15 Nov 2012

£1.4 million boost for science innovation at Newcastle

Newcastle’s status as a city of scientific excellence was today underlined by the announcement by Business Secretary Vince Cable of a £1.4m investment in Newcastle University to help turn its best science ideas into successful business projects.

Designed to help bridge the gap between a research idea and commercial success, the money will be used to create new companies, grow industrial collaboration and foster more entrepreneurship.

The grant is part of the Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAA) - a new £60million investment project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

One of the projects flagged up by EPSRC to showcase where previous funding has already successfully turned an idea into a commercially-viable product is the low cost baby scanner.
 
Created by Newcastle University’s Jeff Neasham, the hand-held device is similar to the technology used in hospitals but can be manufactured for as little as £30 – a thousand times cheaper than the standard medical ultrasound technology.

Professor Nick Wright, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Newcastle University said: “This IAA grant will help us to take our technical know-how and turn it into real-life solutions. It enables us to turn our world-leading research into products and solutions that improve lives and help businesses grow.

“This award builds on the work of the last three years and the successful Knowledge Transfer Account which was held jointly with our colleagues at Durham University.”

Other successful Newcastle University projects include:

• Intelligent blood pressure measurement – adding ‘intelligent’ technology to blood pressure systems that can tell the health professional if the readings are stable or whether further tests are needed.

• Medical Imaging Agents – the development of purer imaging agents on a commercial scale.

Announcing the £1.4 million award, Mr Cable said: “This investment will help our leading universities become centres of innovation and entrepreneurship and generate the kind of commercial success which will fuel economic growth and make the UK one of the most attractive places in the world to do science-based business.”

Professor Dave Delpy, ESPRC’s Chief Executive said: “The research we support is recognised as outstanding on the international stage. These Accounts aim to make a step change in the impact that has on society: generating new business opportunities which drive economic growth, creating better, more informed, public policy.”

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