Science event aims to create an army of ambassadors

Newcastle Science City is aiming to create an army of ambassadors to spread the word of the city’s scientific excellence to the rest of the world.

To illustrate exactly why Newcastle is a UK city of science, the partnership is bringing together for the first time the city’s world-renowned academics and innovative businesses that are leading the way in everything from medical science to low carbon technologies.

The Science City Showcase event will feature the Tyneside-based innovations of big name companies including Procter & Gamble, Dyson, Black & Decker, Toyota and BAE Systems alongside the work of home-grown smaller businesses and ground-breaking research projects.

Businesses are invited to attend the showcase evening event on Tuesday, May 17, at the Centre for Life’s Scotswood Suite between 5.30pm and 8pm to meet the researchers behind the discoveries and get behind the science through models, films and experiments. It is then hoped attendees will leave the event equipped to explain to colleagues and business contacts the strengths of Newcastle’s science base, which will in turn help attract investment and help the city achieve its potential.

Microsoft UK’s healthcare manager Graham Chapman will be among the guests and will explain why the global company was attracted to Newcastle as a potential place to develop its technology aimed at the older generation.

Paul Walker, chair of Newcastle Science City, said: “Newcastle is a proud city of science. Within our universities and scientific community we are developing everything from electric vehicles and rail cabs of the future to cancer treatments tailored to a patient’s genetic fingerprint and ways to diagnose disease via mobile phone.

“Despite our incredible success, the nature of scientific discovery is often very covert and resulting information can be viewed as inaccessible. We are acutely aware of the need to demonstrate exactly what makes us so successful so everyone can understand this and play their part as ambassadors. With the end of the investment focussed Passionate People, Passionate Places campaign run by One North East it is more important than ever before to maximise opportunities to promote the region’s strengths.

“Science City Showcase event will bring all of our science strength together for one day, under one roof, to demonstrate the sheer scale of our achievements and give visitors some great examples to take away with them.”

A total of 32 exhibitors spanning Newcastle’s scientific growth fields of stem cell & regenerative medicine, ageing & health and sustainability will be showcasing their work at the event.

The event is also open to families, schools and community groups between midday and 5pm when BBC Blue Peter science presenter Steve Mould will be on hand to do demonstrations and explain the science exhibited and visitors will receive free entry to the Centre for Life.

To register for the business event RSVP to [email protected] or to find out more about Science City Showcase visit

Two of the event exhibitors:

Designing rail cabs of the future

NewRail, School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering, Newcastle University

Newcastle University has developed a rail cab of the future which is more eco-friendly, energy efficient and cheaper to operate than traditional structures.

Conventional rail vehicle cabs are based on welded steel assemblies that are heavy, complex designs which meet a wide range of criteria including crashworthiness, missile protection, aerodynamics and insulation.

Researchers at the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering taking part in a European project to design and manufacture new lightweight structures for the marine, rail and freight container industries have developed a lightweight composite cab with an energy absorbing nose section and lightweight energy absorbing devices to meet the challenges of the rail industry.

A full-scale prototype of the cab has been manufactured which reduced mass by 50 percent and part count by 40 percent, as well as reducing outfitting and assembly costs thanks to its modular design.

Genetic fingerprinting cancer treatments

Newcastle Cancer Centre, Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle University

Treatments tailored to the genetic fingerprint of a person’s cancer are among the pioneering results of world-class research that is under way at the Newcastle Cancer Centre at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research.

An example of these tailored treatments is a new type of drug called a PARP inhibitor. Researchers at the Newcastle Cancer Centre developed the first drug of this kind in the 1990s and the first cancer patient in the world to be given this new type of drug was treated in Newcastle in 2003 in an early clinical trial.

By promoting collaboration between scientists, doctors, nurses and funding organisations, the Centre is aiming to speed the delivery of new therapies and improve cancer services in the region.

Researchers in the centre have particular expertise in childhood and prostate cancers but also focus on other disease types, including adult leukaemia and lymphoma, ovarian and bladder.

At the heart of the Centre is the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, which has an outstanding track record in developing and testing new treatments. Work at the Centre will boost this activity, helping to take bright ideas from the lab to patients faster than ever before.