Liverpool City Region unveils innovation plan

Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram has unveiled a multibillion pound plan to supercharge the area’s innovation powerhouse credentials.

The city region is aiming to invest 5% of its economy on research and development (R&D) by 2030, nearly double the government’s UK target.

Achieving this would add an estimated £41.7bn to the region’s economy and create 44,000 jobs.

Launched at an event in the UK Parliament, a new innovation prospectus details how the city region’s world-leading expertise in infection control, materials chemistry and artificial intelligence would be a launchpad for future discoveries and investment.

With net zero projects, such as Mersey Tidal Power and hydrogen energy factored in, the area has more than £12bn of innovation projects primed for investment.

Commenting, Mr Rotheram said:

“For as long as we have existed, people and businesses from the Liverpool City Region have been inspiring and changing the world. It’s fair to say that innovation is in our DNA.

“But I don’t want us just to dine out on our past. I am determined to make our region the country’s innovation engine and to make that happen, we will be investing 5% of our GVA in research and development over the next few years, nearly double the government’s national targets.

“I want to take advantage of our strengths and potential, and turn them into profitable businesses, creating better, greener jobs and bringing greater prosperity to local people.”

Leaders point to the city region’s recent innovation record as evidence it can deliver regional and national ambitions, but warns it needs partnership and sustained, large-scale investment from the government and private sources.

In the five years before the Covid-19 pandemic, the area attracted £2bn of innovation investment and currently has a further £1bn of projects underway.

The UK’s first regional innovation board, a series of ground-breaking support schemes and unique partnerships between industry and researchers have enabled innovation to thrive.

Chair of the Liverpool City Region Innovation Board and Vice President of Science and Technology at Unilever Homecare, Dr Jon Hague added:

“As chair of the innovation board, it is a privilege to be constantly reminded of the brilliance and talent this city region has to offer.

“With its exciting mix of distinctive world-leading assets and capabilities, public and private partnership and forward-thinking leadership, the Liverpool City Region is fertile territory for people wanting to turn big inventions and ideas into flourishing businesses.

“We know Liverpool City Region can play a huge part in helping the UK achieve its innovation ambitions. That’s because we’re already doing it.

“With sustained, large-scale investment we can deliver even more world-leading innovation that will fuel UK PLC’s bottom line, as well as fuelling our industry with green, sustainable energy and changing the world for the better.

“It’s no accident that Unilever continues to invest and thrive in the Liverpool City Region.”

You can watch the full PSE365 Public Sector Decarbonisation in Association with Liberty Charge virtual event on demand here.

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