Innovate UK CEO Indro Mukerjee said:
“Innovate UK is building strong regional partnerships across the UK to support local innovation and commercialisation. The Innovate UK team and I are pleased to collaborate with Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region team to support economic growth and productivity. The Innovate UK launchpad programme, and our other partnership activities, continues to strongly contribute to boosting business-led innovation across the region.”
Nearly £5.5m was awarded to 23 Liverpool City Region innovation projects in Round 1 of Launchpad – with schemes ranging from developing green energy technologies to protecting coasts with eco-friendly blocks.
The second round of competitive grant applications opened for Liverpool City Region advanced manufacturing projects in February this year and offered funding of between £15,000 and up to £1m for businesses of all sizes.
Ongoing support is available to businesses in the advanced manufacturing innovation cluster via LYVA Labs, who were appointed cluster manager for the advanced manufacturing Launchpad, having won an open competition earlier this year.
Formerly LCR Ventures, LYVA Labs was set up with £10.5m of Combined Authority funding to help innovators turn their ideas into high-growth businesses and good-quality jobs.
Innovate UK’s decision to work with the Liverpool City Region as a pilot area reflects our highly developed place-based innovation approach. It also followed publication of the Liverpool City Region’s first Innovation Prospectus that highlights world-leading strengths in infection prevention and control, materials chemistry, and AI solutions, plus emerging capabilities in net zero and maritime technologies.
Since then, Liverpool City Region has agreed the country’s first place-based partnership and action plan with Innovate UK, has signed a landmark innovation deal with South Korea’s second city, Busan, as part of a major government UK-South Korea innovation twinning programme, and been designated one of 12 UK Investment Zones.
The city region has also published a refreshed Innovation Prospectus which showcases more than £11bn of city region investment opportunities, including a £1.9bn R&D project pipeline, plus the Mersey Tidal Power and HyNet megaprojects. It also highlights the area’s distinctive innovation assets and clusters, fertile innovation ecosystem, and exceptional partnerships between industry, research and technology organisations, and the public sector, coordinated by the Combined Authority.
It is estimated that realising the Liverpool City Region’s ambition to invest 5% in R&D by 2030 would deliver a gross economic benefit of £41.7bn GVA, a 10% increase in productivity and create 44,000 new jobs.
The Launchpad programme is designed to build on Innovate UK’s commitment in its Plan for Action to help build local strengths and help businesses benefit from them, in support of the government’s levelling up agenda.
Launchpad’s key objective is to ensure more places in the UK host world-leading and globally connected innovation clusters – creating more jobs, growth and productivity in those areas.
The Combined Authority, Growth Platform – the region’s growth company, STFC Daresbury Laboratory, and other key local stakeholders were directly involved in developing the national pilot Launchpad programme.
Projects funded through round 2 of the advanced manufacturing Launchpad that have already started include:
- Digitalisation of canine elbow disease surgery, by Fusion Implants
- Eliminating barriers to entry of a production scale continuous flow reactor for the chemical industry, by Ashe Morris
- Supply-Works – Unlocking the power of network effects for supplier intelligence and visibility in the medical devices sector, by Senti Tech
- AirWing Wind Propulsion Advanced Manufacture Development Liverpool, by GT Green Technologies
- Locblock turning a plastic and non-recyclable textile waste issue into a housing solution: Phase 2 – System and prototype completion, by Bossit.online
- X-AudioPD: USB Power Delivery Speakers for Multichannel Audio, by Sonalux
- NetGrow – Network Portal for Growth and Opportunity for SMEs, by Valuechain Technology
- Digital Manufacturing Process Design for AI-Driven Customization in Wearables Production: ADHD Pioneering Diagnosis and Treatment Support, by Addhere Technologies
- BAC – DTDA (Digital Twin Development Accelerator), by Briggs Automotive Company
- Automated Cooking Oil Storage and Recycle System, by Bomac Electric
- Spacer production scale-up via proprietary 3D-additive manufacturing for industrial desalination, led by Evove
- Development of intelligent multisensory technology for proactive asset management, led by Central Electrical Armature Winding Company