A new £18m National Centre for Healthcare Photonics is being created at NETPark in Durham.
Planned to open in 2017, it will be one of the world’s most exciting places where businesses, academia, entrepreneurs and investors come together to develop new technologies using light to diagnose and treat medical conditions and illnesses. Collectively known as Healthcare Photonics, the use of light to diagnose and treat medical conditions and illnesses is one of the most interesting and fastest developing areas in healthcare.
It includes a range of new phototherapies as well as bio-medical imaging and in vitro diagnostics. The area offers huge potential for the UK and the global healthcare sector. Applications are wide ranging from wound, skin and cancer care to niche applications in neurology and ophthalmology. The North East is already home to a number of innovative SMEs working in healthcare photonics, one of which is NETPark based PolyPhotonix, which has demonstrated the potential of such novel therapies. PolyPhotonix has manufactured a phototherapy based sleep mask for the treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy, an eye disease caused by diabetes.
The North East Local Economic Partnership (North East LEP) has asked the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) to create a new National Centre for Healthcare Photonics at NETPark in Durham. The Centre is planned to open in 2017 and will open facilities and expertise that can be accessed by companies of all sizes – from University spinouts to SMEs and major multi-nationals – helping them develop their technologies and bring them to market.