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Report highlights Liverpool City Region’s world-leading science and innovation potential

The Liverpool City Region+ Science and Innovation Audit (SIA), gives a detailed picture of demonstrable local strengths and opportunities and outlines how collaborations, investments and interventions can drive the City Region’s ambitions to be at the forefront of innovation-driven economic growth.

This comprehensive report, commissioned by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), sets out the ambitions in three focal areas where the Liverpool City Region can be world-leading based on world class research, industry capabilities and innovation assets:

  • Materials chemistry- to apply the City Region’s world class materials chemistry capabilities and commercialisation model to provide transformational opportunities for mature UK sectors, create new high-growth industries, and become a recognised global leader.
  • Infection – to consolidate the City Region’s position as an international centre of excellence in tackling infectious diseases, and create a cluster of anchor and high growth companies to take advantage of global market opportunities in infection.
  • High performance & cognitive computing - to harness the City Region’s world-leading High Performance and Cognitive Computing capabilities to accelerate cross-sector growth and productivity, public sector transformation, and develop a world-class data-centric and disruptive digital technologies cluster.

Welcoming the report, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said:

“This completely underscores my optimism about the future of the City Region. We were the gateway to the first industrial revolution and I believe we can become an exemplar city for a Fourth Industrial Revolution economy. We have an exceptional collection of science and innovation assets, and my job will be to ensure we fully realise their potential.”

The report also sets out how the City Region is working with businesses and key stakeholders not only across the City Region but elsewhere across the UK, such as The Royce Institute in Manchester and the Centre for Process Innovation in the North East of England, to identify further opportunities for future growth and investment.

Business Minister Lord Prior said:

“The Science and Innovation Audits we are publishing today highlight the innovative strengths in regions across the UK and the significant growth and investment opportunities they present.

“Together with our record investment of an additional £4.7 billion for research and development to 2020/21, we are working closely with regional businesses and partners to ensure the ambitions set out in these reports are delivered to maintain our status as a science powerhouse.”

Asif Hamid MBE, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said:

“This audit highlights the significant contribution that science and innovation will play in increasing regional productivity and growth. Importantly, it gives us the evidence we need to work together to strengthen our position as a world class leader in the fields of science and innovation that will ensure we are at the heart of the Industrial Strategy.”

The report comes at a time when the City Region is seeing over £2 billion of innovation infrastructure investments that will provide a platform for innovation-led growth underlining the City Region’s growth ambitions. This investment is enhanced by City Region key assets that includes IBM and and the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Hartree Centre at the national innovation campus at Sci-Tech Daresbury; Unilever’s new £24million Advanced Manufacturing Centre; world leading centers of excellence such as the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the University of Liverpool, Department of Chemistry and the National Oceanography Centre; the £65m Materials Innovation Factory, and Sensor City, one of only four University Enterprise Zones awarded by Government.

Dr. Jon Hague, Chair of the LEP Innovation Board and Vice President Operations and Open Innovation for Unilever Global R&D said:

 “This audit has demonstrated the opportunity to collectively build upon existing smart specialisation activities to prioritise the truly world-class leading elements of our science and innovation offer, so that we can morph this into a clear and ambitious plan for the future.  By nurturing existing and new relationships both at home and abroad we will be able to drive economic growth and productivity.”

The audit, commissioned by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), was undertaken by 6 core partners: Liverpool City Council (on behalf of the Combined Authority), Liverpool Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), Science and Technology Facilities at Daresbury, Unilever and University of Liverpool.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said:

“Liverpool City Region has a first-class track record in the fields of research and innovation and we have the potential to be a world-leader.

“Our universities are carrying out ground-breaking research and educating tomorrow’s workforce, while some of our businesses are global leaders in the pharmaceutical and household goods sectors.

“The Knowledge Quarter in Liverpool provides us with a huge opportunity to attract hi-tech businesses which can cluster around the pioneering work being done in the hospitals, universities and science labs.

“The Audit identifies how we can link up different sectors so they work together to make the most of their expertise and make the maximum impact.”

LSTM’s Director, Professor Janet Hemingway CBE, said:

“LSTM was founded by industry in 1898 and we continue to produce translation-focused research with industry collaboration. The Centre of Excellence in Infectious Diseases Research, CEIDR, brings together the full lifecycle of discovery, development and deployment and enables us to help our partners move products to market faster and continue the region’s contribution to global health.”

Professor Anthony Hollander, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research & Impact, University of Liverpool said:

“The Science and Innovation Audit is an important asset for the Liverpool City Region demonstrating our research and innovation strengths in Materials Chemistry, Infection and High Performance Computing.  The University was delighted to play a key role in its development and we’re looking forward to working with partners to use it in helping to create new knowledge, businesses and jobs.”

Professor Susan Smith, head of STFC Daresbury Laboratory, said:

“We are proud of the contribution SciTech Daresbury Campus makes to the region’s science and innovation landscape through the Daresbury Laboratory, the work of our colleagues at the Hartree Centre and the other excellent facilities on this site.

“This audit shows that our work in bringing together industry with research institutes has a real and tangible impact on the region’s economy and growth.

“Our facilities at Daresbury with for example, Hartree Centre’s high-performance computing and cognitive computing capability, provides a unique platform to perform to support the development of new products and ideas. We look forward to continuing our work with our partners to deliver world-class research and innovation, which in turn accelerate productivity, skills and growth across the region.”