Mayor of Busan visits University as part of landmark innovation deal with Liverpool City Region

The Mayor of Busan Metropolitan City in South Korea visited the University of Liverpool as part of a visit to the region to celebrate a landmark innovation deal that paves the way for greater co-operation between the two cities.

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram and Park Heong-Joon, Mayor of Busan Metropolitan City in South Korea, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will see the two areas commit to active co-operation initially linked to digital innovation & smart cities, net zero & clean energy and health innovation.

Under the MOU, the city regions will foster a strategic innovation partnership and promote science, education, trade and investment exchanges.

The Liverpool City Region is one of only four places selected to take part in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) led UK-South Korea Innovation Twinning Programme following an evidence-based report published in December 2021 – emphasising the city region’s innovation credentials on an international stage.

The Programme is a collaborative initiative that aims to foster innovation and strengthen ties between the United Kingdom and South Korea and is coordinated nationally by the Connected Places Catapult (CPC).

By fostering collaboration and knowledge transfer, the Programme contributes to the growth of bilateral trade, investment, and technological advancements. It promotes economic prosperity, enhances competitiveness, and creates opportunities for cross-border innovation that address global societal and environmental challenges.

Through the coordination efforts of the CPC, this programme plays a crucial role in strengthening the innovation ecosystem between the UK and South Korea, driving forward the development of transformative technologies and fostering long-lasting partnerships.

As part of the visit, the Mayor and his high-level delegation visited two of the University of Liverpool’s flagship centres, the Digital Innovation Facility (DIF,) a £13 million Centre of Excellence in emerging digital technologies, co-funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Local Growth Fund, and the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF,) an £81 million centre that is revolutionising research and development in materials chemistry, developed in partnership with Unilever.

The delegation toured the two facilities and met a number of senior University representatives to strengthen relationships and discuss how the University, through its cutting-edge research and expertise, is acting as an anchor institution to bring together the local innovation ecosystem to collaborate with industry players to tackle global issues at scale and pace, such as helping achieve Net Zero targets and bringing residents, research, care and business organisations building solutions to health and social problems with data through the Civic Data Cooperative.