With 15 of the region’s top innovators lined up to bring their brilliant ideas to VentureFest North East, the Innovation Showcase celebrates the disruptive ideas, processes, and products transforming industry and the way we live.

In the run up to VentureFest taking place on 17 March, we’re taking a closer look at the businesses driving disruption in manufacturing, energy, digital, healthcare and social innovation. We’ve already met the businesses shining new light on the energy sector, but today we get to know three companies who are transforming manufacturing and process innovation.

Meet the Innovators

Rapid Fluidics

Rapid Fluidics Ltd was formed in 2020 to commercialise research completed as part of a PhD at Newcastle University. Since then they’ve grown into a biotech engineering consultancy, solving microfluidic and point-of-care system problems for their clients.

From a base in Newcastle upon Tyne, they provide a design and rapid-prototyping consultancy service to customers with a need for microfluidic systems. They utilise a novel way to rapidly and accurately produce prototype microfluidic test cards, offering companies developing microfluidic products a range of fluidic building blocks, and a much faster iteration cycle through designs.

Power Roll

Power Roll, headquartered in Sunderland, has developed a unique, flexible, lightweight solar film capable of producing ultra-low-cost green electricity that is up to 20 times cheaper to make than existing flexible PV. By applying different coatings to its versatile microgroove design, Power Roll can also use the film for energy storage and to manufacture capacitors. Power Roll’s microgroove film is suitable for non-load-bearing rooftops, building integration, transport, portable applications, off-grid projects and IoT sensors.


OGEL has developed, patented and are now manufacturing a total construction system capable of turning waste plastic into walls, roofs and floors.

The system has an extensive range of uses from single room buildings such as garden rooms and offices to flood defence barriers. It has the capability to be developed into multi-room, multi-storey buildings.

OGEL is designed to be easy to assemble and dismantle, fully modular and interchangeable, as well as packing away to 1/5th of its built size when being stored or in transit.

Taking place entirely online for the first time, VentureFest North East will focus on bringing businesses practical advice and opportunities for support against the backdrop of COVID-19, with a focus on using innovation to build resilient and sustainable business models.

The Innovation Showcase is one of VentureFest’s most inspirational elements. It is delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork in partnership with the North East BIC’s Innovation Programme. This year delegates can vote for their favourite innovation, with the most popular announced as ‘Innovation of the Year’ at the North East Innovation Awards.

In a change to previous years, the showcase will also make up the shortlist for North East Innovation Awards’ sector specific categories, with winners decided by an independent industry panel in advance. All winners will be announced at VentureFest.

VentureFest North East takes place on Wednesday 17 March 2021. To register for your FREE place visit:

VentureFest North East is part of the wider Catalysing Innovation in North East Cluster Project delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork. The SuperNetwork is supported by the North East LEP, Northumbrian Water Group, North East BIC and P&G, with part-funding from the European Regional Development Fund. 

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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