University praised for strength in supporting local growth

Durham University has performed strongly in a national assessment of how universities work with others to benefit the economy and society.

The Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), now in its second year, highlighted the university’s strengths in research partnerships, commercialising research, supporting local growth and regeneration and working with businesses, public agencies and third sector groups.

The KEF, which is led by Research England, scored Durham highly for research partnerships – one example being the university’s work with Procter and Gamble. Durham was also praised for creating high-quality spin-out businesses.

The University also runs business support programmes to help local firms innovate and grow. This includes a project with Durham County Council and New College Durham to support start-up businesses.

The Durham City Incubator allows new businesses to access support as they start out and the Durham Venture Lab gives enterprise support to students and graduates, engaging almost 1,000 students and helping create 34 start-up businesses in the past year.

Orbit University Enterprise Zone at NETPark, Sedgefield, County Durham, provides flexible office space and tailored support and guidance for science and technology SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and university spin-outs.

Businesses located at Orbit have access to Durham University’s research expertise, support and learning, test facilities and collaborative working opportunities, as well as the opportunity to attend regular workshops and events.

North East Technology Park (NETPark) - Durham University

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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

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

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
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