Kunasan Ltd moves to NETPark ahead of UK launch

Innovative technology company Kunasan Ltd has relocated to County Durham from Silicon Valley to bring its new sleep aid system, Frequen-ZZZ, to market in the UK.

National statistics indicate that 1 in 3 of us suffer from poor sleep. Sleep deprivation is linked with chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, insomnia and stress.  Frequen-ZZZ is an innovative sleep technology to enhance the quality of sleep for users that could improve quality of life for many people suffering from lack of sleep.

Kunasan Ltd initially opened a virtual office at the North East Technology Park’s (NETPark) in Sedgefield, County Durham, but within a month it took a physical space within NETPark Plexus.

Founded by Paul Mawson, originally from County Durham, Kunasan Ltd was set up in the UK in December 2018 after Paul was encouraged by the UK Government’s Global Entrepreneur Programme to relocate from the USA.

Managing Director, Paul Mawson, said: “I was invited to attend a talk at Innosphere Colorado, USA in July 2017 given by Dr Alan Lowdon of the DIT Global Entrepreneur Programme and Visiting Professor at Durham University and Chair of the Innovation Board of the NE LEP. He explained that the North East’s technology sector was thriving and that it was the perfect time to relocate my business to the region. I had been considering moving back to the UK and saw this as the perfect opportunity to bring my business back home.”

“Following advice from Invest North East England I viewed a number of different spaces, but as soon as I viewed NETPark Plexus I knew it was the right location for me. I didn’t want to work in a city centre, as I’m much more creative when I’m in the countryside. I was also encouraged to see how many tech and pharmaceutical companies there were at NETPark, and knowing I could get support from the local business community was a decisive factor in choosing the location.”

Prior to Paul’s move back to the UK, Paul spent ten years in the USA researching frequency stimulation devices and it was here that he developed an interest in sleep technology.

Paul and his clinical advisor Dr Roger Billica – formerly chief of medical operation at NASA – understand how sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on someone’s physical and mental wellbeing. From Paul’s research he developed Frequen-ZZZ which will go to market in 2020.

Mr Mawson said: “Business Durham’s help in relocating to NETPark has been invaluable, and they have done everything possible to facilitate the move for us. They have been instrumental in helping us identify grants we could apply for and we are delighted to have secured local grants to assist in the system re-design (EDRF) and are now pursuing new grants for the digital marketing efforts (NSBL).

Business Durham also facilitated an introduction to CPI (Centre for Process Innovation) on NETPark, who we are working with to help develop our product further, alongside Sarah Morehead at Northumbria University’s School of Design and Newcastle based Octo Design to ensure our sleep system, Frequen-ZZZ is ready to launch in 2020. We are also in talks with Prof Jason Ellis at Northumbria University about doing a clinical research trial about stress and sleep.”

NETPark is managed by Business Durham, the economic development arm of Durham County Council.

NETPark manager Janet Todd said: “NETPark is the perfect environment for an innovative business such as Kunasan.  We provide a dynamic, supportive and collaborative environment to help accelerate the growth of companies like Kunasan into global markets by providing the right mix of business support and physical space they need to thrive and grow

“Kunasan has already got off to a great start by moving from a virtual office to a physical space at NETPark Plexus within a month, this is the quickest any virtual tenant has progressed from virtual to physical space and we’re hoping this is a sign of things to come for the company. We look forward to supporting the company further as it settles into NETPark.”

Kunasan Ltd relocated to NETPark in County Durham. Kunasan's founder & MD Paul Mawson with Janet Todd (NETPARK's Manager at Business Durham)

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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

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

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 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
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