The North East Innovation Awards honours regional pioneers in innovation

11 May 2023

A biodegradable plant-based plastic alternative and an AI driven marketing, PR and publishing platform were amongst the 10 innovations celebrated today at the North East Innovation Awards.

Taking place at the annual VentureFest North East conference, which celebrated a decade of bringing together innovators, the Awards saw a return to an open application process with applications coming in from scores of businesses in each category.

Estelle Blanks, CEO at Innovation SuperNetwork who deliver the event, said: “The businesses shortlisted for the awards are innovating at the forefront of their sectors to develop impactful ideas to help us to tackle some of the most pressing challenges that we face in the region.

“VentureFest has always been about bringing together talent, entrepreneurship, research and ideas. The Awards help us to really celebrate organisations and innovators from across the North East and the winners in each category demonstrate the range of ideas flourishing right here in our region. I extend my congratulations to all of them and eagerly anticipate their future achievements.”

The Innovation SuperNetwork collaborated with key partners with expertise in each category to decide the winners, including innovation funding experts Catax, the headline partner for the awards. 

The tenth category, ‘Innovation of the Year’, was selected by delegates visiting who voted for their favourite Innovation Showcase business. The winner, that specialise in hospitality robotics, Spark EPoS, won with 39% of the votes.


The winners are:

University Spinout: 3D Bio Tissues, Newcastle

Category Partner: The Northern Accelerator


Sustainable Innovation: Chestnut Bio, Newcastle

Category Partner: Northumbrian Water


Digital Innovation: Reveela, Newcastle

Category Partner: Infotel UK Consulting


Advanced Manufacturing Innovation: Transmission Dynamics, Northumberland

Category Partner: Sunderland City Council


Health & Life Sciences Innovation: Scuba TX, Newcastle

Category Partner: CPI


Energy Innovation: Kinewell Energy, North Tyneside

Category Partner: Northern Gas Networks


Social Innovation: TREAT-NMD, Newcastle

Category Partner: Believe Housing


Inclusive Innovation: Helen Aitchison, Write on Tyne, Newcastle

Category Partner: British Business Bank


Innovation Champion: Paul Butler, North East Automotive Alliance, Sunderland

Category Partner: North East Local Enterprise Partnership


Innovation of the Year: Spark EPoS, Newcastle

Category Partner: North East BIC  


The day also featured TED Talks Global Emerging Innovator, Adah Parris, Finbarr Dowling, Project Manager at Siemens and Martin Hunt, MD UK & Europe at global sustainability non-profit, Forum for the Future. The theme for the day, was Our Future, Now and explored the technology available now to help tackle society’s most pressing challenges.  


Day one of VentureFest North East took place at Boiler Shop, Newcastle and welcomed more than 400 delegates. Day two takes place at The Common Room on Thursday 11th May.

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