Key stakeholders in the UK’s life sciences industry have taken part in an online event to discuss ways to collaborate and grow the biomanufacturing sector in the North East.
More than 100 people from across the public and private sectors registered for the event hosted by the Northern Bio-Accelerator Partnership (NBioP).
With the North-East biomanufacturing sector playing a key role in the fight against Covid-19, the Northern Bio-Accelerator Partnership (NBioP) is a strategic partnership between the National Horizons Centre (NHC), CPI and FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB), creating a bioprocessing, biomanufacturing and biopharmaceutical hub in the region.
Together, the NBioP provides basic and applied bioprocessing research, through to biopharmaceutical scale up and ultimately, the commercial manufacture of life changing medicines.
By leveraging the complementary strengths and expertise of the three organisations and collaborating on basic and applied research, scaling up of bioprocesses and the manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals, the NBioP is helping to train a highly-skilled workforce ready to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
In doing so it is helping to develop and grow Darlington’s Central Park and the wider region as a global hub for the biomanufacturing sector to rival that of the ‘Golden Triangle’ of London, Cambridge and Oxford. The biomanufacturing sector in the Tees Valley has already been selected as part of the Department for International Trade’s High Potential Opportunity (HPO) programme.
The online event discussed how NBioP can work with organisations to help them grow, the funding available for collaboration and how the NBioP is working to upskill the life sciences sector.
As well as speakers from the three organisations that make up NBioP, the event also heard from Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen, in one of his first engagements since being re-elected, and representatives from the Department for International Trade, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Innovate UK.
Dr Jen Vanderhoven said: “The past few months have shown how vitally important the life sciences sector is to the UK.
“Here in the North-East we have been at the centre of the discovery and manufacture of life-saving pharmaceuticals and vaccines.
“By developing and growing this partnership we want to continue the advances that we have made and ensure this region is ready to meet any future challenges.”
Sophie Walton, CPI’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, said: “It was a pleasure to facilitate this event in support of such a vibrant local business community.
“It was clear from the speakers that the Tees Valley has a huge role to play in the future of bio processing and bio manufacturing and I’m excited to see how we can use this to drive economic growth for the Tees Valley and beyond.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It was great to talk about our region’s growing reputation in the biosciences sector, and that’s thanks to our brilliant businesses and top research centres working together to innovate, while facing challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic head-on, with FujiFilm Diosynth Biotechnologies manufacturing the Novavax vaccine.”