NewsVOICE NORTH contributes to NSC’s Innovation machine

Newcastle Science City (NSC) enlisted the help of Voice North to inform and shape the new innovative businesses it aims to create over the next three years.

 Thirty members volunteered to share their experiences of daily life to feed in to NSC’s Innovation Machine which aims to create companies by providing solutions to problems.

 The group met for a day-long workshop at St James Park on 8th September 2009, where they all pooled their experiences to identify common problems they face, where products or solutions either don’t exist or do exist and don’t solve the problem satisfactorily. This information is now being used to identify opportunities for new businesses and crystallise ideas for future academic research.  Opportunities discussed included how to let people know their food is past its sell-by date and the need for help with memory problems.

 Estelle Chatard, NSC programme director said: “We had a great response to our workshop. Older people hold the key to a number of great business propositions for us.  They represent a large proportion of the population and actually, their problems often apply to everyone, not just their own age group.  We have already identified gaps in the market from the workshop and now we need to test our thinking to see if our business ideas can be turned into profitable enterprises.”

 Dr Lynne Corner from Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing and Health, and co-ordinator of Years Ahead, said “Voice North represents a huge pool of experience and mental capital. Members were delighted to be able to contribute to the development of new products and services through engagement with Innovation Managers from Newcastle Science City.”

 A write up of the workshops is available to download from the Newcastle Science City website ( or alternatively by contacting Caroline Findlay, Project Manager NSC, on 0191 211 3014.

 This event was hosted by Newcastle Science City and The Institute for Ageing and Health with support from Newcastle University’s Business School and Northumbria University’s Design School.