The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has officially broken ground for works to commence on the National Formulation Centre. The new national innovation centre will be based at NETPark, County Durham and will provide open access facilities and expertise to help companies to develop, prove and scale up new formulated products. The investment will enable UK businesses to tap into this high growth, highly profitable global market.
Complex formulated products are abundant in both every day and industrial life and underpin many sectors of the UK economy; examples include perfumes, medicines, cosmetics, washing powder, processed foods, paints, adhesives, lubricants, composite materials and pesticides.
Working with companies big and small, from regional SMEs to well-known household names, CPI will create an environment for innovation that will enable companies to be more efficient in their use of resources and to accelerate the commercialisation of next generation formulated products.
The centre is expected to be fully operational from December 2017, however, facilities are already open for business at NETPark’s Discovery 2 building. The team are developing a pipeline of projects that will enable CPI and partners from across the industry to develop facilities and expertise that will attract businesses to the area to develop their formulated products for years to come.
CPI’s CEO Nigel Perry said; “I am extremely excited to be able to build on what has already been a promising start to our work in supporting the formulating industries in the UK. I am passionate that CPI continues to enable and deliver impact for the Industry and for the UK, and look forward to opening our new facility in 2017.”
Stakeholders from across industry, academia and the public sector joined together at CPI’s National Printable Electronics Centre to hear why the National Formulation Centre is needed to boost competitiveness for UK’s industry and help to secure the UK supply chain for formulated products.
Speaking on behalf of the FMCG sector, Procter and Gamble Research Director Charles Bragg said; “I am very excited by the opportunities for CPI’s National Formulation Centre. We hope that working with CPI will enable better products, delivered sooner, for UK partners, allowing them to gain market share and grow their business.”
CPI’s Formulation Director Graeme Cruickshank said; “I am delighted that our partners from industry and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership could join us today to break ground on the National Formulation Centre, which will help anchor R&D, manufacturing and jobs in the North East and wider UK. The delivery of this build programme marks an important step along the way to delivering our lighthouse vision for the formulating industries.”
The new building is expected to house over 35 staff in both technical and non-technical roles, and will bring opportunities for up to 90 construction-based jobs during the build project.
The National Formulation Centre has received £8.9m in funding from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund.
North East LEP Innovation Director Hans Moller said; “This project is an important step towards positioning the North East as a flagship area for the delivery of formulated products. The centre is a prime example of a strong innovation culture being built in the North East, driving us towards our goal of being recognised as a European innovation hot spot. It will be there to underpin and promote the region’s SME base, and will act as a strong magnet for future inward investment.”
Simon Goon, Managing Director of Business Durham, which manages NETPark on behalf of Durham County Council commented; “This is a significant development for NETPark and is another step towards our ambition to be the global hub for companies integrating novel materials into innovative products that transform lives all over the world. We are very proud that CPI chose to locate the National Formulation Centre here in Durham, which will help many more businesses to develop pioneering products.”