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Cutting-Edge Healthcare Photonics Facility Nears Completion

27 November 2018

Construction work on a new, state-of-the-art Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) healthcare photonics facility that will help develop next generation light-based treatments is nearing completion.

The cutting-edge building will support the scale-up and commercialisation of medical technology (medtech) products, acting as a hub for businesses of all sizes and academic partners to work on innovative methods of diagnosing disease, imaging systems - including endoscopy - and light-based treatments.

The facility, based at NETPark, in Sedgefield, County Durham, has also allowed CPI to create a number of jobs.

Five new appointments have been made since February, with CPI’s highly-skilled team able to offer specialist support across device design and development, pre-clinical validation and testing and pilot production, as well as providing specific medtech business support to link into networks and connections within the healthcare and medtech markets.

CPI's new healthcare photonics facility will be a hub for work on innovative methods for diagnosing disease, imaging systems - including endoscopy - and a variety of light-based treatments
CPI's new healthcare photonics facility will be a hub for work on innovative methods for diagnosing disease, imaging systems - including endoscopy - and a variety of light-based treatments

Dr Tom Harvey, CPI Healthcare Photonics Lead, said: “Bringing together photonics experts, equipment and facilities in this new centre will enable companies to develop the latest cutting-edge medtech products. This will benefit patients, as well as the local and national economy.”

Providing space for people to work across two floors, the photonics hub will include a suite of laboratories covering specialist optics, life sciences, electronic and ionising radiation testing, and development work.

Due to open in December 2018, it will sit alongside an existing CPI formulation facility in the recently-named Bob Coxon Building.

The photonics centre has been supported by a £7.9m grant from the Government’s Local Growth Deal, through the North-East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The Local Growth Deal is supporting major capital investments to promote innovation, economic and skills infrastructure and sustainable transport as part of the North-East Growth Deal.

Construction work on CPI's new NETPark-based healthcare photonics hub has taken place throughout 2018
Construction work on CPI's new NETPark-based healthcare photonics hub has taken place throughout 2018

Alan Welby, Innovation Director at the North-East LEP, said: “The North-East’s National Centres of Excellence are critical to giving the region a global competitive edge and this facility, which will lead the way in light-based therapies, gives us another strong point of differentiation. We look forward to it opening and to supporting businesses as they develop new successful products and services.”

The healthcare photonics centre is being built by Newcastle-based Surgo Construction, with support from Durham City architect Howarth Litchfield.