Man on a Mission for Success
A key new appointment is helping the region reach for success. Solicitor Peter Ashcroft has joined regional development agency One NorthEast's pounds 200m Strategy for Success.
The 35-year-old is the project's new business liaison manager - and he is determined to see the region score success in the coming years.
The Strategy for Success aims to exploit the region's research base to generate innovation, competitiveness and growth. It has been developed in conjunction with the region's universities and key clusters.
Mr Ashcroft's task is to carry the message of pioneering work and economic benefits of the five Centres of Excellence within the Strategy for Success to companies across the region.
The centres have been set up to enable the region to compete with the world's best in the fields of process industries, nanotechnology, life sciences, renewable energies and digital media and technology.
Each will support and promote the commercial application of technological developments in the North-East's universities.
Mr Ashcroft has been seconded to the Strategy for Success team for one year from Newcastle-based law firm Ward Hadaway. The role has been developed by One NorthEast and the CBI.
He was earmarked by his employers for the post after Ward Hadaway was approached by the CBI and strategy team for an outstanding individual to develop the new role.
"I was delighted to take up the challenge," said Mr Ashcroft. I'm very excited to be involved in this work at the early stages."
Mr Ashcroft is a commercial litigator and a member of Ward Hadaway's technology team, focusing on intellectual property and information technology.
Although now an expert in the legal field, his background is also in the world of science.
He studied for a degree in pure and applied biology at Leeds University and spent six years working in the pharmaceuticals sector with drugs giant Pfizer.
"This post ties up most of my previous experience," he said. "That's why I was so keen to take up the role."
He added: "A key objective for delivery of the Strategy for Success is to commercialise scientific research across the region.
"In addition to the start-up of many new companies, one of the simplest ways for this to happen is for existing North-East companies to actively participate in the development and roll-out of new products on the back of the region's research. …