MEMBERS of the Science and Industry council visited one of the North-East's centres of excellence yesterday to see how the region is leading the way in research.

The council, which oversees the development of a knowledge economy for the region, toured the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) at Wilton, Teesside.

One of five centres of excellence in regional development agency One NorthEast's strategy for success, CPI focuses on new processes, products and energy.

It also provides business consultancy to 40 regional small and medium-sized businesses and has been attracting new investment to the region since its formation in April last year.

The Science and Industry Council saw CPI's plans for laboratory regeneration, research innovations and future programmes during yesterday's visit.

CPI chief executive Nigel Perry said: "The Science and Industry Council was so impressed with the outstanding success achieved by CPI since it was formed just ten months ago that they wanted to see for themselves the progress we have made."

CPI's work in new technologies has been instrumental in opening new routes to chemical manufacture and innovative process methods.