The High Growth Innovation Fund has been designed to support high growth businesses in the Liverpool City Region who have innovative solutions to adapt and grow.
Part of the wider LCR High Growth Programme, the fund received applications earlier in 2022 from a range of businesses with a wide variety of proposals to tackle the issues we face in the city region and beyond, such as plans for increased digitalisation and low carbon technology. Recipients were announced in October 2022.
We caught up with one recipient, hi-impact, to find out how the High Growth Innovation Fund will help them to realise their plans.
hi-impact is an education technology business, working nationally and internationally to lead on the digital transformation of education with secure technology access for students and expert teacher support.
Traditional education models based around face-to-face provision in schools have felt the strain over the past few years due to the impact of COVID-19, stretched personnel resources and ever-reducing school budgets. Online delivery has become common practice in everyday teaching and hi-impact has embraced this to transform its own services.
Based in Bromborough, Wirral, hi-impact is looking to maximise the new reliance on digital delivery by offering virtual learning that is budget-friendly, less resource-intensive and still aligned with the national curriculum.
In October 2022, hi-impact was awarded funding through the High Growth Innovation Fund [HGIF], to support the roll out of their ‘STEM Live’ project.
STEM Live is a programme of exciting live lessons for primary school aged children from the UK and beyond. To date, the project has delivered lessons such as ‘Meet the Astronauts’ based at SaxaVord in the Shetlands (including a live Q&A with Helen Sharman, Britain’s first astronaut), ‘Life on the Ice’ with the British Antarctic Survey, a session with Farm Urban to show how we can transform our cities into greener, healthier spaces, a live launch of weather balloons to the edge of space and a look at Everton Football Club’s new stadium build, hearing from the people who are developing the structure. There are many more lessons in production, too!
HGIF has allowed hi-impact to invest in the equipment, infrastructure and marketing support required to create a custom platform, deliver the live productions and achieve a huge reach: STEM Live is currently reaching in excess of 200,000 school children in over 2,500 primary schools, with plans to reach more than 1m UK children in 2023.
As well as the educational impact, the huge number of sign-ups has seen hi-impact’s marketing database grow from just a few hundred to several thousand through opt-ins from teachers wanting to be contacted about future opportunities. STEM Live has also increased visibility with a range of partner organisations looking to be involved in the project, from Siemens to the Royal Horticultural Society.
Looking to the future, hi-impact is aiming to provide free access to STEM Live for every primary school child in the UK, inspiring the next generation of STEM professionals and helping to reduce the skills gap.
As Helen Sharman, Britain’s first astronaut said:
“In a rapidly changing world that is increasingly reliant on technology, a good STEM education is vital. Learning from inspiring people with interesting examples can be enriching and a great way into science for those who need some encouragement.
“More power to hi-impact and the difference they make to young people’s futures!”
The LCR High Growth Programme is specifically designed to support high growth (or high growth potential) businesses in the Liverpool City Region to adapt, innovate, and grow; get in touch with one of our account managers to see how we can support you and your business.
The High Growth Innovation Fund is part of the LCR High Growth Programme that is part funded by ERDF and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and delivered by Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company.