Over the past 15 years, the UK has been cementing its position as a global leader in bioptechnology research and next-generation manufacturing. This couldn’t be more evident than in the North East, where CPI – an independent technology innovation centre and a founding member of the Government’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult – has been defining the innovation landscape of the Tees Valley, and beyond.
CPI brings together academia, business, government and investors to translate bright ideas and research into the marketplace. Founded in 2004, CPI applies its years of experience across a broad range of industries including pharmaceuticals, medtech, food, agritech and many more – to help ensure that every great invention gets the best opportunity to become successful products with robust, economically viable manufacturing processes. With six national centres, five of which are located within the Tees Valley and Durham County region, and a sixth in Scotland, CPI has proven itself as a true enabler of innovation in the North.
CPI’s head office and original home is at the Wilton Centre in Redcar where the focus is sustainability through biotechnology. The site at the Wilton Centre houses state-of-the-art facilities, offering collaborative spaces, advanced equipment and technical expertise, supporting the development of next-generation products and transformative manufacturing solutions.
Having created CPI from an office in the Wilton Centre there is now over 47,000 sq ft of accommodation with more than 120 CPI staff based there.
Most recently CPI has announced a further extension to their facilities and capabilities at the Wilton Centre, and has unveiled plans to establish a Novel Food, Feed and Nutraceuticals Innovation Centre of Excellence. By becoming the go-to place for process development and scale-up of novel foods, feeds and nutraceuticals, this will help to drive both CPI and the Tees Valley as leaders in biomanufacturing and food innovation. The investment from the Tees Valley Combined Authority builds on recent investments from CPI to create food grade precision fermentation and pilot plant capabilities at the Wilton Centre.
The new Centre of Excellence will leverage upwards of £20 – 30million from industry over the next five years by attracting new businesses to the Tees Valley; initially to work with CPI in the new facilities, but hopefully in time to establish their manufacturing bases within the region.
Through CPI’s unique set of capabilities, the Centre of Excellence will be able to integrate a variety of technologies from ingredient production through to formulation and packaging solutions to deliver the sustainable food supply chain demanded by consumers in the 21st Century. Within the innovation supply chain CPI will provide connectivity, linking partners and collaborators from its global network.
This unique capability in Teesside will draw companies from all over the UK, EU and even the world to Wilton, and in turn will ultimately place the Tees Valley at the heart of a more sustainable food industry.
Having science parks like the Wilton Centre and NetPark which is home to two of CPI’s centres enables a fantastic network of biotech & life science companies who are bolstered by strong research institutions and talented, forward-looking people, to grow and develop industry in the region. Both science parks play a huge role in the innovation ecosystem and that complements the likes of CPI who collaborate with organisations which in turn provides huge benefits for businesses to locate here. Partners and clients who started their journey with CPI have chosen to stay and continue to grow in the region and have expanded across both Wilton and NetPark sites.
It is this growth and development that is cementing the position of the North East as a leader in this new bioeconomy sector locally, nationally, and internationally.