FSB Merseyside and Cheshire recently welcomed the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, who took part in a roundtable on tech start-ups at Sensor City, Liverpool’s global innovation hub for sensor technology.
Development Manager, Phil McCabe, attended the roundtable alongside FSB member Maggie O’Carroll, Chief Executive of the Women’s Organisation, which runs Liverpool City Region’s Enterprise Hub and provides start-up support, and representatives from local SMEs, Tech Nation and Sensor City’s University partners.
Discussions included LEP Growth Hubs, how incubators like Sensor City are helping start-ups to grow, the frontline experience of the challenges faced by tech start-ups and what the Government and other institutions can do to overcome these challenges, including making the UK the world’s most innovation friendly regulatory environment.
The Chancellor’s visit to Sensor City coincided with news that since 2014, British Business Bank programmes have facilitated over £2.5 billion of finance for North West entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses.
He was given a tour around Sensor City’s state-of-the-art mechanical and electronics laboratories, which are home to some of the most sophisticated equipment for sensor and IoT technology in the UK.
As one of only four University Enterprise Zones (UEZs) in the UK, a key goal for Sensor City is to drive collaboration between academia and industry and to foster their interaction.
The Liverpool City Region is at the heart of 4IR activity which is set to transform the modern world economy, and many organisations are working cohesively to encourage digital innovation and increased participation in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) sectors, through programmes including LCR4.0, LCR Activate and Shaping Futures.
Two of the SMEs participating in these discussions were Sensor City resident members K-Safe and Defproc Engineering.
Defproc Engineering undertake proof of concept and prototype work from their base in Sensor City, and access to the on-site laboratories has been a key factor in enabling them to deliver innovative health and social care devices for the Liverpool 5G Consortium.
K-Safe’s intelligent road safety mobile app, Busby, has been developed to predict, prevent, detect and analyse road accidents and is set to be the most significant road safety development since the airbag.