We have made good progress since our last update in December, the team is growing and preparations are under way to ensure the build runs smoothly. In addition, we are establishing a presence at CPI’s Wilton site so that we are able to take on projects during the build of the facility.
We are continuing to develop relationships within the industry and extend our network working closely with the BIA, Technology Strategy Board, Knowledge Transfer Network and Research Councils with a view to developing productive partnerships.
The Public Consultation took place in Darlington at the Wesley Court Community Centre on the 23rd January 2014, and was attended by senior members of the NBMC team. This was an opportunity for the public and local residents to express their opinions regarding the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre (NBMC). Those who attended were enthusiastic and recognised the centre as a key player in Darlington’s upcoming development. Overall the project was well received by the public therefore enabling us to proceed to the final stage of the pre-application process. The planning application will be submitted in early February.
Tenders / Consultation
The project managers have been selected and are due to start working on the project in early February. Four contractors have issued their response to the Design and Build tender, these are under review and the successful candidate will be selected late February. Alongside this, tenders ranging from analytical equipment to process packages for the NBMC have been issued. The aim is to begin early projects on the Wilton site with a view of moving the equipment over to the Darlington centre in early 2015.
NBMC is looking to start early programmes with an analytical theme using our existing laboratory facilities and clean rooms at Wilton which will include newly arriving capability. We are in discussions regarding a number of projects. In addition we would be interested in talking to potential collaborators in relation to the BBSRC/TSB Industrial Biotechnology catalyst call which was launched on 27th Jan.
Recent recruits to the NBMC team include three members of staff; a senior bioanalytical scientist, an upstream process scientist, and a public/private programme manager.