October 21, 2019 @ 9:13 by Steven Hugill
A new £22.3 million North East university bioscience centre of excellence will bolster the Government’s Industrial Strategy and deliver stronger global partnerships for the UK, bosses say.
Teesside University has officially opened its National Horizons Centre, which it believes will catalyse talent development and increase engagement between research, teaching and industry.
Bosses say the Darlington-based centre will also drive the necessary innovation and knowledge needed for job creation and future prosperity across the region, as well as supporting the Government’s plans to double the UK’s bioeconomy from £220 billion to £440 billion.
The university already has collaborative partnerships with companies such as Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies and GlaxoSmithKline, which officials say will ensure a foundation for the development of industry-relevant training and work-ready graduates.
Professor Paul Croney, Teesside University vice-chancellor and chief executive, said: “Our ambition is to bring together academia and industry to drive forward innovation that boosts the regional and national economy.
“The flagship National Horizons Centre is already proving to be game-changing for the biosciences, big data and digital technology and represents a significant investment as part of our ongoing campus masterplan.”
The National Horizons Centre attracted the single biggest investment by the Local Growth Fund, with £17.5 million of support secured via the Tees Valley Combined Authority, along with additional funding from the European Regional Development Fund and Teesside University.
Jake Berry, Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth Minister, said: “When I broke the ground on the site for the National Horizons Centre in February 2018 with Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Professor Croney, I said, ‘this is the Northern Powerhouse in action because this centre will not only be of regional importance but will be a nationally significant asset too’.
“So, I am delighted to see that the centre, which we have supported with £17.5 million of Local Growth funding, is now officially open.
“The Centre brings together experts from industry and academia to provide specialist training and education for the world-leading UK bioscience sector.
“It is a centre of excellence, providing the sector with the knowledge, skills, talent and facilities to support its development and growth.
“Through investments such as this and others across the Northern Powerhouse, we are ensuring every community has the support and investment it needs to flourish as we leave the EU.”
Mayor Houchen added: “Our region has a rich history of innovation, research and development and the state-of-the-art National Horizons Centre will allow us to be at the forefront of key developments within the hugely important bioscience sector.
“Our mission is to create more high-value jobs of the future and that’s why we invested £17.5 million in making this critically important research centre of national significance a reality.
“This is one of the latest examples of Tees Valley’s ambition to lead key sectors.”
The £22.3 million investment in the National Horizons Centre is part of Teesside University’s ambitious campus masterplan, which will see £300 million transforming its estate to continue to provide an outstanding student and learning experience.