National Formulation Centre

A state-of-the-art facility helping companies to commercialise their next-generation formulated products.

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Enabling the development of innovative formulation technologies and formulated products 

The National Formulation Centre is dedicated to providing the tools and expertise needed to guide companies through the commercialisation of their next-generation formulated products; bringing them to market with reduced risk and costs. Based in County Durham, the centre provides facilities for academia and business to develop innovative formulation technologies and products.

A photo of a CPI scientist working in a laboratory

The challenges in formulation science 

Formulation involves the creation of a multi-component, often multi-phase, products from raw materials that are suitable for an end-user or consumer who needs a benefit to be delivered. One of the key challenges is keeping the formulation stable during storage, but then ultimately delivering the right things to the right place at the right time to give that benefit. Formulation is used across diverse markets to produce a wide variety of everyday products, for instance when producing a tablet containing active pharmaceutical ingredients or creating the ideal paint, coating, detergent or almost any other product you can find in your supermarket, through to more complex and specialist industrial products such as composites for aircraft or batteries for electric vehicles. Formulation science is much more complex than you might imagine given it provides the products we all use in our everyday lives. The challenges of up-scaling a new material or product and then optimising its downstream processing can be major barriers to the innovation process. CPI provides access to state-of-the-art facilities and the expertise of our highly skilled people to overcome these challenges and help bring great products to market faster. 

A photo of a CPI scientist giving a tour of our high-throughput facilities

How the centre overcomes formulation challenges 

The facilities at the National Formulation Centre include laboratory space designed to be as flexible and agile as possible. The centre brings together a broad range of skills from small-scale high throughput formulation science understanding through to larger scale chemical engineering associated with the scale-up and ultimately production of products. 

Alongside cutting edge research infrastructure and kit, the centre houses truly outstanding technologists with broad, cross-sector industrial knowledge and experience in formulated products and processes. This integrated skill set includes expertise in colloids & material science, high throughput formulation and screening, advanced analytical measurement, data and informatics, and nanomaterials and composites. This capability provides the diverse learning needed enable our clients to learn small, learn fast and learn thoroughly to get to business decisions faster and ultimately improve peoples’ lives.

The formulation facilities are specifically designed to enable cross-sector learning and horizontal innovation, allowing support of product and process design for a range of formulated products based on complex solids, complex liquids, nanomaterials, and nanoformulations. 

The centre enables collaboration between partners across the formulation eco-system and drives the delivery of projects which result in innovative formulation technologies.

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