Universities have a vital role to play in helping the North East economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The work being delivered by North East universities is supporting new and existing businesses to innovate and grow, and shaping and supporting a more sustainable and inclusive economy.
Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, University of Sunderland and Teesside University are all members of the North East COVID-19 Economic Response Group, which was established by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic to provide business resilience and ensure a collective response to the economic impact of COVID-19 on the North East economy.
Below is a case study about Newcastle University’s Arrow: Supporting Innovation in the North East programme, which accelerates the North East’s economic impact by pairing Newcastle University’s research, knowledge and innovations with the needs of local SMEs.
Arrow: Supporting Innovation in the North East gives SMEs access to more than 2,500 academics, innovators and experts at Newcastle University to help them develop new products or services, access new markets, or gain market share.
Arrow matches businesses with academics, innovation specialists and world-class researchers that can provide insight and expertise in areas such as research and product testing, data analysis and artificial intelligence.
The £3.4m innovation programme can also offer eligible SMEs up to £10,000 of match funding to buy services or equipment including; proof of concept and validation; survey and feasibility testing; product design; development and prototyping; analysis and testing; and commercial and contract research.
To date, more than 50 North East SMEs have received intensive innovation support from Arrow, including Your Health and Care Ltd, which provides complimentary services for people suffering from dementia, and Armatrex Ltd, which utilises expanding foam polymers to mobilise and support injuries.
Arrow works with companies to help drive their businesses forward through innovation and R&D support, leading to new investments and jobs. In line with the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan, Arrow’s target sectors are; life sciences and healthcare; advanced manufacturing; creative and digital technologies; offshore, subsea and energy technologies.
To find out more about Arrow: Supporting Innovation in the North East, visit www.ncl.ac.uk.
Arrow is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Click here to read more about how universities in the region are playing a central role in supporting the region to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Click here to read more about the North East COVID-19 Economic Response Group.