THE North’s landscape has been shaped over time by its industries, from ship building to coal mining. Now, a new boom is on the horizon to once more shape our success through science and a knowledge-based economy.
Newcastle Science City is actively working to ensure that the city and region are positioned at the forefront of this new industrial revolution thanks to the range of world-class science already taking place and being developed in Newcastle, notably through the expertise of Newcastle University.
An exciting partnership is driving Newcastle Science City, comprising Newcastle University, Newcastle City Council and regional development agency, One NorthEast. Together, they are able to combine their different areas of expertise in what is termed a ‘Triple Helix’ model of academia, Government and business sectors working together for a greater united strength. The end aim is for the benefits to be felt by a wide range of audiences, stakeholders and communities.
As our industry moves from the coal face to the laboratory and the commercial applications of science, Newcastle is already regarded as a world-class centre in the four areas of science that form the ‘themes’ of Newcastle Science City.
The themes of ageing and health, energy and environment, molecular engineering and stem cells and regenerative medicine, all demonstrate excellent potential for commercial growth in fields of global significance.
Key to maximising these opportunities will be the University’s transformational role in becoming an entrepreneurial institution able to exploit openings for delivering life-changing benefits.
In his inaugural address in October, Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, Professor Chris Brink, spoke of this role in the context of the knowledge revolution, playing its part in driving economic development and having a real impact on the life of the city and further afield.
Helping to make this a reality are the plans for the former Scottish & Newcastle Brewery in central Newcastle, a 19-acre site set to be transformed into a new quarter of the city.
Public consultation took place in mid-November to ensure that the final masterplan for the development is intrinsically ‘of’ Newcastle and meets the varied requirements of science, business, education and local communities. The mixed-use result could also include new public spaces, iconic buildings and provide a dramatic change to the city centre, signposting the bold future of Newcastle.
In ways such as this, the long-term plans for Newcastle Science City are vital for all our futures, putting new frameworks in place and allowing knowledge to play the role that coal once did in the regional economy.