The new National Centre for Healthcare Photonics is the latest specialist facility to be established by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) on NETPark, County Durham.
The centre provides open access facilities and expertise to help companies of all sizes to develop their photonics based technologies for healthcare and turn them into commercially viable products.
Enabling and emerging technologies such as photonics can provide novel, improved ways to diagnose and treat disease. The UK has world class research capability in this area and a key challenge is to reduce the barriers that are preventing early research and inventions from moving beyond the laboratory and into innovative healthcare solutions for patients. The creation of the National Centre will allow more early-stage companies and SMEs to drive forward their innovation, and increase their chances of commercialisation. This will also stimulate and encourage large companies in the UK to undertake more innovation activities, at reduced risk.
The purpose built 2000m2 NCHP will focus initially on the themes of imaging, diagnostics and therapy. Key facilities include a manufacturing area, flexible optics laboratories with re-configurable light-tight cubicles, a suite of life science laboratories and an X-ray test and development lab. The project aim is to enable the North East to be recognised as a national and global leader in the field of healthcare photonics, which in turn will attract more companies and lead to more jobs being created in the region.