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Summit puts innovation at the heart of the Liverpool City Region growth opportunities

An audience of over 200 gathered this week (25th May) for the Liverpool City Region’s first ever Innovation Investment Summit at The Spine.

Organised by ICAEW North West, Liverpool City Region LEP and Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company, the event looked at innovation investment opportunities for the City Region.

Central to the discussion was the importance of innovation and how we can we grow, develop, and create a vibrant, world-leading innovation ecosystem in the Liverpool City Region – and where the opportunities for investment are. The event also looked at: Liverpool City Region in the context of the UK’s National Innovation Strategy; expanding Liverpool’s innovation ecosystem; attracting more venture capital, growth finance and private equity, and ensuring inclusive economic growth.

Welcoming delegates to the event, Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram spoke about the recently launched Innovation Prospectus which 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.

Delegates also heard from Dr Jon Hague from Unilever; Prof Janet Hemingway CBE FRS, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene; John Leake from Sci-Tech Daresbury; Simon Bolton from Edge Hill; Lorna Green from LYVA Labs, and Dave Hudson from LCR Connect, amongst others. Panelists discussed expanding the city region’s innovation ecosystem and how we can boost innovation investment across the region.

Justin Lang, President of the Liverpool Society of Chartered Accountants, said: “The Liverpool Society of Chartered Accountants was extremely pleased to support such a pivotal event; by bringing advisors, both public and private funders, and supporting organisations together, along with compelling examples of what can be achieved should provide a great launchpad for future activity and highlight the opportunities and support available to SME’s in the Liverpool region.

“The ICAEW is perfectly placed to support SMEs throughout the Innovation life cycle from advising on overall business strategy through to funding, and compliance with the various fund requirements.”

Steve Stuart, Chair of the Professional & Business Services for Liverpool City Region who organised the event with ICAEW North West was delighted with the day and said: “This event gave us the platform to talk about how innovation is at the heart of the ambitious work that is happening across the City Region, alongside the opportunities we have for investment. Many issues were addressed, and it was inspiring to hear from enthusiastic and knowledgeable business leaders, entrepreneurs, policy makers and investors on how they see the future of our amazing City Region. Growth is not just about capital; it also involves nurturing and retaining the workforce that are already here. The Liverpool City Region can maximise the benefits and come out on top of the war for talent if we work hard to get this right.”

Shaun Beaney from ICAEW’s Corporate Finance Faculty – who organised the Summit with Steve Stuart, Alex Pilkington, and Danielle Carrington from Growth Platform – said: “This is a particularly important time for innovation investment in the UK.

Liverpool City Region has a great reputation for many types of R&D, but we felt that even more could be done to bring in public-sector and commercial investment – to commercialise new tech. Expert advice from corporate finance professionals is also a vital part of the innovation ecosystem.”

The event was sponsored by LCR Connect – a £30m joint venture that will transform the digital infrastructure of Liverpool City Region.