A new accelerator programme aimed at businesses with the potential to develop solutions to the challenges faced by an ageing population has been launched.
The new programme offers £12,500 of investment and six months office space in the Biosphere building on Newcastle Helix, a £350m flagship development being delivered as a partnership between Newcastle University, Newcastle City Council and Legal & General.
The National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA), based at Newcastle University, Newcastle City Council and Northstar Ventures, the Innovation SuperNetwork, kicked-off a new challenge-based programme at VentureFest North East last month.
Graham Armitage, Deputy Director: Innovation and Partnerships, Newcastle University Institute for Ageing, said: “Increasing life expectancy from better healthcare, diet and living conditions is the greatest recent achievement in our society.
“The North East though is living proof that not everyone experiences ageing in the same way and some people experience complex and wide-ranging challenges in maintaining an independent, happy and healthy life as they get older.”
A series of half-day workshops are planned with interested individuals, businesses, researchers and experts to better understand the opportunities identified and begin generating solutions.
The first of four events will take place on Thursday 13 December at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle.
Simon Green, CEO of the Innovation SuperNetwork, said: “A significant proportion of businesses that could offer potential solutions don’t immediately identify themselves as operating in ageing specifically.
“Yet, by bringing in new thinking and encouraging individuals and businesses across multiple sectors to consider ageing as an opportunity, there’s the chance for new ventures to be formed. This is an exciting opportunity for anyone with bright ideas that could impact positively on how society ages.
"This could be as a result of a technological innovation, but it could be down to a simple idea that enables individuals to move more easily, maintaining their physical and mental capacity to live independently.”
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