Northern Bio-Accelerator Partnership to create bioscience hub in the Tees Valley

14 Dec 2020

CPI, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies and Teesside University today announced a collaboration to accelerate the bioscience sector in the Tees Valley Region. Named the Northern Bio-Accelerator Partnership (NBioP), the new collaboration will create a bioprocessing, biomanufacturing and biopharmaceutical hub in the region.

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This will position the North East as a centre of innovation, attracting investment, enhanced education and workforce development, ultimately enabling more companies to bring life changing medicines to market faster. 

Based at Darlington’s Central Park, with easy access to rail, road and air travel, the hub will provide a unique location to attract investment and skills from across the North East and beyond.

Each organisation brings unique expertise to the partnership, with a proven track record of collaboration. Teesside University, through its National Horizons Centre, will provide the academic and skills aspect, offering industry-specific scientific expertise, while also driving research and providing workforce training and development. CPI will leverage its existing industry connections, innovation facilities and expertise to reduce risk, gain investment and accelerate the development of new biotech products and their manufacturing processes. FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, a global leader in the contract development and manufacture of biologics, will bring its global expertise for the development of new tools and technologies for biopharmaceutical manufacturing applications. This complementary approach is truly unique, with a focus not only on industry growth but also on education and employment opportunities in the region. 

Having a ready workforce is more critical than ever, as researchers work on a COVID-19 vaccine. The skillset required for vaccine manufacturing and the production of other biotherapeutics requires in depth bioprocessing knowledge. Through this partnership and a joint training offering, the hub is already creating a pipeline of graduate talent, helping to train the next generation workforce in areas including advanced therapies. 

With a high-density cluster of expertise and a well-developed business ecosystem, the North East offers a bioscience community that is second to none in the UK. Access to a mature supply chain and highly-skilled workforce, with much lower business costs than other areas of the UK, means a start-up company can establish itself in the region for life. In addition, start-ups can develop alongside other companies, collaborating with them throughout their business development lifecycle. 

Frank Millar, CEO at CPI, said:​“The North East has a thriving biosciences sector that is globally competitive, vibrant and viable. This collaboration will enable us to draw on the best of research, workforce development, innovation and manufacturing to enable companies to develop, prove, scale up and manufacture new products that will improve the quality of life of people around the world.” 

Dr Mark Douglas, Vice President at FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, said:​“We are very pleased to be a partner in this exciting collaboration and look forward to developing innovative new technologies here in Teesside, to address biopharmaceutical manufacturing challenges at a global level.” 

Dr Jen Vanderhoven, Director of the National Horizons Centre at Teesside University, said:​“This new collaboration will build on the strong industrial heritage, and burgeoning Tees Valley life sciences sector to enable staff, students and industry partners to work together. Drawing upon each other’s expertise and experiences, we will catalyse economic growth in the North East through the creation of jobs, the training of a highly skilled workforce and the driving of the nationally leading biosciences research and development.”

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, said:​“Our region is becoming one of the best places in the world for science, innovation and jobs of the future, and this is down to the fantastic work being done behind the scenes at the National Horizons Centre, CPI and Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies. Science and innovation are thriving in our region, and we’ve all seen this year how important work is on future medicines and therapies. It is because of nationally significant partnerships like this that we can continue to punch above our weight as a region and attract jobs, businesses and investment to Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”

Notes to the Editor

About CPI 

About CPI

CPI works with partners to translate inventions into products and processes that enhance health and wellbeing, protect and improve our environment and increase productivity across industries. 

With a deep understanding of technology fore-sighting, innovation processes and funding, outstanding technical expertise and industry-relevant assets, we enable the accelerated development of transformational products and processes that have the potential to disrupt and revolutionise markets. We also engage in incremental technological innovation that allows established products and processes to be optimised for better performance and efficient manufacture. 

Through the breadth of our technology platforms, we support our partners across many diverse markets, including pharmaceuticals, speciality chemicals, food and drink, electronics and transportation.


About FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies 

About FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies

FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies is an industry-leading Biologics Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) with locations in Teesside, UK, RTP, North Carolina, College Station, Texas and Hillerød, Denmark. FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies has over thirty years of experience in the development and manufacturing of recombinant proteins, vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, among other large molecules, viral products and medical countermeasures expressed in a wide array of microbial, mammalian, and host/​virus systems. The company offers a comprehensive list of services from cell line development using its proprietary pAVEway™ microbial and Apollo™X cell line systems to process development, analytical development, clinical and FDA-approved commercial manufacturing. FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies is a partnership between FUJIFILM Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation. For more information, go to: www​.fuji​film​diosynth​.com

FUJIFILM Corporation is an operating company of FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation. FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, brings cutting edge solutions to a broad range of global industries by leveraging its depth of knowledge and fundamental technologies developed in its relentless pursuit of innovation. Its proprietary core technologies contribute to the various fields including healthcare, graphic systems, highly functional materials, optical devices, digital imaging and document products. These products and services are based on its extensive portfolio of chemical, mechanical, optical, electronic and imaging technologies. For the year ended March 31, 2020, the company had global revenues of $21 billion, at an exchange rate of 109 yen to the dollar. Fujifilm is committed to responsible environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit: www​.fuji​filmhold​ings​.com

About National Horizons Centre 

About National Horizons Centre

The National Horizons Centre (NHC), established by Teesside University, is an exciting £22M biosciences research, teaching and training facility. Sitting at the heart of a cluster of excellence on Darlington’s Central Park alongside the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre (NBMC) and the Centre for Professional and Executive Development, in the North East of England. Opened in 2019, it has been developed in full consultation with the industry.

The NHC exists to:

  • Create a pipeline of graduate talent, relevant to industry needs.
  • Design and deliver industry-informed hands-on programmes to address the technical, leadership and digital skills needs of the workforce.
  • Develop an internationally competitive applied research and development capability that drives innovation.
  • Provide industry with access to specialised world-class facilities supporting new ideas and learning.

The NHC has core strengths in (1) Bioprocessing and manufacturing, to develop new approaches and optimise processes for manufacturing, with a focus on biopharmaceuticals, advanced therapies and vaccines; (2) Underpinning digital technologies and world class analytics for manufacturing and healthcare, with a focus on harnessing data analysis, modelling and simulation techniques, and virtual and artificial reality to achieve significant productivity gains; and (3) Disease-specific research, to understand the underlying biology of diseases (such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and Parkinson’s disease) and pathogens to identify novel therapeutic options.

National Horizons Centre | Teesside University

Editorial enquiries: 

Editorial enquiries:

Elizabeth Kerrigan, Notch Communications


+44 161 818 8027

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