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Arrow Innovation Scheme

North East businesses offered fully-funded innovation support

Published on: 18 March 2024

Regional businesses can now apply to access academic expertise and world-leading facilities at the region’s universities through the expansion of the Arrow innovation support scheme.

Over the past five years, Arrow has played a pivotal role in supporting regional businesses by connecting them with expertise and facilities at Newcastle University.

New funding and a partnership with other regional universities means that the successful Arrow model is now being delivered in partnership between Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, and the University of Sunderland, resulting in businesses being able to access a wealth of expertise and facilities from across the region’s leading academic institutions.

Businesses can access a range of support via Arrow, including one-to-one time with experts, specialist scientific expertise, research and development, and facilities and equipment.

'143 new jobs will be created by businesses supported through Arrow'

Arrow has already helped over 150 businesses across the North East with innovation support and has the capacity to help over 100 more this year.

Chris Angus, Arrow Programme Manager and Head of Business Support at Newcastle University, said: “Arrow is fully funded for eligible regional businesses who are based in County Durham, North Tyneside, Newcastle, or Northumberland.

“Examples of focused innovation projects that we have run with businesses include help to develop a new product or service, research and development, proof of concept and validation, MVP development, access to our universities’ research facilities and equipment or help with gaining research insights.” 

An independent assessment has forecast that through the first phase of Arrow the businesses supported will have:

  • Developed 53 new products or services
  • Created 143 new jobs
  • Increased turnover by £16.9m
  • Increased private investment by 2.6 million

with more anticipated to be created as a result of this next stage of the project.

Nanovery has raised £1.85 million in investment

Support through Arrow has allowed Nanovery, a cutting-edge biotech company specialising in drug delivery for cancer drugs, to test their prototype in a lab at Newcastle University’s Centre for Cancer, secure subsequent funding, and establish operations in the Biosphere at Newcastle Helix.

Jurek Kozyra, Founder CEO of Nanovery, said: “Working with Newcastle University through Arrow helped us identify gaps in our team and has allowed us to employ more staff, and fund PhD students. We have also cemented our relationship with the University’s Centre for Cancer.”

Nanovery has raised £1.85 million in investment and employs a team of nine, including two PhD students to develop their diagnostic test on the back of the support received from Arrow’s innovation support.

There is no cost to organisations for eligible projects, as Arrow is part-funded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund – a UK government scheme that’s part of the Levelling Up agenda – through Durham County Council and North of Tyne Combined Authority.

Businesses interested in working with Arrow can make an enquiry on the Arrow website.


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