NETPark has been instrumental in changing perceptions of the North East, as Paul Wright, CEO of the United Kingdom Science Park Association (UKSPA), explains.
Fourteen years ago when I first started my role as CEO of UKSPA, I’m afraid to say that “The North East” conjured up images of pit heads and fairly bleak economic conditions. I admit it was
a fairly ignorant view of an area I had never visited.
My perceptions were utterly demolished when I started working with people at NETPark, a longstanding member of UKSPA. While there is no doubt the North East still struggles with some pretty
challenging economic issues, NETPark is a powerful symbol of how the region has quietly and tenaciously adapted to the need for industrial change, and has made itself a key player in both national and global economies. One memorable day even brought the crew
of a space shuttle to NETPark, which brought into sharp focus the links between innovation, manufacturing and inspiration.
My view of the North East has been radically changed. I see a region that has built an enterprising culture, has world class facilities and business support services, world class research expertise
and learning facilities, and operates across a wealth of leading edge high technology and knowledge based sectors, a proud part of a prosperous United Kingdom.
As a member of UKSPA, NETPark contributes enormously to the national and international Science and Technology Park agenda, and is a champion of the science park industry, as its close involvement
with our international counterpart, IASP, proves. We are proud to be associated with the NETPark model, which is an excellent case study proving that Science and Technology Park development should be central to the economic regeneration agenda anywhere in
Above all else it is the people who are the heart of the region, who work together every day as an innovative community to shape the success of the region. Long may it continue.