Teesside-based CPI secures multi-million pound pipeline of work ahead of national centre launch

“We have four projects knocking on the door now and funding has been secured for these." Jonathan Robinson, CPI

Wilton Centre
Wilton Centre

A Teesside tech organisation has secured a multi-million pipeline of work ahead of the £38m National Biologics Manufacturing Centre launch later this year.

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), which has bases in Wilton and NetPark in Sedgefield, has published research detailing a series of projects it is involved in, while also showing it has generated an estimated £12 for every pound of public money it has received.

The CPI said its activities have created £2.4bn of GVA (gross value added) since it was established in 2004.

In that period the organisation, which helps firms explore commercial applications for new and existing technologies, has received around £200m of public subsidies, resulting in a return on investment ratio of 12 to one.

The CPI research also showed that the organisation has helped more than 3,000 companies develop new products and processes, with around 1,000 of these firms directly involved in CPI-led schemes.

The organisation helps science and engineering experts develop, prototype and scale up a wide range of tech products and processes from bendable sheet lighting to complex formulations used in household goods.

Its National Centre for Printable Electronics has been a feature of NetPark since 2009 but a host of other exciting initiatives are set to come on stream in the next three years.

These include a £18m National Centre for Healthcare Photonics, a £28m National Science Centre that will develop complex formulated product applications, a Graphene Applications Innovation Centre and a £38m National Biologics Manufacturing Centre (NBMC), which will help firms develop new and cost-effective treatments for patients.

The CPI said it had secured a multi-million pound pipeline of work ahead of the NBMC launch later this year in Darlington.

Jonathan Robinson, CPI head of business development in biologics, said: “We have four projects knocking on the door now and funding has been secured for these.

“We also have a pipeline of three or four other companies that want to work with us. We’ll find out whether we’ll get the funding for this around the middle of the year.

“These companies are major players in the industry. We’re finding that we’re getting some pretty significant people who want to be a part of all this.”

The initial four projects include the development of treatments for diabetes and rare cancers, the testing of gene behaviour to determine appropriate medicines for patients, and a scheme to explore supply chain barriers to improving the delivery of cost-effective therapies.

Mr Robinson said: “These are some exciting projects. Horizon Discovery [gene project] involves the testing and editing of gene sequences.

“They can generate artifical genes which mimic a patient’s genes to see if a particular treatment is working effectively.”

The CPI has secured grants of around £4.2m to carry out the four projects, although additional funding streams will take that figure well over the £20m mark. A 27-strong team of experts has been assembled and will work at the biologics centre when it opens this autumn.

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