The Right Honourable Anna Soubry, Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, led a ground breaking ceremony to officially launch Liverpool’s £15 million Sensor City project.
Sensor City’ facility, located in the Copperas Hill redevelopment area and part of the University Enterprise Zone, is a joint venture between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). It aims to create 1,000 jobs and house 300 new businesses over a 10 year period in a bespoke 2,500 sq m building.
The Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) backed project will support companies as they develop and implement novel sensor systems, integrating sensors, firmware and advanced algorithms.
Vice-Chancellors from both universities welcomed the Minister as she met with the Sensor City project board and toured the site.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Beer said: “Our universities will provide the entrepreneurial talent to translate innovative ideas from the laboratory to the factory floor, benefiting new and established businesses across the country. We are looking forward to working together on this exciting new facility and to its official opening in 2017.”
Sensor City, under construction by Kier Group, will provide the necessary platform for the universities to work closely with business and other organisations to share expertise and knowledge that will drive forward innovation on both a local and global scale, creating jobs and boosting growth for the City Region.
LJMU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nigel Weatherill, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister and to see her enthusiasm and interest in the early stages of what promises to be a pioneering project for us and our partners. The facility will foster urban regeneration through business start-ups and growth, attracting hundreds of new business and the creation of over a thousand new jobs in Liverpool.”
Sensors are the crucial link between technological devices and the world around them, capturing data on a whole host of areas such as temperature, humidity and pressure. They can be used in everything from home security systems to medical technology and high value manufacturing.
The Department of Business Innovation and Skills backed the project with a £5 million University Enterprise Zone status award in 2014, which is further supported by the LEP, Liverpool city council and £5 million from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.