Innovation Lab opens as part of Integrated Covid Hub

The innovation lab, which opened in January at The Biosphere in Newcastle Helix, is part of the Integrated Covid Hub North East and hosted by Newcastle Hospitals. The team at this specialist lab is working to accelerate the development and use of new Covid diagnostic tests.

The innovation lab’s team works with the NHS, healthcare and university partners at local, regional and national levels and has links with industry organisations at a local to international level.  The team’s focus is to coordinate capability and ideas across these different sectors.

The lab provides unique access to facilities designed to accelerate the development and implementation of improved testing, helping in the short term to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and in the long term to provide greater resilience for fighting virus spread.

Victoria Mcfarlane-Reid, Director for director for enterprise and business development at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, says:

“The very exciting opportunity brings industry and academia closer to the NHS, so we can focus on ‘next generation’ diagnostics to get ahead of the next pandemic or epidemic.

“Our scientists can provide access to everything needed to safely develop new diagnostics, including a high-tech testing and simulation area and access to a bank of biological research samples.”

The lab team includes molecular biologists, geneticists, methodologists, phlebotomists and technicians from a variety of backgrounds including industry, academia and the NHS.

Work has begun with a number of potential partners including global medtechs, universities and local small and medium sized companies, and the lab’s first piece of work is now underway. This exciting project is looking to validate a new point of care lateral flow diagnostic test for Covid-19, developed by a global medtech company.

We are confident it will be the first of many ground-breaking projects to come.

You can follow the Integrated Covid Hub on Twitter at

Skip to content