£3million Future Innovation Fund set up in Liverpool
Steve Rotheram, the Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region (LCR) has announced a £3m LCR Future Innovation Fund for Liverpool, which opens today.
The grants will be available to help local businesses to “adapt and innovate” in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Businesses in Liverpool City Region have shown an unbelievable ability to adapt and innovate their current business models to successfully weather these extremely challenging times. The overriding priority for us all has to be the safety of the people who live and work in the City Region,” he explained.
“We need to ensure those businesses are supported so that they can help drive our ambitions for inclusive growth in the City Region beyond the far-reaching impact of COVID-19.
“Our economy will need major financial support from central government to recover but we have to do what we can to support businesses in the here and now.
“This is a limited fund but I am sure that it will make a huge difference to businesses who have shown innovation, ingenuity and agility in their responses to this terrible economic shock.”
The first wave will provide £1m of funding, with companies able to apply for grants between £25k and £100k.
They will be awarded to firms that can demonstrate that they support the Local Industrial Strategy priority areas of:
Building a sustainable industrial future - including manufacturing and engineering businesses
Open health innovation - businesses with opportunities to support the health and wellbeing of LCR residents and nationally/globally, during and following the pandemic.
Global cultural capital - businesses with opportunities to support the resilience of LCR’s cultural vibrancy during and following the pandemic.
Zero carbon economy - businesses pioneering sustainable approaches to living, travel and doing business in a post pandemic world.
Tech for good - businesses that use technology and data to improve society, including but not limited to smart city applications, pan-sector digitalisation and AI diffusion.
Digitalisation - business initiatives in any sector that will yield a clear improvement in business productivity, adaptability and/or diversification.
To be eligible, an SME must be operational before 1st January 2020 and have either its headquarters or a “significant operation” in Liverpool City Region.