£12m biotech centre a ‘step towards a new age’

A NATIONAL facility set to help Teesside regain its status as one of the most important chemical industry hubs in the world was opened yesterday.

A NATIONAL facility set to help Teesside regain its status as one of the most important chemical industry hubs in the world was opened yesterday.

The £12m National Industrial Biotechnology Facility, based at the Centre for Process Innovation at Wilton, is hoped to transform the way chemicals used to make millions of everyday products are manufactured.

Yesterday One NorthEast chairman Margaret Fay opened the facility which she said marked a step towards a new age in manufacturing for the area. The NIBF will help firms replace outmoded traditional chemical processing techniques with cleaner, greener, less wasteful methods – ensuring the region a place at the forefront of the green revolution.

It provides an open access trial and development centre so that businesses can test their ideas to ensure they work and are viable before investing heavily.

Dr Chris Dowle, director of advanced processing at CPI, said: “This facility will benefit companies by allowing them to embrace, test and subsequently apply sustainable manufacturing and energy production.

“Using industrial biotechnology for modern manufacturing will create reductions in millions of tonnes of waste and energy and more efficient use of the worlds resources.”

Teesside has a long association with the chemical industry and even at a time of perceived decline more than 34,000 people in the area are still directly employed in the sector.

The Northern Way supported the facility with £3m.

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