Facility to focus on tech to boost sustainable supply chain

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

The new Centre of Excellence will aim to enhance biomanufacturing in the Tees Valley
The new Centre of Excellence will aim to enhance biomanufacturing in the Tees Valley

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Plans for a Novel Food, Feed and Nutraceuticals Innovation Centre of Excellence have been ignited by a £4m investment from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority Cabinet.

CPI, an independent technology innovation centre and founding member of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, announced its aim to establish the hub last week.

The firm intends the unit to focus on the process development and scale-up of novel foods, feeds and nutraceuticals to will help make it and the Tees Valley leaders in biomanufacturing and food innovation.

The investment from the Tees Valley Combined Authority builds on recent investments from CPI to create food grade precision fermentation and pilot plant capabilities at the Wilton Centre in Redcar.

Global demands for food

Increasing global demands for food, plus growing health, environmental and animal welfare concerns were lending momentum to emerging trends in the food, feed and nutraceutical markets, CPI claimed. However, to keep up with ever-changing consumer demands and drive innovation across the product supply chain, specialised facilities, technical expertise and advanced capabilities were needed.

In response, CPI said it would extend its capabilities at the National Industrial Biotechnology Facility in Wilton, Redcar with the new tranche of funding, upgrading its laboratories and technical development areas and establishing new food-grade capabilities.

The resultant Centre of Excellence would enable CPI to support businesses in developing new and improved food products, ultimately creating new products and biomanufacturing jobs in the region, it said. The move would also enable CPI to provide exemplar services, samples and collaboration to recognised Food Safety and Quality Standards (FSSC 22000).

The facility would leverage at least an additional £20m-£30m from industry over the next five years by attracting new businesses to the Tees Valley. Initially they would work with CPI at the site, but hopefully would eventually establish themselves in the region.

More sustainable food supply chain

Through its capabilities in the North East, the centre could integrate technologies ranging from ingredient production to formulation and packaging solutions to deliver a more sustainable food supply chain.

“We are delighted to be building on CPI’s current capabilities in the food, feed and nutraceuticals market through the development of this new Centre of Excellence,"​ said CPI chief executive Frank Millar.

"With this investment from the Tees Valley Combined Authority, in conjunction with CPI’s investment programme and the commitment of industry partners, the Novel Food, Feed and Nutraceuticals Innovation Centre of Excellence places the Tees Valley at the heart of a more sustainable food industry.”

Food, feed and nutraceuticals

Kris Wadrop, general manager for biotechnology at CPI, said: “This unique capability in Teesside will draw companies from all of the UK, EU and even the world to Wilton. Ultimately, this new centre will enable businesses to demonstrate technologies and develop products that could transform our food, feed and nutraceuticals.”

CPI works with partners to translate inventions into products and processes that enhance health and wellbeing, protect and improve our environment and increase productivity across industries.

The firm also engages in incremental technological innovation enabling established products and processes to be optimised for better performance and efficient manufacture. It works with partners across diverse markets, including pharmaceuticals, speciality chemicals, food and drink, electronics and transportation.

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