First LCR Investment Week hailed success, with planning for second already under way

Steve Rotheram

As the first Liverpool City Region Innovation Investment Week drew to a close, plans are already under way for next year’s event.

The city region’s world-leading capabilities and billions of pounds of investment opportunities were showcased during four days of innovation-themed events.

Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram, said: “From the moment I was elected Mayor, it has been one of my priorities to cement our reputation as an attractive environment for businesses to invest.

“We are already home to world-leading clusters in life sciences, gaming, advanced computing, and infectious disease control – but I am never content with resting on our laurels. That is why we will invest five per cent of local GVA in R&D by the end of the decade, nearly double the Government’s own target.

“I truly believe that innovation will be the fuel that powers our economy forward and by establishing ourselves as a hotbed of innovation and new technology, we will be ready to attract many more highly skilled, well paid jobs, businesses and opportunities from around the world.”

The week drew to a close yesterday (May 16) with the centrepiece Innovation Investment Summit which attracted experts from the UK and overseas – blending global experience with local knowledge.

Mayor Steve Rotheram and Alberta Innovates CEO, Laura Kilcrease, were among key speakers at the summit at LJMU’s Student Life building.

The event attracted hundreds of investors, entrepreneurs, industry experts, researchers, and policymakers from across the UK and internationally, including Innovate UK Chief Executive, Indro Mukerjee.

Highlights of the week included a local launch of the city region’s new Life Sciences Investment Zone, referred to locally as the Innovation Zone, and a Dragons’ Den-style pitching event.

The Innovation Zone, which started operating in April, is expected to attract an extra £800m of public and private sector investment and is in addition to AstraZeneca’s £450m investment in vaccine development at its site in Speke.

The week began with dozens of primary school children joining local author Natalie Reeves Billing to launch her new book designed to inspire the next generation of innovators.

Evening activities included a Pint of Science – featuring talks by more than 40 academics from the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and Liverpool School of Tropical Science (LSTM) at pubs in the city centre and Wirral. And University of Liverpool Professor Matt Rosseinsky – recipient of last year’s Eni Award which is often described as the Nobel Prize of energy research – addressed a special audience at the Materials Innovation Factory.

The Liverpool City Region has more than £725m of live innovation projects with a further £1.9bn in development.