Professor Roy Sandbach, the former chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership Innovation Board, has been appointed by Newcastle University as director of the new National Centre for Ageing Science and Innovation (NASI).
The centre, which will be located at Newcastle University, represents a £20-million investment by the Government that is being matched by the university.
The announcement of the scheme in November 2014 was seen as further commitment by the Government to the Northern Powerhouse agenda and a reflection of the national confidence in the world-leading ageing science capability within the North East.
The NASI will become operational during 2016 and create up to 30 jobs. It will focus on diagnostics, care and wellbeing products for older people while also working on critical age-relevant themes, such as home design, finance, transport and mobility.
Professor Sandbach brings a wealth of global business innovation experience to his new role, with more than 30 years’ experience at Procter & Gamble – an international consumer products company.
He said: “As director of the NASI, I have the unique opportunity to lead a team to develop strategies and deliver them as products and services that people can use and benefit from.
“I was honoured to be asked by Newcastle University to take on this challenge and will look to build on the university’s track record of successful working with businesses and with academics.”
Universities and Science Minister, Jo Johnson, added: “[The Government’s] £20-million investment in the National Centre for Ageing Science and Innovation at Newcastle University will support hugely significant research into diagnostics, wellbeing and ageing that will boost the Northern Powerhouse and help ensure that we can all live better and longer lives.”
Professor Sandbach continued: “The NASI is a vital part of the region’s development as an innovation hotbed with a global reputation.
“The Northern Powerhouse concept is built on driving economic development, more knowledge-based jobs and prosperity using innovation as a key vehicle. Our new centre will play a critical part in driving the Northern Powerhouse ahead.”