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The park is built the site of the former Winterton Hospital and is home to several high-tech companies specialising in fields such as nanotechnology, X-Ray technology, forensics and semiconductor technology. One such company operating from the site is the Centre for Process Innovation Ltd. whose National Printable Electronics Centre specialises in the field of organic and large area printable electronics.
NETPark - The North East Technology Park, in Sedgefield, County Durham is one of the fastest growing science parks in the United Kingdom. It is a concentration of science and technology related businesses developing technology and products in the physical sciences, particularly printable electronics, microelectronics, photonics and nanotechnology, and their application in the fields of energy, defence, and medical-related technologies. Since its inception in 2000, NETPark has developed a number of facilities including the NETPark Incubator which now totals over 4,000 sq. M, the NETPark Discovery Centre buildings with each one totalling nearly 1,900 sq. M. NETPark also has strong links with the High Value Manufacturing Catapult through CPI’s National Printable Electronics Centre. Durham University is also part of the NETPark science community through the NETPark Research Institute which was the first building to be constructed on the site.
NETPark History & Development
Arrangements are completed to transfer control of the site of Winterton Hospital in Sedgefield from NHS Estates to Durham County Council.
Demolition of the Victorian buildings of the closed Winterton Hospital is completed, clearing the way for site preparation for the North East’s first specialist science & technology park.
The site of NETPark is cleared of all rubble, and the central roadway – later to become Thomas Wright Way, is in place.
In May, the ground is broken for the first time to herald work commencing on NETPark’s first building, The NETPark Research Institute.
In July The NETPark Research Institute is complete and ready for occupation by advanced research groups from Durham University. Work also commences on the construction of the NETPark Incubator – designed to set new standards for technology incubation.
Construction of the NETPark Incubator is complete and is formally opened by Prime Minister Tony Blair, in whose constituency it is located. Work begins on the construction of Centre for Process Innovation's then-named PETEC.
The NETPark Incubator’s first occupiers – Durham Scientific Crystals (later to become Kromek plc) move in and enter a new phase of the development of their unique technology. They are followed by several other hi-tech companies during the year.
Plans are finalised and approved for Phase 2 of the NETPark Incubator – made necessary by growing demand for high-quality Incubation facilities. The Printable Electronics Technology Centre is complete and ready for its complex fit-out. NETPark Net, the virtual science and innovation network, opens for business.
Work gets underway on Phase 2 of the NETPark Incubator during the early part of the year, and preparations are made for Kromek (formerly DSC) to move into additional temporary accommodation to cope with their rapid expansion. Fit-out work is complete at the Printable Electronics Technology Centre.
In March, the Printable Electronics Centre is formally opened by Lord Mandelson, then Secretary of State for Business & Enterprise. In May, work commences on a new building which will ultimately be occupied by Kromek, and in July CPI announces a further £20m investment in the Printable Electronics Technology Centre to nearly double its size. Project C NETPark’s outreach programme, is launched.
In June Dr Arnab Basu, CEO of Kromek signs the lease which gives his company occupation of its own 1600m2 HQ and production facility after just 5 years of rapid growth at NETPark. Also in June, NETPark again hits the headlines when the crew of Space Shuttle Mission STS 132 touch-down to formally open Phase 2 of the NETPark Incubator, with the help of local schoolchildren.
In February, a ground breaking ceremony takes place to launch work on two new ‘Grow-on space’ units to provide additional space for expanding technology companies. In July: CPI announces that the expanded Printable Electronics Technology Centre will “… work directly with the UK’s design, print and packaging industries to deliver cutting-edge electronic functionality into manufacturable printed products”. Later in the year it is announced that the centre will become a High Value Manufacturing ‘Catapult’ centre.
March: Discovery 1 and Discovery 2, the two new ‘Grow-on space’ units are complete and ready for occupation, with strong interest already being expressed by prospective tenants. And NETPark again hosts a visit from a NASA astronaut – Col. Ron Garan. NETPark Net membership, the virtual innovation network of science, engineering and technology companies hits 300. Project C engages with 22,000 people in 3 years.
December: Filtronic Broadband join NETPark. Manufacturing P2P Modules for the telecoms industry they leave behind the old Fujitsu plant at Newton Aycliffe.