NICA at Number 10


I’m Patrick Bonnett, Development Director at NICA and Professor of Practice in Innovation Environments at Newcastle University. I’m Chair of the UK Science Park Association (UKSPA) which represents over 120 Science Parks and Innovation Districts in the UK and a Board member of the Association of Innovation, Research & Technology Organisations (Airto). The innovation, research and technology sector has a combined turnover of £6.9bn and supports over 141,000 jobs.

The ‘longevity’ market is significant – by late 2020 it is estimated that consumers aged 60+ will spend $15 trillion p.a. globally. The UK can gain a comparative advantage by acting first or early in these longevity markets. The UK Industrial Strategy provides a stimulus & framework for action, through the Ageing Grand Challenge. I also act as an advisor to Government on the Ageing Grand Challenge, helping to translate the policy objectives within the Industrial Strategy and the Grand Challenge into meaningful and visible activity “on the ground”.

As the UK’s National Innovation Centre for Ageing we work closely with colleagues in Government and across the applied innovation and commercialisation sectors. I’m passionate about ensuring that the national investment made by Government in NICA maximises the impact that we can make regionally, nationally and internationally in terms of creating new jobs, fuelling economic growth and helping develop services and products that help us all to age well, for longer.

I work closely with colleagues across UK Government and internationally to inform policy and strategy, articulate & communicating needs, opportunities & solutions to partners & stakeholders. Most recently this has included working with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore where I act as an advisor to their Ageing Institute (Arise) and developing collaborative commercial project opportunities with Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). In the UK, as a Board member of Airto, the foremost membership body for organisations operating in the UK’s innovation, research and technology sector I’ve also worked with Airto member organisations to represent the sector’s views on the opportunities and challenges related to developing the longevity markets.

Why do it? Communicating, influencing, helping support the alignment and inter-locking of priorities and investment plans of partners with NICA’s mission and the wider objectives of Government – seeking “win-win” helps to ensure that as individual citizens and UK plc we all benefit.