An accelerator launched at VentureFest North East in November to tackle the challenges faced by an ageing society has selected the first nine companies to go through the programme.

Tackling issues as varied as Alzheimer’s and dementia to holistic care and symptom management, the companies will be among the first to move into The Biosphere. They will spend the next 6 months working out of this specialist facility, that is tailored to the commercialisation of life sciences and innovation, research and development.

The programme which is being delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork in partnership with the National Innovation Centre for Ageing at Newcastle University (NICA), Newcastle City Council, Northstar Ventures and Aging2.0, worked with accelerator hopefuls to understand the breadth of challenges across the ageing space, support idea generation around potential solutions and enable new collaborations to form.

Graham Armitage, Operations Director at NICA, said: “Healthy ageing is one of the biggest challenges facing society today. We collaborate with world-leading scientists, business and healthcare providers to find solutions to support people to live independent, healthy lives for longer, so it’s exciting to see the breadth of ideas come through the accelerator so far.”

Simon Green, CEO of the Innovation SuperNetwork, added: “These ideas are testament to the region’s innovative spirit. The next step is to support the companies, through an environment of collaboration, with tailored business support to help bring these products and services to market and prepare for further investment. By the end of the year we hope to see these nine, potentially life-changing, ideas come to commercial realisation.”