Teesside University has signed a memorandum of understanding with CPI, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, to lead the growth of the biosciences sector in the region and beyond, creating new research, education and collaboration opportunities.
The partnership will enable staff, students and industry partners to work together drawing upon the industry-leading facilities of both parties, the £22.3 million National Horizons Centre (NHC), and CPI’s facilities across the North East.
The NHC is a flagship research, teaching and training facility which offers specialist education and professional development for the current and future biosciences workforce.
CPI helps companies to develop, prove and commercialise new products and processes by providing access to specialised equipment and expertise, support to obtain funding and commercialisation tools to quickly and cost effectively take new products and processes to market.
The three-year memorandum of understanding will see the University and CPI collaborate on technical projects and industry CPD programmes and work together to evaluate new technologies and inventions and prepare them for commercialisation, to drive the growth of the sector.
Professor Gary Montague, CPI Professor of Bioprocessing, said: “Teesside University worked alongside CPI Biologics in the recently completed the £11.2M Biostreamline project where their collaboration resulted in developing a decision making tool for early stage monoclonal antibody development”.
Teesside University is partnering with CPI Biologics in the THYME project developing augmented reality and virtual reality training tools for bioprocess operator training.
Dr Muhammad Safwan Akram, Senior Lecturer in Biologics and Process Engineering, said: “This Memorandum of Understanding will cement our relationship further. Having close ties with CPI has allowed us to focus more on the real-world problems faced by the industry. I am supervising two Higher Degree Apprenticeship students in Biological Sciences at CPI who are looking at finding cost-effective ways of manufacturing biologicals, particularly monoclonal antibodies.”
Professor Stephen Cummings, Dean of Teesside University’s School of Science, Engineering & Design, said: “With the opening of the National Horizons Centre, alongside our ground-breaking research, collaboration and knowledge exchange activity, Teesside University is establishing itself as a leading force within the biosciences sector.
“We have worked alongside CPI successfully for a number of years, but are delighted to formalise our partnership and provide even more opportunities for staff, students and partners.”
Nigel Perry MBE, Chief Executive Officer of CPI, said: “By working more strategically in partnership with Teesside University we can accelerate the provision of the knowledge and infrastructure that attracts, supports and grows companies and which helps to provide new jobs and new products for the UK.
“This Memorandum of Understanding will drive close collaboration, enabling research, and driving skills and local economic development – for the benefit of both our organisations, the local economy and wider scientific and manufacturing networks”.
Professor Jane Turner OBE DL, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Business Engagement) at Teesside University, added: “This exciting collaboration provides clear alignment with the Government’s Industrial Strategy Life Sciences sector deal and will ensure the ambition and intent within the Local Industrial Strategy is realised.”
For more information about the National Horizons Centre visit www.tees.ac.uk/nhc
Photo: Professor Jane Turner OBE DL signing the Memorandum of Understanding with CPI Chief Executive Nigel Perry