UKINNOVATION UK127 Centres of Excellence NORTH EAST: ONE NORTH EAST MAS North East, the region's Manufacturing Advisory Service. Hundreds of manufacturing businesses have already benefited from the support on offer, saving mil-lions, making them more productive and reducing energy waste and expense. This is just one demonstration of the North East's ability to share expertise and adapt to new developments, and while it is hard to predict what benefits the development of the next generation of electric vehicles will bring to the region, you can be sure the region will take the lessons on board. North East England leading the development of the UK's Offshore Wind Industry For almost a decade, North East England has been at the forefront of the development of offshore wind power in Britain. In 2000, the first offshore wind turbines in the UK were installed just off the coast at Blyth, 10 miles north of Newcastle. Since then the region has been at the forefront of the offshore wind industry, adapting the skills learnt in tradi-tional industries like shipbuilding, power generation and traditional heavy industries. US giant Clipper Windpower chose to come to the North East to develop the largest offshore wind turbine in the world at Blyth. Clipper is working closely with the New and Renewable Energy Centre ( NaREC). NaREC's independent blade-testing facility is capable of testing some of the world's largest wind turbine blades and the centre works as an independent partner under strict confidentiality to help customers achieve new breakthroughs in product design and manufacturing techniques. And the region is already looking to the next generation, with plans for the country's first wind turbine training tower announced. Northumberland College, NaREC and Regional Develop-ment Agency One North East are working together to ensure the region is well placed to meet the skills needs of an industry that could potentially create 30,000 new jobs. The development will ensure the region is able to produce a skilled workforce capable of meeting the demand for thousands of jobs in construction and long- term main-tenance jobs as the offshore wind industry develops in order to meet the government's 2020 targets for emis-sions and renewables. In addition to expanding the college's Wind Technician Training Course, the training tower will also signify the next stage in the development of a UK Centre for Wind Skills, placing the North East at the forefront of the wind industry's efforts to avoid a skills shortage. For more information on innovation in North East England visit www. northeastengland. co. uk Background: ONE NaREC Blade Testing Facility Case study: Clipper Windpower World- leading US- based turbine technology developer Clipper Windpower has been carrying out research and development at NaREC's Blyth facilities since 2007. This activity will facilitate Clipper Windpower's devel-opment of Project Britannia, the world's most powerful commercial wind turbine. The 7.5 MW turbine under development is currently the world's largest planned commercial turbine. The company has previously won the US Department of Energy's Outstanding Research and Development Partnership Award for the development of the largest wind turbine manufactured in the USA, the Liberty Wind Turbine. Activities in the region Clipper Windpower's presence in the region has been facilitated by NaREC's Blyth facilities, which provide the UK's only blade- testing facility for wind turbines. These facilities were critical in Clipper Windpower's decision to base its R& D project in the region and are key toward attracting further investment in the region in a rapidly growing area of renewable energy. Blyth has already established itself as a prestigious hub for the develop-ment of innovative wind- power technologies, having provided the location for one of the first innovative onshore projects and the development of the first UK offshore wind farm Blyth offers an excellent location for the development of wind turbine technology and will provide significant expertise to Clipper Windpower. The initial investment from Clipper Windpower is expected to create 25 new jobs in the region dur-ing 2009, and has received generous financial sup-port from One NorthEast, as well as support from NaREC through the provision of technical services and facilities, for a period of two years.
128INNOVATION UK Centres of Excellence North East: County durham development COMPANY County Durham - where science and technology grow County Durham's economic strategy recognises that innovation and knowledge- based investment are vital to future economic success and that the County must create and sustain an infrastructure that encourages investment and R& D activity. Promoting co- operation between universities and busi-ness; facilitating technology transfer; and providing space for business incubation are all part of the vision for one of the County's flagship developments. As a focus for the commercialisation of the region's inno-vation, providing an interface between universities and business, the North East Technology Park ( NETPark) is making a major contribution to the economic prospects of County Durham and the north east. In a mature parkland setting at Sedgefield, NETPark is one of the UK's fastest growing science, engineering and technology parks. NETPark is being driven forward by County Durham Development Company ( CDDC), which is encouraging the creation of an innovative, self- sustaining knowledge-based community throughout Durham. NETPARK boasts: The NETPark Research Institute - developed to bring Durham University's world class strengths in research & development and Intellectual Property commercialisation to the park. Links to world-class research in all five of the universities throughout the region is one of NETPark's many strengths. The Printable Electronics Technology Centre ( PETEC) - developed and managed by the Centre for Process Inno-vation ( CPI), PETEC is the UK flagship centre for flexible electronics technology and has state- of- the- art facilities that allow companies to develop prototypes and prod-ucts, while engaging with universities for collaborative research. The centre will help to put NETPark and the County at the forefront of revolutionary technologies, poised to exploit a printable electronics market projected to be worth £ 30 billion by 2015, growing to £ 200 billion by 2025. The NETPark Incubator - demand for the adaptable office and laboratory space in the first phase of the Incu-bator, which offers a total support package for young companies, was so great that it was fully occupied three years ahead of the predicted date. The newly expanded incubation facility at NETPark has more than doubled the space in which exciting new ven-tures can thrive. Building work has been completed and the 24,000 sq ft Incubator Phase 2 extension is now attracting tenants. The Incubator is already home to some of the world's most exciting technology companies: » Kromek - digital X- ray and imaging technology with security and other applications; » ROAR Particles - nanotechnology to enhance fingerprint detection; » ANTnano plc - air handling and detection technology » Durham Mag Lev Ltd - revolutionary aerodynamic testing of F1 and other cars. These are just a selection of the companies that have found NETPark the ideal environment for business growth. Harnessing the north east's intellectual power and world- class research strengths, it is providing a focal point for the commercialisation of cutting- edge research & development at the centre of a region that places science, engineering and technology at the heart of its economic strategy. CDDC's dedicated NETPark team ensures that compa-nies have access to tailored business support that enables them to achieve their potential - helping them to grow and compete with the best in the world. And there are further developments in the pipeline. Work is already underway on 3 new buildings, each of them capable of becoming the headquarters of a global tech-nology company and ground and infrastructure works for the next stage of NETPark's land development will see it increase from its present 13 hectares to 16 hectares. To find out more about business opportunities at NETPark, visit: www. uknetpark. net or contact Catherine Johns, CDDC's Director of Innovation Development: Tel: + 44 ( 0) 191 370 8689 E- mail: catherine. johns@ durham. gov. uk