Hartlepool electronics firm set to create 100 new jobs as it steps up production of groundbreaking Covid-19 testing machine

A Hartlepool electronics firm is doubling its workforce and creating more than 100 jobs as part of a £4million investment to make a groundbreaking Covid-19 testing machine.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 4:00 pm

TT Electronics, in Brenda Road, is to take its workforce to beyond 200 for the manufacture of the Virolens machine to test and give a result for coronavirus in around just 20 seconds.

The breakthrough technology combines holographic microscopy and Artificial Intelligence (AI) software to analyse saliva samples.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak visited TT Electronics on Friday after earlier going to the Northern School of Art in Hartlepool.

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TT Electronics, Tofts Farm Industrial Estate, Brenda Road, Hartlepool.

TT Electronics executive vice president Charlie Peppiatt said: “As the exclusive manufacturing partner, TT has supported British start-up iAbra throughout the design and development phase and I am delighted that production will be delivered from our Hartlepool operation which has been a key employer in the region for over 30 years.

“This project is a prime example of using our engineering expertise to develop products in collaboration with our customers.

"TT’s leading-edge technologies and flexible manufacturing capabilities provide significant support to the critical aspects of Virolens, enabling the device to be brought to market quickly in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

“Virolens has the potential to be a major step forward in dealing with the impact of the pandemic, by allowing safer access to places of work, transport and events.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak (second right), Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen (second left), Hartlepool by-election Conservative candidate Jill Mortimer and TT Electronics executive vice president Charlie Perripatt (right).

The machine is around the size of a home printer and it is hoped it can be used in settings such as airports, sports stadiums and conference venues to help the country return to normal.

TT Electronics, formerly Stadium, has developed it from concept to being registered by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in just 11 months.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen provided £980,000 in funding and said the Tees Valley has been at the forefront of the coronavirus battle with 60 million vaccine doses being made Billingham’s Fujifilm Diosynth.

Mr Houchen, who will be challenged by Labour’s Jessie Joe Jacobs at next week’s mayoral election, added: “Now TT Electronics are leading the way by helping to design and manufacture the ground-breaking rapid testing equipment that has the accuracy of lab tests.”

Chancellor Sunak said: “I was delighted to visit TT Electronics to see the excellent work they are doing, particularly on the Covid-19 testing device, Virolens.”

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