The Northern Powerhouse Chemicals and Process Consortium, led by Tees Valley Combined Authority, has been selected by the Government to lead a Science and Innovation Audit (SIA).
The purpose of the audit is to establish the Northern Powerhouse as a globally competitive location for the chemical and process sector.
Tees Valley has the largest integrated chemical complex in the UK, and will be supported in the audit by the Local Economic Partnerships from the North East, Humberside and the Liverpool City Region, which between them account for 46% of the UK sectoral output.
The SIA will be carried out by a Core Project Delivery Group, which is made up of experts from Tees Valley and other northern institutions including: Durham and Teesside Universities, the North East Process Industry Cluster, the Materials Processing Institute, the Centre for Process Innovation, and The Welding Institute. Through the audit the Combined Authority will work with a wide range of representatives from the chemical and process sectors.
Durham University is leading a consortium of fifteen Northern Powerhouse universities to support delivery of the audit. This includes the eight N8 research intensive universities of Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and York and seven key northern universities with strong links to the chemicals and process sector including Teesside, Bradford, Chester, Huddersfield, Hull, and Northumbria and Sunderland.
The SIA is one of twelve such audits commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The audit supports the Government’s Strategy for Chemistry-Fuelled Growth, which aims to grow the contribution of the chemical and process industries to the UK economy from £195 billion a year to £300 billion, by 2030.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, said: “Being awarded the leadership of the Science and Innovation Audit is a huge positive for Tees Valley and recognises the significance of our region’s businesses and skills in the chemical and process industries. I have no doubt that Northern Powerhouse Chemicals and Process Consortium Audit will find innovative new ways of working that will create value in industry, unlocking economic benefits across the North of England.”
Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, said: “Durham University is proud to be leading a 15-strong consortium of northern universities in supporting this project. It is an excellent opportunity for the higher education sector and industry to work together for the good of our region.”