Partnership to help research become a reality
(L-R) Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor and Warden of Durham University and CPI's CEO Nigel Perry MBE
A new partnership linking academia and a leading technology innovation centre could transform the way research is developed and attract investment to the north east region.
The partnership brings together the academic excellence of Durham University and the translational expertise of the Wilton Centre-based Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) – part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
Together Durham University and CPI will provide the knowledge, know-how and facilities to enable research to be developed and translated into market-ready products, helping companies to accelerate product development, supporting new innovative companies to grow in the region and attracting more investment into the region from national and international sources.
The partnership will see the two organisations formalise their working relationship and proactively seek out strategic opportunities for major collaboration with significant impact, attract inward investment and support the recruitment, training and retention of the best local, national and international talent within the region.
The announcement of the partnership was made just a week after the Conservative party conference where Chancellor Philip Hammond praised the work of entrepreneurs and scientists for turning Britain into a hub of tech innovation.
Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor and Warden of Durham University, said: “This partnership shows that Durham University, CPI and the north east region are very much ‘open for business’ and that universities can play a crucial role in revitalising the economy notwithstanding current uncertainties around Brexit.
“Our research excellence in areas such as chemistry, biology, physics and engineering will be brought together with CPI’s experience and skills in translating scientific research into successful products.
“Working together also allows us to combine the perspectives of our prestigious research University with those of CPI, a major technology innovation centre, and we hope will provide leadership in the field of science and innovation.”
The partnership is intended to benefit researchers, innovative companies and the wider economy in both the North East region and the UK as a whole.
Nigel Perry MBE, Chief Executive Officer of CPI, said: “By working more closely in partnership with Durham 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.
“We can also work to turn the best academic research into real life solutions to help solve some of the challenges facing industry and society both today and in the future.
“This collaboration will help us to better leverage existing and future investments in areas such as materials, healthcare and electronics for us, Durham University and our clients and stakeholders.”
The newly announced partnership builds on over £33 million worth of existing collaboration between Durham University and CPI, such as on project CHARIOT. CHARIOT aims to develop new innovations in the manufacture of specialist powders for uses in healthcare, personal care, catalysts and foods. The incorporation of these powders into existing and new products will help products perform better, make manufacture and transport cheaper, and will help to minimise the environmental impacts of their use. This project also includes leading consumer products company Procter & Gamble.
The formal working relationship has been developed and supported by the Durham University Research Innovation Services team which works across the University to support all aspects of business engagement and research commercialisation.