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Northern Accelerator is an innovative collaboration between Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland, Teesside and York Universities.

It has transformed research commercialisation in the North East, helping address regional imbalance and strengthening the region’s knowledge economy.


We support academics and business leaders to create promising spin-out businesses from their world-leading academic research. These businesses create high quality jobs and raise significant investment here in the North East and North Yorkshire. 

We bring together academics and business leaders, with a host of funding and support, to form sustainable businesses that create more and better jobs.

At the outset of Northern Accelerator, North East England had the lowest business density in the UK and low levels of private sector R&D investment.

North East Universities’ research also accounts for a significantly higher proportion of R&D spend compared with the national average. Northern Accelerator partners therefore believe we have a responsibility and an unmissable opportunity to commercialise research to support local and national economic growth.

Both the North East and Tees Valley strategic economic plans have ambitious innovation agendas and it’s in this regional context we set out to deliver. 

Northern Accelerator is funded by Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund and the InTUNE partnership which is funded by the  UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund with the North of Tyne Combined Authority and Durham County Council.

We’re delivering sustainable impact, developing an ongoing investment fund for university spin-outs and a vibrant community of businesses. 

Spin-Outs With Some HEI Ownership

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Northern Accelerator has increased the number of spin-outs from an average of 1.8 per year in the five years preceding Northern Accelerator, to an average of 6.8 per year in the five years since its launch in 2016

To date we have


Investment Raised by Spin-Outs since 2016


Spin-out businesses created


People Employed in Spin-Outs


Executives placed in spin-outs