Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Wednesday, 13 September 2006 17:34 UK

Plastics to offer boost to region

Technology Centre
An artist's impression of the new Technology Centre

A pioneering £10m development aims to make the North East of England a centre of excellence in the plastics industry.

The £10m Plastic Electronics Technology Centre (PETeC) is planned for the NetPark technology complex in Sedgefield, County Durham.

Featuring specialist laboratories, it will be available to companies seeking to develop new products and services.

It will also support projects emerging from Newcastle's Science City and the region's universities.

'World leader'

The research and development facility will house scientists developing printing technologies, including techniques that enable electronics to be printed directly onto paper-thin plastic sheets.

One NorthEast and the County Durham Economic Partnership are investing a combined £6.2m, with the European Regional Development Fund making up the rest.

The centre will be managed by Cenamps, a national centre for emerging small-scale technologies.

David Allison, One NorthEast director of business and industry, said: "This project ensures the region is a world leader in the research and development of plastic electronics."

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