Science City Is the Way Ahead

Article excerpt

Ambitious plans have been unveiled to make Newcastle a world-beating Science City that could create up to 5,000 new jobs in five years.

Newcastle University, Newcastle City Council and the regional development agency One NorthEast have pledged to use Newcastle's `Science City' status to develop a world-class location for knowledge-based business, by building on the region's existing strengths in pioneering scientific research.

The multi-million pound project, announced at a press conference in Newcastle in July, involves development on a number of sites in the city, including part of the former Scottish & Newcastle Breweries site.

Newcastle University will establish world-class research teams on the brewery and other sites, working alongside businesses and interested partner organisations, such as the NHS. The researchers would specialise in areas like nanotechnology, bioscience and molecular engineering which will be the boom industries of the future.

The plans are a response to the Government's decision last year to designate Newcastle as a Science City ( one of only six cities in the country earmarked for support to develop their science and technology facilities.

The three organisations leading the project have since formed the Newcastle Science City partnership, under the chairmanship of Paul Walker, Chief Executive of Sage. Now the partnership has launched its programme of activity that will bring together researchers with companies to exploit commercial opportunities in applied science.

The project will also encourage collaboration with existing science and technology centres across the region, such as NaREC in Blyth; Netpark in Durham; The Wilton Centre in Redcar and Digital City in Middlesbrough.

The centrepiece of the project is 100,000sq metres of new buildings with the working title Science Central accommodating the best scientific and business brains in the region. …