NETWorks is published by Distinctive Publishing Ltd, Aidan House,Sunderland Road, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE8 3HUTelephone 0191 4788300
John DeanFor all enquiries including editorial, subscription andadvertising please contact Distinctive Publishing. With thanks to all our contributors.NETWorks is supported by NETPark
NETWorks reports on the very latest science and technology news, putting discoveriesand advances in the context o everyday lie – showcasing County Durham and theNorth East as a place o scientic excellence.
This issue looks at healthcare, bioscience, andmedical devices and instrumentation – areas inwhich, as a region, we have tremendous strengthsand also areas which have a very direct impact onall our lives.These are sectors or which innovation is theirlieblood and in which the private, public, voluntary,scientifc and academic communities all have crucialroles to play. Collaborative working and technology transer are vital elements o businesses success.Take just as one example our recent collaborationwith the Electronics KTN in staging a debate atNETPark on the subject o microdiagnostics. Leadingspeakers were attracted, including ProessorPeter Fielden, Proessor o Analytical Science atManchester University, and Proessor Zulfqur Aliwho outlined the important engineering innovationwork his team at Teesside University are carryingout in the development o diagnostic and medicaldevices or the early detection and treatment odeep vein thrombosis. In the same debate, Dr Dale Athey o Orla Protein Technologies pointed outthat there’s oten a long, arduous journey rom theuniversity research bench to commercialisation.So having the right support systems in place isessential. Organisations like the Research Councilsto und research, the regional development agenciesto coordinate action, and centres o excellencelike Cels which is right at the heart o our region’sbiotech and healthcare support inrastructure. And it’s why we place so much emphasis on thepractical, tailored business support CDDC providesat the NETPark Incubator, designed to supply thetotal support environment needed to help early stage science and technology businesses to thrive.Innovation is much spoken o - what CDDC and oursupport partners are doing is giving the innovativeideas which begin lie in our universities andresearch institutes every chance o becoming viablebusiness opportunities by helping in a wide rangeo ways such as sourcing unding, supply chainnetworks and new market opportunities. What was then British Telecom launched an advertback in 1994 asserting “It’s good to talk” – fteen yearslater or science, engineering and technology we’dsay “It’s a must to talk”. That’s certainly the thinkingbehind our NETPark Net initiative, built to encourageinnovative companies throughout the region tocommunicate and share ideas and experience. And it’s also the thinking underpinning the NorthEast Stem Cell Institute (NESCI), a unique regionalcollaboration o clinical, academic and commercialpartners, and Cels’ HealthConnect. This is anetwork o proessionals and organisations workingin assistive technology, health inormatics, medicaldevices, biotechnology and lie sciences, health andsocial care, and health and well being.Innovation and investment in these areas are crucialto both the economic and physical well-being o ourregion. They are, in a very real sense, lie-saving.
Stewart WatkinsManaging Director, County Durham Development Company (CDDC)
CDDC is driving the development o the North East Technology Park (NETPark)and the virtual business support environment, NETPark Net.