CPI was established in 2004 by regional development agency One North East and has since grown from a starting staff of one, CEO Nigel Perry, to the two hundred and twenty seven scientists, engineers and support staff employed today. The company has grown exponentially year-on-year and has delivered more than 350 public and private projects with a value in excess of £300m, so creating a business with a turnover of more than £15m.
The company was originally set up as part of a government initiative to create five Centres of Excellence to consolidate, build on and exploit the North East’s knowledge in the process industries, digital technology and digital media, nanotechnology and photonics, renewables and life sciences. These centres were established to ensure that the region’s economy remained competitive in the growing global market place. In the 10 years since its inception, CPI has worked in a number of innovative areas, including Hydrogen Fuel Cell applications, Advanced Processing Chemistries and more recently in Industrial Biotechnology, Anaerobic Digestion, Printable Electronics and Biopharmaceuticals, always at the leading edge of innovation.
In 2011, CPI reached another major milestone and was announced as a founding member of the UK’s first elite technology innovation centre; The High Value Manufacturing Catapult, an initiative designed to catalyse the future growth and success of UK manufacturing. CPI projects that by the end of the year, it will have invested a total of over £90m in open access facilities for companies of all sizes to utilise in the development, proof of concept and commercialisation of new products and processes. It has established national centres in industrial biotechnology and printable electronics with a new £38m National Biologics Centre under construction and has had interactions with over 2,000 companies, from big pharma and multinational manufacturing organisations to entrepreneurial start-ups and SMEs, alongside universities and government agencies. These companies have been enabled to develop, prove and prototype new products and processes to keep them competitive and profitable in the marketplace.
Commenting on reaching this landmark in the company’s history, CEO Nigel Perry said “If it wasn’t for the commitment, hard work and dedication of CPI employees this remarkable milestone would not have been achievable. I know that our stakeholders are delighted with our progress, and I am certainly very proud of what we have achieved together. I am already looking forward to the next 10 years.”
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