Mayor Ben Houchen has toured a Teesside science and technology innovation centre that was recently awarded £107m in government funding.
The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), at Redcar’s Wilton site, helps companies to develop, prove, prototype and commercialise next generation products and processes.
CPI, which employs around 400 people in the region, works to support businesses across many sectors, including healthcare, electronics, energy, aerospace, chemical processing and more.
Last month, CPI received £107m from government to help develop technologies for future manufacturing, as part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult scheme.
CPI is one of seven Catapult centres across the UK, which brings together businesses, science and engineering to “catapult” products from concept to market.
Work is soon set to begin on CPI’s £17m Healthcare Futures Centre at Darlington’s Central Park.
The facility will allow organisations to develop and test medicine manufacturing technologies that can be applied to therapeutic supply chains.
During his visit, CPI bosses also talked Mayor Houchen through their project alongside Calysta, looking into gas fermentation to develop the production process for a new fish feed ingredient.
This aims to cut down on the industry’s use of fishmeal and support sustainability.
Mayor Houchen said: “I have been incredibly impressed to see the ground-breaking work that’s going on at CPI.
“They are the unsung heroes in a massive number of sectors and industries, taking brilliant ideas and bringing them to market. They are absolutely essential to the work of so many companies across the country.
“The UK has a world-beating reputation for innovation, and the government is building on this strength by investing in areas like ours which will drive local growth, creating more opportunities for high-skilled, well-paid jobs across the area.”
CPI CEO Nigel Perry said: “I was delighted to host mayor Houchen and highlight our world-class innovation capability and technical expertise.
“We are very good at what we do and to see this recognised by the increased public funding and by companies alike is just brilliant.
“We are committed to long-term growth in Tees Valley, and in focusing on collaboration to create sustainable industries for the future, we want to ensure high-quality jobs are available for generations to come.”