TS21 3FD

Call Us: (+44) 01740 625250
Email: enquiries@northeasttechnologypark.com
Web: northeasttechnologypark.com

It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.

Stuart Wilson, - CEO, Ascarii

The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.

Dr Arnab Basu, - CEO, Kromek

We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.

Ken Williamson, - COO, PragmatIC Printing

CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.

Dr Jon Helliwell, - Director of Printable Electronics, CPI

The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.

Dr Neil Loxley, - Chief executive, IBEX

Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.

Steve Clements, - Managing Director, aXenic

Scientists’ model suggests alien encounters are on the horizon

Scientists’ model suggests alien encounters are on the horizon

A team of scientists believe ‘grabby aliens’ are needed to explain why we humans have appeared so soon after the big bang, and that our descendants could encounter them in roughly a billion years’ time.

To calculate such numbers, four researchers, led by Professor Robin Hanson from George Mason University, USA, and including a Durham University PHD student, have built a simple model. A model they say is far more than just speculation, as all its parameters are set by relevant cosmological data. In particular: the current age of the universe, the fact we humans have yet to see aliens in our sky, and the timing of key events in Earth’s history.

The research can be read in full in their paper, accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.

Durham University PhD student Daniel Martin, a co-author who helped to illustrate the model, said: “We think there are other civilisations within the universe that have developed more than humans, and the only reason they do not appear in our sky is because their light has not yet reached us.

“My illustration of this model shows many cones within a particular area of the universe. Each cone represents one civilisation, which expands rapidly in space until it meets others.

“Perhaps only a very few intelligent civilizations can survive for a long period of time or will choose to expand rapidly. But our model says that those few exceptions will eventually fill and remake the universe. A once lifeless universe will soon be filled with intelligent life.”
They estimate that such aliens appear once per million galaxies, that they now occupy about half the space in the universe, and that our descendants would encounter them in roughly a billion years.

Lead researcher Professor Robin Hanson added: “I called these civilisations ‘grabby aliens’ because they last long, expand fast, and change the spaces they enter to meet their needs.

“But this doesn’t mean that such civilizations are aggressive and fight when they meet. Our analysis actually doesn’t say what happens if these ‘grabby’ civilisations were to meet another.”

The team states the existence of grabby aliens provides an answer to the puzzle of why humans have appeared so soon after the big bang.

They continue to explain that while our current date is late compared to when most stars formed, it is early considering how long most stars will last. The team believe we are even earlier when you consider the simple statistical model introduced in the 1980s by the physicist Brandon Carter, that describes what happens when a number of difficult stages (hard steps) must be endured before civilization can appear on a planet.

Earth has overcome those hard steps long before when a typical civilization would, if the universe would sit and wait empty for such civilizations to appear.

Daniel added: “Our hypothesis offers an explanation as to why humans have evolved so quickly. If ‘grabby aliens’ will at some point occupy all of the universe, it’s like a deadline had been set for human civilisation to appear, if it’s not to arrive within a grabby-controlled environment.”

Robin added: “Our account says that if humanity kills itself, that thankfully isn’t the end of life and civilization in the universe. But our account does suggest an aspiration for humanity: if we can avoid extinction, then we can expect to eventually meet and learn of hundreds of grabby civilizations. Let us work so that, when they learn of us, they will find something about us worthy of admiration and emulation.”

grabby alien model, credit professor Robin Hanson

Other News

Follow NETPark On Social Media

Keep up to date with the latest NETPark news and events.

NETPark Logo

The North East Technology Park provides a dynamic and supportive environment to accelerate the growth of ambitious, innovative, high tech companies into global markets. NETPark encourages collaborative multidisciplinary links, driving innovation, enterprise and economic prosperity.
We provide companies with access to a focused and international community where talent flourishes, ideas are generated and businesses have the support and resources to compete with the best in the world.

NETPark North East Technology Park

NETPark, North East Technology Park,
Sedgefield, County Durham TS21 3FD

Call Us: (+44) 01740 625250
Email: enquiries@northeasttechnologypark.com
Web: northeasttechnologypark.com

The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.

Dr Arnab Basu, - CEO, Kromek

It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.

Stuart Wilson, - CEO, Ascarii

CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.

Dr Jon Helliwell, - Director of Printable Electronics, CPI

We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.

Ken Williamson, - COO, PragmatIC Printing

The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.

Dr Neil Loxley, - Chief executive, IBEX

Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.

Steve Clements, - Managing Director, aXenic

Detection tech firm Kromek seals major $17m deal with US manufacturer

Detection tech firm Kromek seals major $17m deal with US manufacturer

County Durham tech firm Kromek has secured a $17 million (£12.3m) contract from a US manufacturer with customers around the globe.

The radiation detection specialist, based in NETPark, Sedgefield, will provide its detection capabilities to the American company in a seven-year deal, starting in this financial year.

The contract was awarded following the successful progression of a development program announced in November 2020.

At the time, the business – which supplies detection technology focusing on the medical, security screening and nuclear markets – sealed an agreement worth up to $660,000 (£478,523) with the industrial manufacturer, saying it hoped it would lead to a multi-year deal.

Under the initial program Kromek, which currently exports to around 55 countries, provided a cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) based detector solution, to be incorporated into the company’s systems for identifying contaminants during production processes.

Kromek’s CZT detectors enable higher quality of imaging, giving more accurate and reliable identification of materials.

Shares rose more than 5 per cent following the contract announcement, and the firm’s founder says further work with the US firm should follow.

Dr Arnab Basu, chief executive of Kromek, said: “We are delighted at the success of our collaboration with our customer who has substantial global operations and market share in this sector.

“Our customer is dedicated to introducing best-of-breed solutions in their next-generation products to ensure we can live healthier and safer lives.

“We anticipate developing further products for this customer to support their ambitions.”Kromek was first founded in 2003 as a spin-out from the University of Durham and now employs over 150 worldwide, including 90 people at its North East headquarters.

The company’s mission is to save lives and enhance quality of lives using advanced detection solutions, and it is currently targeting 50 per cent revenue growth after coming out of the pandemic with “strong momentum”.

The company announced its full year results in July, with revenues of £10.4m for the year to April 30, down 21 per cent from a year earlier, and a pre-tax loss of £6.3m, detailing how the pandemic had disrupted its previous pathway to profitability by two years.

However, a raft of new contracts, coupled with increased commercial activity in the second half of the 12 months and after the period’s end, is helping to expand its global footprint

Kromek seals major US deal

Other News

Follow NETPark On Social Media

Keep up to date with the latest NETPark news and events.

NETPark Logo

The North East Technology Park provides a dynamic and supportive environment to accelerate the growth of ambitious, innovative, high tech companies into global markets. NETPark encourages collaborative multidisciplinary links, driving innovation, enterprise and economic prosperity.
We provide companies with access to a focused and international community where talent flourishes, ideas are generated and businesses have the support and resources to compete with the best in the world.

NETPark North East Technology Park

NETPark, North East Technology Park,
Sedgefield, County Durham TS21 3FD

Call Us: (+44) 01740 625250
Email: enquiries@northeasttechnologypark.com
Web: northeasttechnologypark.com

The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.

Dr Neil Loxley, - Chief executive, IBEX

It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.

Stuart Wilson, - CEO, Ascarii

We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.

Ken Williamson, - COO, PragmatIC Printing

CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.

Dr Jon Helliwell, - Director of Printable Electronics, CPI

The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.

Dr Arnab Basu, - CEO, Kromek

Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.

Steve Clements, - Managing Director, aXenic

New neutron lifetime measurement “key” to understanding early universe

New neutron lifetime measurement “key” to understanding early universe

Scientists have refined their measurements of a particle that could be “key” to understanding the early universe.

A team of researchers led by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) USA, and including an academic from Durham University, last year became the first team to use spaced-based measurements to determine the lifespan of a neutron.

Building on that research the team has now used data from NASA’s 1998 Lunar Prospector mission to improve their calculations of how long neutrons can survive.

They estimate that neutrons are able to survive for 14 minutes 47 seconds with an uncertainty of 15 seconds.

Knowing the lifetime of neutrons is key to understanding the formation of elements after the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago and could influence the standard model of physics that governs our understanding of the formation of the universe.

The findings are published in the Physical Review C journal.

Study lead author and APL nuclear physicist, Dr Jack Wilson, said: “The neutron lifetime is key to answering several big questions in cosmology and particle physics, for our understanding of the crucial early state of the universe and the behaviour of fundamental particles.

“It is important for our understanding of the fundamental structure of matter and it could also show if there are other fundamental particles yet to be discovered.”

Neutron lifetime is the easiest and most direct way of measuring the weak force, one of just four fundamental forces in nature.

The weak force governs certain types of radioactive decay, including the natural breakdown of lone neutrons into a proton, electron and anti-neutrino. It even kicks off the nuclear fusion reaction that powers the Sun and other stars.

The problem is nobody can agree on how long a free neutron can last. Since the early 1990s, researchers have tried two lab-based methods to determine the time: the so-called “bottle” method, which traps neutrons in a bottle and tracks how long they take to radioactively decay; and the “beam” method, which fires a beam of neutrons and scores the number of protons created by radioactive decay.

The bottle method says neutron lifetime is 14 minutes and 39 seconds. The beam method says the lifetime is nine seconds longer, at 14 minutes and 48 seconds. And although scientists suspect there’s a systematic error in one or both methods, nobody can deduce what that error is.

Dr Jacob Kegerreis, a member of The Institute for Computational Cosmology in the Department of Physics, at Durham University, said: “Space-based measurements offer an alternative, independent method.

“This method is entirely independent from the lab-based experiments which may be a way to resolve the current conflict on which method is the most reliable.”

Scientists have suggested various forms of space-based measurements to determine the neutron lifetime since 1959, but the Durham and APL team were the first to show it could be done.

Their method relies on neutrons released into space by cosmic rays colliding with atoms on a planet’s surface or in its atmosphere. The further the neutrons travel from the planet’s surface, the more time passes and the more neutrons decay. By collecting neutrons at various altitudes and comparing that data with a model of neutron production, transport and detection from that planetary body, scientists can estimate the neutron lifetime.

Last year’s results used the data from the NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft, which were collected as it flew over Venus and Mercury showed a neutron lifetime of about 13 minutes.

However due to several systematic errors including the encounter being just 45 minutes long and the uncertainty about Venus’ and Mercury’s elemental composition, which is critical to knowing how many neutrons would decay before reaching the spacecraft, the team turned to Lunar Prospector neutron data that were collected during its first two days of operation in orbit around the Moon.

Dr Kegerreis added: “We know a lot more about the Moon compared to Venus and especially Mercury.

“Combined with the multiple orbits we could use of Lunar Prospector around the Moon compared with the one-off flyby we had for MESSENGER past Venus, that made this new result significantly more accurate and reliable.

“We’re delighted we were able to see an improvement on the results from last year by using the different data, especially as the neutron data were not actually collected during both the MESSENGER and Lunar Prospector missions but was in fact complied after the mission had been completed.

“A planned mission where measuring the neutron lifetime is a focus from the outset, amongst other things, would provide an even more accurate timespan of a neutron’s survival.”

New neutron lifetime measurement “key” to understanding early universe

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