THE chief executive of technology innovation centre in the North-East has announced he is stepping down next month.

Nigel Perry, the chief executive of CPI, is stepping down after 17 years at the helm. He will be replaced by Frank Millar, CPI's chief operating officer.

Mr Perry said: "I am incredibly proud of all that CPI has achieved as an invaluable and reliable partner for small businesses, universities and large corporates, helping them to drive their innovations forward. It has been a privilege to create and lead such an exciting organisation that provides a tangible impact for businesses across the country.

“I am delighted that our board has appointed Frank Millar as my successor. This announcement comes after two years of rigorous succession planning and strengthening of CPI’s leadership team to ensure our continued success."

Mr Millar added: "It’s an honour to be appointed as CEO at such an exciting time for our business."

CPI, which has five centres in Durham, Wilton, Sedgefield, Darlington and Aycliffe, employs 450 scientists.