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The Catalyst – A dynamic building to put Newcastle at the forefront of ageing and data innovation ecosystems

A state-of-the-art £50m facility located at Newcastle Helix, developed to act as a city centre focus, stimulating economic growth and job creation in ageing and data-related innovation, is set to open.

The Catalyst is part of the £350m Newcastle Helix development, a new innovation community that brings together businesses, communities and world-class innovation experts and translational researchers.

The landmark building hosts a suite of bespoke facilities and a range of flexible office space. Based on the old Newcastle Brown Ale brewery site, it was designed under the biophilic principal, meaning the surroundings centre around creating a nurturing and peaceful working environment.

It will be home to the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD) and the UK’s National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA), both of which are hosted and funded by Newcastle University in partnership with UK Research & Innovation.

Professor Brian Walker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research Strategy and Resources, Newcastle University, said: “We are excited to see staff now occupying the Catalyst as a bespoke building bringing together businesses, innovation experts, translational researchers and the public, all under one roof.

“Together, we will deliver economic growth and enable the UK to become a global leader in data and ageing-related innovation.”

The Catalyst is being managed by Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading operator of innovation spaces. The organisation specialises in building business communities and managing dynamic venues which provide flexible workspace options to inspiring businesses and entrepreneurs.

Oxford Innovation’s, Managing Director, Jo Stevens said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Newcastle University to launch what will be a magnificent facility for Newcastle and the UK, bolstering the city’s credentials as a leader, delivering meaningful and visible innovation in data and ageing.

“The centre is a fantastic opportunity and will encourage companies and organisations to collaborate, develop and build a broad range of new products which will focus on data and ageing.”

In addition, the National Innovation Centre for Data will connect the brightest technologists with businesses, helping them to unlock the benefits of data science.

Spread over five floors, the building’s 100,000 sq ft provides a mix of private offices, public areas and co-working spaces.

It also has a wide range of meeting spaces including a TED Talk style theatre and a Team Decision Theatre with multiple linkable and interactive screens which can run scenarios simultaneously. There is also an Insights Suite with discreet cameras and an event and product demonstration space called the Workshop.

Located centrally on the Newcastle Helix, The Catalyst is only a three-minute walk from St James Metro station and less than a 10-minute walk from Newcastle Central Station.

With Newcastle University also within walking distance, Newcastle Helix is already home to university researchers, big businesses, start-ups and hundreds of residents. Setting a new standard, this flagship development is the only city centre innovation quarter of its kind in the UK.

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