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Innovate UK launches Round 2 of their ground-breaking Launchpad pilot programme

Additional grant funding for advanced manufacturing projects across the Liverpool City Region is now open

Launched last year, Innovate UK’s Launchpad pilot focusses on developing innovations that transform the Liverpool City Region’s advanced manufacturing cluster, with an emphasis on digital technologies and net zero outcomes.

Nearly £5.5m has been awarded to 23 Liverpool City Region innovation projects –from developing green energy technologies to protecting coasts.

A second round of competitive grant applications has now opened for advanced manufacturing projects in the Liverpool City Region offering grants of between £15,000 and up to £1m for businesses of all sizes and will focus on developing innovations that transform the city region’s advanced manufacturing cluster.

Details of the initial funding competition are now live:

There will be an applicant webinar by Innovate UK scheduled for 21 February, 09:30. Register here

The decision to choose the Liverpool City Region as a pilot area reflects on its highly developed place-based innovation approach. It also followed publication of the Liverpool City Region’s first Innovation Prospectus that highlighted world-leading strengths in infection prevention and control, advanced manufacturing, AI solutions, plus emerging capabilities in net zero and maritime technologies.

Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram said:

“With an abundance of world-leading research strengths in science and innovation – it’s little wonder that Innovate UK has chosen our area as one of only two Launchpads in the entire country.

“Yet it is our distinctive capabilities in advanced manufacturing that help to set us apart from the rest – with world-class assets on our doorstep like the Manufacturing Technology Centre and Materials Innovation Factory. These latest grants could be transformational to help advanced manufacturing businesses of all sizes to unleash their full potential – and create quality, highly skilled jobs and training opportunities for our region.

“However, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my ambitions for our area: we have got a £3bn pipeline of new projects still to unlock.

To make that happen, we will be investing 5% of our GVA in innovation over the next few years – nearly double the national targets. We are positioning ourselves at the vanguard of UK science and innovation – and are ready to seize every opportunity that comes our way.”

Welcoming the second round, Janice Mears, Head of Business Growth at Growth Platform said:

“It is fantastic to not only see 23 successful projects benefit from the first round of the Launchpad pilot, but it is also encouraging to see the collaborations and types of projects that have been successful.

“For our city region to innovate, develop and strengthen the advanced manufacturing cluster our businesses need additional support and funding that will continue this upward trajectory – Launchpad is one such initiative that will help businesses maximise their potential and create additional opportunities and I would encourage any businesses within the advanced manufacturing sector to apply for round two funding.”

Ongoing support is available to businesses in the advanced manufacturing innovation cluster via LYVA Labs.

The Launchpad programme is designed to build on Innovate UK’s commitment in its Plan for Action to help build local strengths and help businesses benefit from them, in support of the government’s levelling up agenda.

Launchpads’ key objective is to ensure more places in the UK host world-leading and globally connected innovation clusters, creating more jobs, growth, and productivity in those areas.