Materials Science

CPI continues to assist underserved SMEs in the Leeds City Region and wider West Yorkshire area

CPI, an independent technology innovation centre and founding member of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, today announced the continued success of its ForTaMP (Formulation Technology applied to Materials and Products) project, that has helped local SMEs to increase productivity and build resilient businesses within the Leeds City Region (LCR) and wider West and North Yorkshire areas. CPI will present its capabilities and offer support at the West Yorkshire Innovation Festival 2021 in March, enabling the ForTaMP project to continue facilitating new opportunities, unlocking the bright potential of many more SMEs in the region.

The ForTaMP project is a fully-funded technical support programme, assisting SMEs with product and process development to fast-track the lengthy and underfunded journey of introducing new, innovative products to the market. It focuses on helping underserved SMEs within – or seeking to access – the health/​personal care, consumer goods, chemicals, materials, and food & drink sectors to enhance up-scaling, prototyping and applications of their technology. By providing services that can remove technical and financial barriers, the ForTaMP project aims to drive future economic growth in the LCR and beyond.

The percentage of SMEs engaged in research and innovation activities within and around the LCR is well below the national average. The West Yorkshire Innovation Festival aims to address this by bringing together innovative businesses, expertise and resources to create new opportunities and foster a culture of innovation. By hosting a range of virtual events, the festival aims to help SMEs discover crucial support and build connections to promote future prosperity, business growth and economic recovery in the LCR.

Since launching the ForTaMP project in April 2020, CPI has already engaged with over 20 SMEs in the LCR and wider West and North Yorkshire areas, operating in a diverse range of market sectors. At the West Yorkshire Innovation Festival 2021, CPI aims to facilitate networking opportunities for these SMEs and invite more companies to take part in the ForTaMP project.

Eligible SMEs participating in the project are granted access to CPI’s capabilities in materials and formulation development. This includes bespoke business and technical support, in addition to state-of-the-art specialist advanced manufacturing facilities at NETPark in Sedgefield, County Durham. With support from Northern Powerhouse and £2.7 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), CPI is able to assist SMEs in enhancing product performance, enabling better product stability, and improving manufacturing processes.

The West Yorkshire Innovation Festival 2021, created by the West Yorkshire Innovation Network and coordinated by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, will be taking place from the 15-19th of March 2021 online. Alongside other innovative leaders in business and academia, CPI will be involved in a range of virtual events, including virtual talks, workshops and interviews. Additional information is available on the festival’s website:

Graeme Cruickshank, Chief Technology and Innovation Director at CPI, said: “Organisations in the LCR have been incredibly supportive and open to working with us to help small businesses develop new and exciting products and processes. We are excited to attend the festival and continue our work to help unlock the bright potential of SMEs in the region.”