The Materials Processing Institute has announced a partnership with technology investment fund manager NorthEast Capital to support the growth of the region’s technology underpinned businesses.

A leading research and innovation centre, the Teesside-based Institute already has strong ties with technology-led enterprises through its SME Technology Centre.

The partnership with NorthEast Capital will enable companies to access a range of facilities required to grow a business from access to world leading research and development facilities to hands-on commercialisation experience and equity funding.

NorthEast Capital’s planned £30m equity fund will invest in companies emerging from the region’s universities and technical institutes as well as investing in existing science and engineering companies seeking to address unmet market needs.

The collaboration will allow the Institute to introduce NorthEast Capital as a potential source of funding to those SMEs with which it has an existing relationship.

The financial and non-financial expertise will help facilitate the development of a North East technology investment ecosystem and underpin the region’s reputation as a world-class location for technology and skills.

News of the partnership follows the Institute’s recent announcement that it is expanding the amount of flexible workspace at its Middlesbrough campus for both start-ups and established businesses where tenants can also access its research and innovation capabilities. Businesses in the region can also access additional support services from its SME Technology Centre which is supported with funding from the European Regional Development Fund via the Tees Valley Business Compass Start Up 2 programme.

Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar, said: “I’m delighted that the Materials Processing Institute has partnered with NorthEast Capital. This represents support for technology businesses in our region and will be a catalyst for the growth that’s just waiting to be unleashed.

“The Institute is a world-leader in steel development and research, which is exactly why Rishi Sunak gave the Institute his backing with £22m critical funding in last year’s budget. Millions of pounds of investment have been secured for the Teesworks site, and with the announcement of a Freeport in Teesside, there has never been a more exciting time for innovation and investment in our region.”

Simon Robeson, Chief Executive of NorthEast Capital, said: “We endorse the Institute’s mission to create a cluster for successful, high-tech manufacturing businesses and are delighted to contribute our commercialisation and investment experience & expertise to the Institute and companies in Teesside, and the North East.

“The Institute can provide our investee companies with incubation services including technical support, access to test facilities, industrial know-how and pilot manufacturing. Whilst our Fund will generate financial returns for investors, we will also focus on delivering a positive, sustainable impact on innovation & entrepreneurship”.

Chris McDonald, the Chief Executive of the Materials Processing Institute, said: “We are a global leader in research and innovation that is committed to enabling the UK to meet the challenges of a fast-changing industrial landscape.

“The Institute already provides support to start-up and scaleup businesses in the Tees Valley and we welcome this opportunity to make our expertise available to benefit other emerging enterprises to put them on the path to commercial success.”