Durham University opens Orbit building to support technology and science firms

A centre run by Durham University to provide support to technology and science SMEs has been opened at NETPark.

The £1.4m Orbit area has opened at NETPark in Sedgefield. Businesses that become members will benefit from targeted guidance and support from Durham University’s researchers and partners at Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and Business Durham.

Companies will also have access to one of the 13 flexible, private or collaborative office spaces and will be able to be a part of networking events and skills workshops.

Jenny Taylor, head of economic development at Durham University, said: “We are really pleased to be leading this fantastic opportunity for businesses in the North East to collaborate and engage with Durham University.

“Orbit will enable us to support regional economic development by maximising opportunities for local business growth. Businesses can sign up for a private office, hot desk or virtual membership on flexible terms. Now that Orbit is open, we are encouraging business to get in touch and see how we can support them to grow through tailored business development support.

“I would like to thank all of the agencies who worked with us to repurpose and refurbish part of our research institute at NETPark and create Orbit. It is a beautiful space that provides a welcoming environment for business and academia to work together.”

The project brought together several North East companies including Vest Construction, Space Architects, Identity Consult and Cundall.

Sarah Slaven, interim managing director at Business Durham, added: “Orbit is a fantastic addition to NETPark and we look forward to seeing many more spin-out businesses coming out of the university and following in the foot-steps of businesses such as Kromek who have gone on to enjoy huge global success.

“It is vitally important that we invest in providing the right infrastructure, support and academic expertise to encourage innovation in the county.

“Alongside our strategic partners Durham University and CPI, NETPark provides the right ecosystem to support businesses throughout their lifecycle from concept to commercialisation. Orbit is a welcome addition to NETPark that will help us widen those opportunities to businesses and maximise commercial opportunities with Durham University.”

News source: Business Live

The Durham University Orbit Centre at NETPark

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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

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Sedgefield, County Durham TS21 3FD

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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

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

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
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