Project aims to halt the 'brain drain'

Employees from CPI outside Gateshead International Business Centre Employees from CPI outside of their new offices

A Gateshead-based project is aiming to keep the North East's brightest research brains within the region.

Enterprise Europe Network, a project run by the Teesside-based Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), links universities and high-tech manufacturers in the region to sources of European funding to ensure that research and development remains in the North East.

Earlier this year, CPI opened a new office at Gateshead's International Business Centre, from which the Enterprise Europe Network is now operating. The company hopes that their contacts with European research funding will not only help to retain research and development within the North East, but will actually increase the flow of product-led R&D investment into the region, particularly in the fields of energy, health sciences, digital technologies and nanotechnology.

"There is a surprising amount of high-quality R&D already being carried out in the North East," says CPI's Matthew Herbert. "Our aim is to help retain that expertise here by finding new opportunities both for local companies and academics.

"At the same time, we are trying to ensure that local businesses have access to the R&D facilities - and the research expertise - that they need to make a success of their products."

Councillor David Bollands, Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills, Housing and Transport Anne Britton, Head of Economic Development for Gateshead Council, says: "This is exactly the kind of organisation which our region needs - and what the Gateshead International Business Centre was specifically created for. "By working with CPI, we can help to attract science and technology businesses to the area and this could bring enormous benefits to the whole region are enormous."

CPI has already been recognised as an example of best practice for its approach to market led-innovation in the White Paper 'Innovation Nation,' published by the Government in March this year.

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