Alison Mitchell has been appointed Executive Director of Sensor City in a landmark move for the collaborative venture between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), one of four flagship University Enterprise Zones in the country, which will drive sensor technology and development across the UK.
An alumna of both the University and LJMU, Alison will help to establish Sensor City as a national asset for emerging technologies, placing Liverpool and the UK at the forefront of world innovation in the sector.
Alison brings a wealth of high level industry experience to benefit this new role. She joins Sensor City from BT Business where she was Chief Information Officer and helped to transform the telecom giant’s products, services and technical delivery.
Commenting on her vision for Sensor City, Alison said: “I am truly excited to be leading Sensor City. Sensor technology is driving the next generation of products and innovations that can transform lives and the economy. The technology that will be developed at Sensor City will support a modern industrial strategy and boost productivity across a range of sectors from health to transport.
“With the global sensor market currently worth $490 billion and growing at over 10% each year, Sensor City presents an incredible opportunity for the UK and for Liverpool. I am looking forward to unlocking the wealth of expertise that exists between Liverpool’s two leading universities in collaborating with the region’s highly capable SME community to put Liverpool at the forefront of sensor technology development and innovation.”
As Executive Director, Alison will support the establishment of hi-tech sensor businesses and start-ups, enabling graduate entrepreneurs from across the region to access leading experts and world-class research from the field of sensor technologies.
Professor Janet Beer, Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, said: “Alison brings with her considerable industry knowledge, experience and insight which will ensure that Sensor City achieves its vision to put Liverpool at the forefront of sensor technology development and drive forward innovation, create jobs and boost growth for the City Region.”
Professor Nigel Weatherill, Vice Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University and Chair of the Board, Sensor City, said: “I am delighted Alison is leading Sensor City. Alison brings the ideal industry and technological acumen to the initiative which can leverage the academic expertise that exists between Liverpool John Moores University and the University Of Liverpool, for the benefit of our graduate and business community.
“It is this kind of pioneering partnership that will enhance Liverpool’s collective competiveness as the leading British city that can address modern industrial challenges through sensor technology.”
1. Sensor City is a joint venture project between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University which brings together knowledge and experience in sensor technology and houses and supports high-tech businesses working on sensor systems and applications. It aims to create 300 start-up businesses and 1,000 jobs over the next decade, as well as foster industry – academic collaborations. Sensor City will include a Technology Development Zone, an Open Innovation Lab, and offer coaching, business mentoring and access to funding. Both universities will support entrepreneurial talent to enable the translation of innovative ideas from bench to revenue, stimulating business growth regionally, nationally and ultimately internationally.
2. The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (now Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, BEIS) backed the project with a £5 million University Enterprise Zone status capital investment award in 2014. In 2016, the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, awarded £5 million in capital investment as match funding to support the development of the hi-tech sensor hub
3. The project is receiving up to £5m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.