Peter Arnold
CEO of Newcastle Science City
Science Highlights

The nation’s media has been tuned in to Science Central in recent days to witness the eagerly awaited start of our search for renewable energy deep beneath the city.

This historic project is symbolic of the incredibly exciting work that is gaining momentum in Newcastle and is a perfect example of how civic partners and the university are working hand-in-hand to create ‘The Urban Laboratory’ – a model of sustainable living for our city.

While the drilling of the geothermal borehole gets under way at Science Central we are forging ahead with our own groundwork to ensure the site is brought to life by creating innovative new businesses, developing skills and educating the next generation of scientists.

New figures show we’ve worked with 750 people in communities across Newcastle to bring scientific benefit to the doorstep of residents and you can read about just one of the many worthy stories to come out of that important work below.

Deep heat for the North

Engineers at Newcastle University have begun an ambitious project to drill 2,000m under the heart of the city in search of renewable energy.

In a landmark project that will reach new depths in an attempt to harness geothermal heat from the earth, the Newcastle team hope to eventually pump out water at a temperature of around 80 degrees centigrade.

Drilling deep under the planned 24-acre Science Central – the site of the former Scottish and Newcastle Breweries  – the team believe that boreholes here will prove capable of supplying an everlasting source of low-carbon energy hot enough to heat any domestic or commercial central heating system.

Funded by the Newcastle Science City Partnership and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the £900,000 project is being led by Professor Paul Younger, director of the University’s Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability, and involves experts from both Newcastle and Durham universities.

“Our aim is to rise to the challenge of putting a novel form of deep geothermal energy at the very heart of city centre regeneration.” said Professor Younger.

The science of motivation – rugby’s Austin Healey delves deeper

Ex-England and British Lions rugby player and TV personality Austin Healey will give a team talk with a difference when he meets the North East’s science and technology businesses later this month.

Healey will join occupational psychologist Dr Joan Harvey of Newcastle University to provide a business event that delves a little deeper into the science of motivation to help company leaders, managers and owners question and develop their knowledge.

The Science of… Motivation is the first in a series of events organised by Newcastle Science City to merge science, business and personal development. Attendees will learn the theory behind a topic, before hearing from a high profile speaker about their own life experience and taking part in a discussion.

Dr Harvey, a senior lecturer at Newcastle University’s School of Psychology, will shed some light on how teams respond to motivational techniques before Healey takes to the stage to share his own experience of motivational leadership.

Simon Green, programme manager at Newcastle Science City, said: “The event is designed to really bring to life the science behind motivation to help the region’s businesses develop and grow.”

Cultural taboos tackled to increase organ donation

A pioneering science project in Newcastle is tackling cultural taboos to address the country’s chronic shortage of organ donations from black communities.

Only one per cent of black people in Britain are signed up to the NHS Donor Register – but, due to increased rates of diabetes and high blood pressure, they are three to four times more likely than the general population to need a kidney transplant.

And those on the growing waiting list need to find a donor from their own ethnicity if they are to stand a real chance of a successful transplant. Donated organs need to be carefully matched to the recipient to ensure blood and tissue groups are compatible and a match is more likely to be found within the patient’s same ethnic group.

But cultural taboos, myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding the issue of organ donation have until now deterred many from joining the register to offer the ‘gift of life’ after their own death to others in their community.

Mike Morgan
Business Development Manager, Newcastle University
Spotlight on the changing age for business

This month Mike Morgan, business development manager at Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing and Health, looks at the commercial opportunities arising from our ageing population.

As medical advances continue to reduce mortality in later life, we are beginning to see huge increases in the numbers of older people and in particular the oldest old.

This is changing the shape of our society and is a great triumph. It brings with it significant opportunities and challenges in reshaping products and services to meet the needs of a population of older average age.

Newcastle University has been a centre for excellence in research related to ageing and age related conditions for many years. For the past 15 years, its Institute for Ageing and Health has been expanding that research excellence across a wide multidisciplinary agenda, until now it incorporates over 250 researchers and support staff investigating:

  • How and why we age
  • Age related conditions and their treatment
  • Ageing, health and society
  • Technology for an ageing society
  • Nutrition and oral health

The Institute is a fertile source of knowledge for innovation, and through its leadership of Newcastle Science City’s Ageing and Health theme, is committed to supporting business and social innovation. At a delivery level the university is working closely with Science City to provide companies with “end to end” support which provides both business development and content for business models focussed on ageing.

Newcastle Science City
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Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SN