A delegation of academics and business leaders from one of the leading American universities was today looking to the North-east for possible business ties.
Seventeen people from the University of Central Florida - with a research budget of $100m - are spending three days touring North-east universities and meeting key business people in visits organised by regional development agency's One NorthEast.
Organisers hope the first visit to the region by the eighth biggest university in the US - with 45,000 students - will cement academic links and lead to business opportunities and technology partnerships.
The itinerary for the three-day trip, starting today, includes a visit to Sedgefield's NETPark science park where they will be given a presentation by Dermot Roddy, of Renew Tees Valley, on renewable energy sources in the region.
Their tour will also take in The Sage, Gateshead, and Durham University, where they see a presentation on the Stem Cell Research Institute.