NORTH-EAST TECHNOLOGY PARK, or NETPark, has tens of high value, ambitious and innovative companies on site, specialising in medical technology, IT, software and electronics.
There are just three main sectors, according to the NETPark-based Gareth Taylor, CEO of Evince Technology: “IT, biotech and the rest”.
Evince manufacturers diamond computer chips, which, Mr Taylor predicts, will be more popular than silicon in a decade or two. Due to its fringe technology, the company has previously struggled to find the right case study and make meaningful inroads, but now is working with the European Space Agency.
“The rest I like to call non-conformist,” Mr Taylor says.
Like any businesses at the cutting-edge, it’s hard to gauge public opinion or blockages in the market due to a range of external factors, meaning scaling can be risky and problematic.
But NETPark, an internationally recognised science and technology hub, was built specifically with those companies in mind. Due to its range of facilities and room to grow on-site, as well as land for purpose-built facilities, the Sedgefield science park has gained significant influence in the North-East’s technology sector.
Mr Taylor’s comment is telling; he knows fellow tenants and what they are working on.
Run by Business Durham, the economic development arm of Durham County Council, NETPark embodies its parent organisation in its encouragement and support for business success in the region, and therefore the region’s success. So much so, that it has its own accelerator program.
Paul Mawson, CEO of US-based health tech company Kunasan, said it “kind of reminds me of the tech culture in Silicon Valley”.
The worth of this alternative Silicon Valley has not been undervalued, with it receiving significant investment from the Local Growth Fund via the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP).
Grants have allowed for new buildings, a new road, and has opened up 26 acres of development land to build bespoke premises for companies looking to scale up and manufacture on site.
Read the full article on The Northern Echo website here.