£28m National Formulation Centre to utilise CPI as hub

9th December 2014
Barney Scott

In his 2014 autumn budget statement, Chancellor George Osborne has named the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) as the hub of a £28m National Formulation Centre. The centre will operate a ‘hub and spoke’ model, bringing the UK's existing knowledge base together with universities, innovation centres and businesses.

The CPI aims to provide facilities and expertise to help companies to develop, prove, prototype and scale up next-gen formulated products and processes.

Complex formulated products are abundant in both everyday and industrial life and underpin many sectors in the UK economy. Examples include perfumes, medicines, cosmetics, washing powder, processed foods, paints, adhesives, lubricants, composite materials and pesticides. The National Formulation Centre will focus specifically on the areas of product and process design, delivery, stability and sustainability, as identified by UK industry in a 2013 consultation report.

CPI is the process industry element of the UK government’s national manufacturing strategy and a leading partner in the High Value Manufacturing Catapult - the network of technology and innovation centres tasked with stimulating growth within key manufacturing sectors throughout the UK. CPI works with industry, academia and the public sector to develop, prove, prototype and scale up the next generation of products and processes.

"I am delighted with the Chancellor's announcement of the £28m National Formulation Centre. This is a key investment for the Industry and it will give industry a unique capability to enable them to create new products,” said Nigel Perry, CEO, CPI. “It is also great news for CPI who will establish and manage the centre, thus building on our position and success as the National Innovation Centre for the Process industry and as a partner in the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. The centre will catalyse manufacturing-based growth by developing a globally unique capability to develop and deliver next-gen formulated products and processes across a wide range of market sectors. We will provide both large and small companies with open access facilities to optimise their formulated products and prove their benefits in a wide range of applications, thereby reducing risks associated with product development in this growing global market. The centre will be located at NETPark in County Durham, and this will help cement NETPark's position as a leading innovation and technology campus in the North of England.”

“This multi-million pound investment will drive innovation and growth across our manufacturing sector where the UK is a world-leader. It will safeguard the UK supply chain, and allow us to capitalise on the huge potential of the UK’s research and development capabilities. This will keep our UK businesses ahead of the game,” added Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. “Through the UK government’s industrial strategy we are future-proofing our manufacturing sector in bringing innovations to market. We are providing the right environment to give businesses the confidence to invest and create high skilled jobs”. 

Darren Ragheb, Knowledge Transfer Network, summarised: “The UK formulation industry is underpinned by a strong academic and industrial infrastructure involving particle design and colloid science, modelling and simulation, bespoke measurement and high-throughput automation. The centre will build on CPI’s existing expertise in both formulated product and process design, and will collaborate closely with universities and companies to create a strong route to commercialisation. Todays announcement demonstrates the results of working in collaboration with key industry sectors on a long-term plan through the Chemistry Growth Partnership”.

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