A HUB is being created in the North-East to collaborate on biomanufacturing and biopharmaceutical projects.

The hub at CPI in Darlington is a collaboration with Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies and Teesside University and is aimed at accelerating the bioscience sector in the Tees Valley.

The Northern Bio-Accelerator Partnership (NBioP) will create a bioprocessing, biomanufacturing and biopharmaceutical hub in the region.

Frank Millar, chief executive at CPI, said: “The North-East has a thriving biosciences sector that is globally competitive, vibrant and viable.

"This collaboration will enable us to draw on the best of research, workforce development, innovation and manufacturing to enable companies to develop, prove, scale up and manufacture new products that will improve the quality of life of people around the world.”

Dr Mark Douglas, vice president at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, said: “We are very pleased to be a partner in this exciting collaboration and look forward to developing innovative new technologies here in Teesside, to address biopharmaceutical manufacturing challenges at a global level.”

Dr Jen Vanderhoven, director of the National Horizons Centre at Teesside University, said: “This new collaboration will build on the strong industrial heritage, and burgeoning Tees Valley life sciences sector to enable staff, students and industry partners to work together.

"Drawing upon each other’s expertise and experiences, we will catalyse economic growth in the North-East through the creation of jobs, the training of a highly skilled workforce and the driving of the nationally leading biosciences research and development.”

The hub will be based at Darlington's Central Park, with Teesside University providing the academic and skills aspect, offering industry-specific scientific expertise through its National Horizons Centre.

The collaboration is aimed at focusing on industry growth as well as education and employment opportunities in the region.

With the development of a Covid-19 vaccine in the news, the Northern Bio-Accelerator Partnership says having a ready workforce is "more critical than ever", with the skillset needed requiring in depth bioprocessing knowledge.

Through this partnership and a joint training offering, the hub says it is creating a pipeline of graduate talent, helping to train the next generation workforce in areas including advanced therapies.

It is hoped the high-density cluster of expertise and a well-developed business ecosystem, the region will be attractive to start-up businesses because of its lower costs, mature supply chain and skilled workforce.