£2.1m innovation pot puts wind in sails of 13 projects

A Wirral firm looking to bring wind power back to commercial shipping is one of 13 projects sharing a £2.1 Liverpool city region innovation pot. Tony McDonough reports

GT Green Technologies
GT Green Technologies has developed the Air Wing propulsion system


A £2.1m Liverpool city region innovation fund is putting wind in the sails of a Wirral firm along with 12 others.

GT Green Technologies has secured almost £100,000 for a project to bring wind power back into commercial shipping. Its Air Wing propulsion system has the potential to help reduce the carbon footprint of global shipping.

It has grabbed a share from a pot of almost £2.1m in the second round of Innovate UK’s Launchpad programme. Piloted in the city region it has now seen a total of 37 business-led projects share £7.5m in grants since February.

Grants of between £93,000 and £496,000 have been offered to 13 projects in the second round of a programme designed to drive innovation beyond southeast England.

Liverpool city region was one of only two areas chosen to pilot Innovate UK’s ground-breaking Launchpad programme.

Launched in September last year, the programme focuses on developing innovations to transform the city region’s advanced manufacturing cluster, with an emphasis on digital technologies and net zero outcomes.

Innovate UK is the UK’s agency responsible for driving innovation. Chief executive Indro Mukerjee joined Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram to announce the latest projects at an event in St Helens.

Other firms to benefit include Sci-Tech Daresbury-based Evove which has been awarded £496,297 to develop and manufacture products to make water filtration less energy intensive.

Membrane filtration is used for desalination and other purposes and the global market is worth £25bn. The project promises to bring manufacturing jobs and export opportunities to the city region. A further 10 schemes were awarded up to £100,000 each.

Mr Rotheram said: “If centuries of being at the helm of generation-defining discoveries and ingenious inventions has taught us anything – it’s that innovation is in our DNA.

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“We’re fortunate to be home to an abundance of talented and creative individuals who shape our region’s reputation as a hotbed for creativity and it’s a testament to their talents that we were chosen as a Launchpad by Innovate UK.

“We might already be home to a thriving innovation economy – but I’m not content with resting on our laurels. If we want to become the UK’s next science and innovation superpower, then we need to think bigger and better than the rest.”

Indro Mukerjee added: “The Innovate UK launchpad programme, and our other partnership activities, continues to strongly contribute to boosting business-led innovation across the region.”

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