The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) is an industry-led and membership-based network to overcome barriers to growth and support manufacturing businesses. It undertakes a range of activities providing access to research and intelligence, benchmarking and skills practice. It provides a focal point to drive innovation and adopt new technologies and processes through collaboration, business advice and access to funding.
More recently the NEAA established the NEAA Electrification Group to promote and develop the region’s manufacturing and research activity in electrified powertrain components and systems, including batteries.
Additional cluster groups and support organisations include:
Advanced Manufacturing Forum (AMF) is the largest manufacturing forum in the North East, dedicated to supporting organisations from a range of manufacturing sectors.
Regional Technology Centre (RTC) North is a well-established consultancy that works with manufacturing companies to facilitate innovation through accessing expertise within the region’s universities.
Zero Carbon Futures, operated by Gateshead College, offers an expert consultancy service relating to the adoption of electric vehicle technology.
CPI, based in County Durham, helps companies to develop, prove, prototype and commercialise next-generation products and processes. With world-class facilities and expertise, CPI helps companies bring products to market sooner, with reduced risk. CPI is home to national centres that support the innovative manufacturing sectors in the region, including:
- The National Printable Electronics Centre
- The National Formulation Centre
- The National Industrial Biotechnology Facility
- The National Biologics Manufacturing Centre
- The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre
- The National Healthcare Photonics Centre
- The Graphene Application Centre
North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) has over 300 members and covers a broad sweep of chemistry-focused industries including petrochemicals, polymers and materials, fine and speciality chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and renewables. It works to promote the cluster nationally and to attract investment internationally.
Within the advanced manufacturing sector, the North East succeeds in fostering collaboration between established companies that have been operating in ‘traditional’ industries for decades and emerging tech companies looking to disrupt new markets. As a direct response, digital companies have located in the region to support the automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors and future advancements in the sector. North East Tees Valley Digital Catapult helps the region’s businesses transform their operations by accelerating the application of emerging digital technologies. The centre has worked successfully with major companies such as Nissan and Komatsu.