Business minister visits NETPark’s global tech leaders

A GOVERNMENT minister heard how the North East is leading the way in the global security and printable electronics sectors when he visited two companies at the North East Technology Park (NETPark), in County Durham.

Lord Prior of Brampton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy, visited two of the Sedgefield-based science park’s cutting edge companies – PragmatIC and Kromek.

Lord Prior enjoyed a tour of multi-award winning PragmatIC at the Centre for Process Innovation by Ken Williamson, the company’s chief operating officer, where he heard how the company’s designs feature in a vast range of products – from intelligent packaging of fast moving consumer goods to wireless document traceability for security and identification.

He later visited Kromek, which originally spun out of Durham University, where he saw how its highly sought after technology is being used in the security, nuclear and medical markets, including bottle scanners for airports which can classify liquids accurately in under 30 seconds.

He also heard from Sarah Slaven, interim managing director of Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham which runs NETPark on behalf of Durham County Council. She explained about NETPark’s recent expansion as part of a 10-year strategy which includes creating 3,000 jobs and adding another £400m to the region’s GVA.

Ms Slaven said: “Lord Prior was genuinely interested in the growing technology sector in the North East and what it has to offer the world in terms of innovation and problem solving. It was great for him to see first hand how two of NETPark’s companies are leading the way in the field of security and printable electronics.”

NETPark is home to Durham University’s Centre for Advanced Instrumentation, two of the Government’s Catapult centres – the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence and High Value Manufacturing, and four national technology centres: Printable Electronics, Formulation, Graphene Applications and Healthcare Photonics, all managed by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI).

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