The Business Minister, the Rt Hon Anna Soubry MP has visited the site of the new Sensor City to see how the £15 million facility will revolutionise sensor technologies globally and bring business and investment to Liverpool and the city region.
LJMU and the University of Liverpool, in partnership with the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), welcomed the Minister as she met with the Sensor City project board and given a guided tour around the site on which work is currently underway.
Several Liverpool-based companies are working on the project including construction company the Kier Group and architects from the IBI Group. Together they will help to shape a world-leading University Enterprise Zone in sensor technologies located within the Copperas Hill redevelopment area on the site of the former Royal Mail sorting office. It will also play a role in the development of a Northern Powerhouse, a reference which was made by Chancellor George Osborne in his opening speech at the International Festival for Business 2016 in Liverpool earlier this week.
Sensor City will bring together the knowledge and experience in sensor technology to become a leading innovation center and global sensor hub by attracting and nurturing the smartest networks, talent, technology and investment. It will create 1,000 jobs and house 300 new businesses over a 10 year period in a bespoke 2,500 sq m building dedicated to supporting companies as they develop pioneering high tech sensor systems and applications
Sensors play a crucial role in everyday life. Working as the crucial link between technological devices and the world around them, they capture data on a whole host of areas such as temperature, humidity and pressure. The developments that will take place in the facility will develop new sensor technologies used across many sectors including aerospace, defence, security, medical and healthcare and IT.
The UK sensor industry alone generates £13 billion each year and supports 70,000 jobs, producing £6 billion in exports. Around 1.4 million people in the UK are employed in sensor-aligned professions of which 159,000 are in the North West and 27,000 are in the Liverpool City Region.
Business Minister Anna Soubry said: “Sensor City will establish Liverpool as a leader in sensor technology bringing together high tech start-ups and established businesses with entrepreneurial students and graduates to support cutting-edge projects. This is yet more evidence of what can be achieved when government and local leaders work together to invest in innovative projects for the Northern Powerhouse.”
Vice-Chancellor at the University of Liverpool, Professor Janet Beer, said: “"Our universities will provide the entrepreneurial talent to translate innovative ideas from the laboratory to the factory floor, benefitting 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."
LJMU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nigel Weatherill, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister today and to see her enthusiasm and interest in the early stages of what promises to be a pioneering project for us and our partners. This is one of the first major strategic collaborations between LJMU, the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and as such is important in illustrating how the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of students and academics can be driven forward by industry.
“The facility will foster urban regeneration through business start-ups and growth, attracting hundreds of new business and the creation of many new jobs in Liverpool. We are thrilled that we will be working with this type of business to further support them to compete on a global stage.”