A cutting-edge Teesside innovation centre has been given £4m in funding to help develop a Centre for Excellence in bio-manufacturing.
The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), an open-access, independent innovation centre which supports the development of UK process industry and manufacturing, has been granted the cash by Tees Valley Combined Authority to help it refurbish and extend its capabilities at the Wilton Centre, near Redcar.
This new capability will allow CPI to support businesses in developing new and improved food products, including foods with increased health benefits, driving the region forward as a leader in bio-manufacturing and securing the future of companies working in the sector, helping them grow in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
CPI’s upgrade to its laboratories and technical development areas will include the installation of new equipment. When complete, the project will create and safeguard 41 jobs in the region, as well as supporting other businesses.
The organisation has a second facility in Darlington, adjacent to Teesside University’s National Horizons Centre, with both institutions playing a key part in the region’s biosciences and healthcare sector.
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said: “CPI is a massive asset in the ever-growing field of biotechnology and life sciences and works with a host of cutting-edge businesses to develop exciting and innovative products.
“Supporting and growing our amazing biosciences and healthcare sectors is an important part of my plan for jobs and this funding will help CPI to stay at the forefront of the industry, boost what they do and make even more new ideas a reality, helping to improve food production and, ultimately, the health and wellbeing of people across the UK.
“This investment will make sure they can continue their fantastic work with the backing of top-quality laboratories. CPI’s new development will become another major benefit for companies across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool and prove a great draw to others looking to invest here.”
Kris Wadrop, general manager for biotechnology at CPI, said: “With this investment, in conjunction with CPI’s own investment programme and commitment from industrial leaders in the novel food and protein sector, we will create a unique capability on Teesside that will draw companies from all of the UK, EU and world to Wilton.
“The impact our food systems have on carbon emissions is profound, and this investment will enable businesses to demonstrate technologies and make samples for application tests of products that could transform our food systems.”