The Catalyst

Welcome to our headquarters. There are several things that make it unique - the multi-award winning design, the fact that we share it with several other National Innovation Centres, and how organisations here develop a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach facilitated by the right infrastructure. However, what makes it really special is who helped design it: the very people who will benefit from it.


Built together with older adults

The decision by the UK Government to support - in collaboration with Newcastle University – the establishment of the National Innovation Centre for Ageing meant we found ourselves in the enviable and unique position of being able to influence the design and delivery of what our own “home” should be like and what it should personify. This allowed us to implement one of the pillars of our strategic approach: actively and meaningfully involving the same people and demography that we serve.

Taking advantage of thirty years of world-leading expertise on addressing healthy ageing

Our headquarters at The Catalyst are designed to embody the concept of 'Ageing Intelligence' and promote collaborative working and integration between commercial ventures and market-leading applied research specialists.  All this leverages significant expertise and capability from existing funding and infrastructure in Newcastle University, who have over thirty years of world-leading expertise on addressing all aspects of healthy ageing, and from our partners.

Come work with us in the Home of Ageing Intelligence®

Working with us you’ll take advantage of: the ‘human-experience-first’ workshop areas, the private product testing rooms, the larger exhibition spaces to promote active collaboration, world class market research facilities in a high-quality but comfortable environment, the TED Talk style Theatre where you can host state-of-the-digital-art conferences or 4k live broadcasting, benefit from close partnerships with the other National Innovation Centres (NICD, NICRE, NHIRIO), extensive collaborations with regional, national and international infrastructure and assets and have the opportunity to co-locate alongside like-minded businesses operating in a diverse range markets.

The closest form of collaboration: working in The Catalyst with us

Come and be part of the innovation we drive at NICA, contribute your research and business ideas to create new businesses, new jobs and improve millions of lives.


Collaborative Working

The building is designed to promote collaborative working and integration between commercial ventures and market-leading applied research specialists, accommodating ease of navigation for people who may have visual impairments, disabilities or walking aids and areas designed to be dementia-friendly. Private product testing rooms and larger exhibition spaces all promote active collaboration and research in a high-quality, comfortable environment.


Modern Facilities

The TED Talk style theatre epitomises this considerate design, featuring bespoke seating with USB charging points. The tiered seating fully caters for all abilities, with wide aisles that allow the seat bases to be permanently fixed in the down position.

The main work areas are designed with just as much collaboration and consideration in mind, offering a variety of settings that give people a choice of where to work.
Spaces outside the formal working areas provide a variety of small and large areas to gather for social, informal meetings. The building encourages collaboration and inclusivity but also communicates best practice. We use the building to demonstrate a process for design as well as solutions, plus it's a great place to work and visit.

Take a virtual tour: