Liverpool can be a magnet for global tech investment - Metro Mayor

Simon Austin's picture
by Simon Austin
Liverpool

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram told the City Region’s first Digital Summit that a combination of world-class connectivity and predictable renewable energy can make Liverpool a magnet for global tech investment.

Rotheram highlighted the UK’s most powerful computing centre at the Hartree Centre, Material’s Innovation Factory and Sensor City, as well as an emerging cluster of tech companies beginning to make a real global impact. He said his twin priorities would be to invest in world-class digital infrastructure - linking directly to the GTT trans-Atlantic cable that reaches the UK at Southport - and exploiting the area’s unique potential for renewable energy by harnessing the power of the River Mersey.

 “My aim is to make the city region that was the gateway to the first Industrial Revolution a globally important centre in the Fourth Industrial Revolution," he said. 

"By combining world-class digital connectivity and a predictable source of renewable energy we can make a uniquely attractive and compelling offer to global tech companies pledged to achieve carbon neutrality. When you combine that with a world-class talent pool, there’s no reason why we cannot compete successfully with leading international cities.”

The Summi included the world’s first Mayoral Question Time in Virtual Reality, courtesy of pioneering Liverpool company vTime. The company, which is establishing a base in San Francisco, recently partnered with Microsoft to bring their ultra-immersive social VR experience to millions of Window 10 users.

The Question Time session included a live link-up with Silicon Valley-based academic and tech guru Terry Beaubois, who joined the session from Pala Alto, and Carl Wong, the CEO of Liverpool software company Living Lens. 

“Liverpool businesses need to be more ambitious and focus on being the best in the world not just the best in this City Region," Wong said.

"We have a great talent-pool and also a great global brand that we should be willing to shout about. The further you go in the world, the stronger our creative reputation.”