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Specialist provider of training and education for the UK bioscience sector

Delivering innovative digital solutions for skills, operations and R&D in advanced manufacturing


The National Horizons Centre (NHC) is an exciting new initiative, currently in development, that aims to address the growth needs of some of the most rapidly expanding UK technology sectors. It will specialise in providing the full range of skills for the bio industries and in applying digital technologies to improve performance and productivity in advanced manufacturing.

Its proposed location on Darlington’s Central Park in North East England, alongside the new National Biologics Manufacturing Centre and Teesside University, and right next to the East Coast Main Line, will put it 2.5 hours from London by rail, and within easy access of the A1 and three regional airports.


The NHC is planned to be the national training and education provider for the bio-industry, offering programmes tailored to industry needs and spanning the full range of further and higher education.

Alongside specialist laboratory and pilot plant facilities, the proposed Centre will include conferencing, teaching and seminar space.

Take a virtual tour of the new £22m National Horizons Centre, due to open in March 2019.

Provision will cover:
  • Continuing Professional Development – 3 and 4 day short courses on a range of industry-specific topics
  • State-of-the-art labs for our bio-science students
  • tailored courses for a company or group of companies
  • a modular MSc in bioprocessing
  • research space and supervision for MRes and Industrial Doctorate students
  • apprenticeships in applied science and engineering disciplines.


High-value, knowledge intensive processes in biologics and other advanced manufacturing sectors are key to UK growth and competitiveness. Harnessing Teesside University’s leading-edge expertise in digital technologies, and its links with the Digital Catapult, will be a key feature of the NHC. Our proposals will see the Centre working closely with supply chain companies, digital businesses and academics to develop creative digital solutions to industry challenges.

Its business offer will include:
  • provision of graduate skills in big data, virtual reality and visualisation technology
  • improving manufacturing efficiency, product quality and training services using ICT solutions
  • an open innovation space for project development using data analytics, modelling and simulation, visualisation and process improvement and control.

The High-Value Manufacturing Catapult and the Digital Catapult are part of the network of Catapults – technology and innovation centres set up and funded by Innovate UK to encourage economic growth. They bring together the best of UK businesses, scientists and engineers to work together on research and development, helping to transform ideas into new products and services. For more information, see catapult.org.uk

Find out more

If you’re interested in what the NHC could do for your business, we’d like to hear from you.