Innovating together – report highlights £2.2bn contribution to economy

Image of Newcastle tyne bridge

Northern Accelerator has been cited as a core project in a new report highlighting the regional impact made by universities across the North East.

Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside Universities have launched the Innovating Together – Universities in the North East (InTUNE) report, showcasing the contribution of the five universities to the innovation and business growth agenda in the region, and their potential role in delivering activities which contribute to the Government’s Levelling Up agenda.

This includes support for businesses and the creative industries, R&D collaborations, and workforce training in key sectors.

As key anchor institutions and major employers – between them they support more than 34,000 jobs and contribute £2.2bn annually to the North East economy – they play a huge role in the health, wellbeing and resilience of communities across the region.

The report was launched at the Transforming Tomorrow Together Roundtable, hosted by CEO of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Dame Ottoline Leyser, with the aim to explore the potential for further collaboration for the benefit of the region and local people.

Working together

Over the past seven years, 465 projects involving two or more of the five universities have been delivered with a research value of £243M.
The report focuses on nine joint innovation projects which target some of the region’s priority sectors and were set up to stimulate innovation, support business growth, and improve productivity. To date:

  • Eight of the nine are forecast to contribute £33.3m and support 1,524 SMEs, generate an increase in employment of 662 FTE jobs, and help SMEs bring 768 new products/processes to either the market or the firm. To date, these eight projects have created 500 net new jobs and £23m GVA (net), with more jobs and GVA expected to be created in the future, as a result of the investment.
  • The ninth project, Northern Accelerator, has been a game changer for commercialisation in North East England, significantly increasing the average number of spin-outs from 1.8 per annum pre-project, to an average of more than 8 per annum

Northern Accelerator’s contribution

Northern Accelerator has transformed the commercialisation of research in the North East, making a significant contribution to the region’s economy and creating a great return on investment.
Today the Northern Accelerator universities are part of a thriving innovation ecosystem, with many spin-out businesses based in innovation clusters in the Newcastle Helix and County Durham’s NETPark, accessing new funding routes and support networks generated directly and indirectly through Northern Accelerator activity.