High temperature research centre set for Teesside
THE Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and Tata Steel have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a new national High Temperature Innovation Centre (HTIC) at Tata Steel’s Teesside Technology Centre (TTC).
Under the MoU, CPI will create an open access innovation and research facility centred on two new pilot plants which are to be installed on the TTC site and will extend the existing capabilities of the site to carry out research and development work in the fields of novel sources of fuel and energy, the recovery of raw materials and reductions in the amounts of organic wastes produced. The pilot plants to be installed are a 350Kg pyrolysis oven and 2m diameter fully flexible gassifier.
This £5m project has received £2.5m investment from One North East through the Tees Valley Industrial Programme, which is helping to accelerate industrial transition in the area and help the region to seize new and emerging opportunities in low carbon and advanced manufacturing. It will enhance the skills base of the existing innovation centres in the region, creating a technology cluster of global significance.
This project builds on CPI’s role as a technology innovation centre for the process industries by adding specialist high temperature facilities to its existing assets and services that serve the industrial biotechnology, sustainable processes and printable electronics industries.
The signing of the MoU reflects the strong commitment Tata Steel has both to the Teesside region, where it continues to employ more than 2,500 people, and to R&D in Europe. It also recognises the positions of TTC and CPI as internationally renowned experts in their fields, both organisations having particular capability in scaling up research ideas into industrial applications.
The Department for Business, UK Trade & Investment and One North East have been working closely with the two partners for several months on the HTIC Project. A team from CPI and Tata Steel RD&T has collaborated on the detail of the proposal as well as on the supporting business model, which One North East approved last month.
Business Minister Mark Prisk said: “This project is a good example of a traditional manufacturing industry working with innovative partners to develop new, greener products and processes. The Department for Business and UK Trade & Investment have actively supported this project as part of our commitment to promote private sector-led growth by investing in a low carbon economy.”