CPI is a leading independent technology innovation centre and part of the UK’s High-Value Manufacturing Catapult. The organisation supports companies across diverse markets by driving their innovations forward and helping them to reduce the risk and cost associated with product development.. CPI began operations in 2004 and since then it has established a strong track record of delivering major impact and high value for its clients and for the UK.
CPI’s continuing work with Business Durham has been a major factor in CPI’s growth. Business Durham manages NETPark, home to an elite innovative group of science, engineering and technology organisations with global ambition, transforming innovative ideas into products with worldwide social and economic impact. CPI currently has four of it’s UK National Centres at NETPark.
CPI’s involvement with Business Durham began very early on in NETPark’s existence with the planning, build and launch of CPI’s National Printable Electronics Centre. Since then the two organisations have partnered across a host of themes supporting innovation in the UK. Listed are some of the highlights.
Growth of CPI’s printed electronics capabilities
Opened in 2009, CPI’s Printable Electronics Centre at NETPark has grown from an initial team of 10 to a team of 90. The centre has continued to expand over the last ten years and now hosts over £60m worth of assets alongside some of the best scientists and researchers in the world.
CPI is working with a number of companies of all sizes in the commercialisation of their new product concepts. Some examples include PragmatIC, Wootzano, and Hp1 Technologies.
Science park collaboration with Kromek
Being located in the science park offers many opportunities for potential collaboration with neighbours. One example is CPI’s work with NETPark based Kromek to develop a conformable radiation detector using Kromek’s expertise in radiation detectors and CPI’s photonics and know-how. The primary application is for breast cancer screening, where the technology will have a number of advantages over current technology, including making the experience a lot more comfortable for women.
CPI’s Formulation capabilities
Located at NETPark, CPI’s National Formulation Centre is an innovation centre for advanced formulated product design and manufacture. The Centre provides the environment for companies to increase productivity and accelerate the commercialisation of their next generation formulated products.
Formulated products are all around us and vital to our everyday lives, from the food we eat, to the household cleaning products we use, to the oils in our cars, to the paints we use to decorate our homes and the pharmaceuticals that we use to maintain our health. Effective formulation directly impacts product performance and influences key product features such as stability, delivery of active components and sensory perception. Sales of formulated products by UK companies amount to £180bn per annum.
CPI’s Graphene Application Centre is also located at NETPark and provides the equipment and expertise that companies need in order to bring innovative graphene technologies to market.
CPI’s Healthcare Photonics capabilities.
Healthcare photonics refers to the application of light for a range of healthcare applications including therapies, diagnostics, imaging and surgical interventions, and is an exciting and rapidly growing area across the globe. CPI launched its National Centre for Healthcare Photonics at NETPark in 2019 to help industry and academia translate their early research into commercially viable products.
“There has been a long association between CPI and Business Durham. CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their technology and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region. Indeed, the relationship between CPI and Business Durham has proved to be synergistic, creating further expansion opportunities on NETPark that will ultimately lead to the creation of even more high quality business development opportunities and jobs for the region.” – Dr Jon Helliwell, Operations Support Director, CPI.
“The benefits of being based at NETPark in County Durham are that it’s green, very centrally located. You’re very close to some of the fantastic universities in the North East, including Durham University. It has the right ecosystem which brings together manufacturing and associated supply chains, which is very important as we establish innovation activities in the region” Arun Harish, Strategy Director, CPI.
“CPI is an important partner in our plans to grow NETPark. The combination of technical expertise and unique equipment is a unique value proposition for companies looking to scale up and launch products to market and our shared understanding and knowledge of that innovation journey has led to a long-term collaborative partnership. We look forward to helping many more companies, working closely with CPI.” Janet Todd, NETPark Manager.
Find out more about CPI.