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Up to £15m available for Liverpool City Region and Tees Valley in innovation pilot


Liverpool City Region and Tees Valley have been chosen to pilot a new programme to create innovation clusters outside of the south-east.

Up to £15m will be available from Innovate UK to support businesses in the regions.

“Innovate UK has been building strong regional partnerships across the UK to support local innovation and commercialisation,” stated Innovate UK CEO Indro Mukerjee.

“Today’s launch of the Liverpool City Region and Tees Valley Launchpads is an important step and another example of active collaboration with regional partners to deliver growth and productivity through innovation.”

The Liverpool City Region Launchpad will focus on the advanced manufacturing sector, with digital technologies and net zero outcomes. The region includes STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory at the Sci-Tec Daresbury Campus, and extends beyond the city region into areas including Warrington, Cheshire West and Chester, Deeside, and South Lancashire.

In Tees Valley, its Launchpad will concentrate on establishing a regional hub for Net Zero innovation across Yorkshire, Humber and the North East. This includes hydrogen, carbon capture, utilisation and storage, and offshore wind energy.

Grants will be between £15k and £1m and are available for business-led innovation projects, alongside wrap-around support for growth.

“The Liverpool City Region has a proven track record in delivering world-leading innovation, so it’s no surprise that we’ve been recognised by Innovate UK as one of the country’s hotbeds for investment. With some of the brightest minds in advanced manufacturing, infection control, and AI, right on our doorstep – it’s safe to say they’ve come to the right place,” stated Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region.

“For too long the North has been treated like a poor relation to the Golden Triangle. This could be an important first step in finally redressing that and delivering real levelling up, as well as reaping the wider benefits it brings to the local economy and job market.

“Locally, we’re putting our money where our mouth is too, with plans to invest 5% of GVA into R&D – nearly double the national targets – but it’s essential that the government matches our ambition with further funding if they’re serious about helping us to unleash our full potential.”

The Launchpads’ key objectives are to ensure more places in the UK host world-leading and globally connected innovation clusters, creating more jobs, growth, and productivity in those areas.

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