Steve Rotheram announces £ 10.5million investment to boost innovation in Liverpool City area
Steve Rotheram plans to turn the Liverpool City region into an innovation powerhouse and has announced Â£ 10.5million for a unique project to develop big ideas.
The investment created a new company – LCR Ventures – to help innovators turn their ideas into high growth companies and good quality jobs.
The City of Liverpool region aims to invest more than double the national research and development (R&D) target by 2030, linked to Â£ 3 billion in innovation projects.
LCR Ventures will initially provide so-called âincubatorâ services and finance to very young start-ups in the health and life sciences sector in the Liverpool City area, which is one of the strongest in the country.
In the short term, LCR Ventures, considered the only such company in the country, is expected to create 60 to 100 jobs, and more as start-ups grow.
LCR Ventures will take an equity stake in new innovative companies in exchange for financial support and expertise with the aim of making them fully sustainable and high growth. If the business is successful, the investment will be recycled and reinvested.
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the City of Liverpool region, said:
âIn the Liverpool City area, we are very fortunate to have a group of world-class research institutions and a genuine passion for innovation. I want to harness these strengths and turn them into profitable businesses, creating jobs and prosperity for the local population, as well as advancements in healthcare that should save and improve people’s lives.
âOur investment builds on the strengths of our region’s fantastic health and life sciences sector and will provide the support needed to help turn great ideas into great businesses.
âI am determined to make our region the engine of innovation in the country and, to achieve this, we will invest 5% of our GVA in Research and Development over the next few years, almost double the government’s national targets. I sincerely believe that with the right support, we could help get our health and life sciences industry off the ground.
âBy investing now to establish ourselves as a hotbed of innovation and new technologies, we will be able to attract many more high-skilled and well-paying jobs and attract many more jobs, businesses and opportunities from around the world. “
The initial Â£ 7.5million funding enabled project sponsor The Innovation Agency to establish LCR Ventures as a stand-alone, non-profit company.
It will also create a Â£ 5million Challenge Fund for the health and life sciences sector, where the city region has world-class assets including the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the largest group specialist NHS hospitals and support assets outside London.
The ambition is to expand to other sectors in the future as additional funding becomes available. The Combined Authority has set aside almost Â£ 3million to achieve this goal.
More than 100 innovations are currently being developed by NHS clinicians across the city region, each with the potential to have economic impact, commercial returns and improved patient outcomes.
LCR Ventures will provide the business support – while allowing clinicians to continue working in the NHS.
LCR Ventures will complement and integrate with existing support for business and innovation in the city region and has been co-developed by Growth Platform, the Combined Authority and the Innovation Agency, which is the university science network of health for the northwest coast.