Bringing wind power back into shipping and bracelets to help diagnose ADHD among city region projects to share over £2m of innovation grants
Grants of between £93,000 and £496,000 have been offered to 13 Liverpool City Region projects in the second round of a programme designed to drive innovation beyond southeast England.
The city region was one of only two areas chosen to pilot Innovate UK’s ground-breaking Launchpad programme which over two rounds has now offered £7.5m of grants to 37 locally based projects.
Launched in September last year, the programme focusses on developing innovations to transform the city region’s advanced manufacturing cluster, with an emphasis on digital technologies and net zero outcomes.
Innovate UK is the UK’s agency responsible for driving innovation. Innovate UK CEO Indro Mukerjee joined Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram to announce the latest projects today at an event in St Helens to celebrate the first year of a landmark partnership between the city region and the UK’s agency responsible for driving innovation.
In Round 2, three Collaborative R&D schemes have been selected, including:
A further 10 schemes were awarded up to £100,000 each, including:
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“If centuries of being at the helm of generation-defining discoveries and ingenious inventions has taught us anything – it’s that innovation is in our DNA. We’re fortunate to be home to an abundance of talented and creative individuals who shape our region’s reputation as a hotbed for creativity and it’s a testament to their talents that we were chosen as a Launchpad by Innovate UK.
“We’re using this second round of investment to our advantage by providing some of the most pioneering local projects with ambitious funding to take their business to the next level and provide secure, well-paid jobs. We might already be home to a thriving innovation economy – but I’m not content with resting on our laurels. If we want to become the UK’s next science and innovation superpower, then we need to think bigger and better than the rest.”
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: