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Kickstart for cell ideas

The organisation driving the growth of North East England’s healthcare economy has launched a unique scheme to help the region’s stem cell scientists to develop their ideas into commercial reality. Working with the North East England Stem Cell Institute (NESCI), CELS is offering 20 Stem Cell Kickstart awards of £1000 each for ideas which have the potential to provide a major boost to the North East economy.

Mike Asher, CEO, CELS, said: “Commercialisation of stem cell research has the potential to contribute significantly to the growth of our regional economy. However, one of the challenges is that the financial returns of this work are often long-term so early-stage research can struggle to attract funding. The CELS Stem Cell Kickstart scheme is designed to inject vital support at an early grass roots level and to focus attention on the importance of commercial outcomes to research in this field. By so doing, CELS will be supporting the world’s stem cell experts and entrepreneurs of the future.”

Professor Michael Whitaker, Chair of NESCI, said: "We're looking to our stem cell scientists at all levels for ideas that have commercial potential. These may be about a new invention that could be protected by a patent, a skill, know-how or activity that could be marketed as a service or new equipment or technology that could be manufactured and sold."

Any member of a research team active in the field of stem cell research and currently at a North East university or research institute is invited to apply for an award. As well as the prize money, the winning scientists will also be given the opportunity to benefit from ongoing support from CELS and NESCI to realise the commercial opportunities of their idea in the region. Scientists can apply for an award online at or apply for further information from CELS on 0191 211 2626.

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