Liverpool City Region agrees tie-up with Innovate UK

The Liverpool City Region has agreed a partnership with Innovate UK aimed at accelerating business innovation.

It is one of Innovate UK’s first regional partnerships as committed to in its strategic delivery plan 2022 to 2025.

Mayor Steve Rotheram and Innovate UK chief executive Indro Mukerjee launched the partnership in front of guests representing key Liverpool City Region R&D stakeholders at The City of Liverpool College, where they also met students.

An important element of the partnership is a commitment to inspire future generations into science and innovation.

Mukerjee later visited the Materials Innovation Factory, in Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, and met Professor Janet Hemingway, director of the infection innovation consortium iiCON.

Liverpool City Region is one of two places in the country to pilot Innovate UK’s £15m Launchpad programme aimed at driving innovation beyond South East England.

Both the Launchpad pilot, which is focused on stimulating the city region’s advanced manufacturing cluster, and the establishment of this new partnership builds on Liverpool City Region’s highly developed innovation ecosystem, its world-leading science and research strengths and its commitment to expanding Research and Development (R&D).

Rotheram has set a target of spending 5% of the city region’s economy on R&D by 2030 – nearly double the government’s target.

Earlier this year, the Mayor launched the region’s first Innovation Prospectus, which highlights the scale of his ambitions. In addition to £1bn of live projects, the document outlines a multi-billion-pound plan, to accelerate the city region’s innovation powerhouse credentials; adding an estimated £41.7bn to the city region economy, creating around 44,000 jobs and leading to a 10% improvement in productivity.

Rotheram said: “The Liverpool City Region has a long and proud history of innovation from Stephenson’s Rocket, the world’s first passenger railway, to the establishment of the first research centre for tropical medicine right through to the launch of the Pandemic Institute just last year.

“But I don’t want us to rest on our laurels. Much like Stephenson’s Rocket carried passengers between Liverpool and Manchester, I want this partnership to help power our journey to becoming a global science and innovation superpower.

“Locally, we’re putting our money where our mouth is too, with plans to invest 5% of GVA into R&D and plans that could create around 44,000 high-skilled, well-paid jobs for local people and add £42bn to the local economy
“For too long the North has been treated like a poor relation to the Golden Triangle. But, as this agreement shows, we are working to fix that imbalance. We are home to world-leading, innovative work in a whole range of industries. It’s a fantastic foundation to build our ambitions upon.”

Mukerjee said: “There are exciting and significant opportunities to help drive economic and societal improvement through business innovation right across the Liverpool City Region, and this Action Plan sets out clear ambitions to realise the potential of those opportunities. We see this as the first of many regional partnerships in support of levelling up.”

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