LCR 4.0 offers Liverpool city region firms a gateway to the Fourth Industrial Revolution

New business support programme will help manufacturers take advantage of a drive to turbo charge growth by connecting digital and physical assets. Tony McDonough reports.

From left, Alison Kennedy (STFC Hartree Centre), Professor Ahmed Al-Shamma'a (LJMU), Simon Reid (LCR LEP), Jonathan Clarke (LCR LEP), Joanne Phoenix (Sensor City), Lynn Dwyer (VEC), Andy Levers (VEC) at the LCR 4.0 launch
From left, Alison Kennedy (STFC Hartree Centre), Professor Ahmed Al-Shamma’a (LJMU), Simon Reid (LCR LEP), Jonathan Clarke (LCR LEP), Joanne Phoenix (Sensor City), Lynn Dwyer (VEC), Andy Levers (VEC) at the LCR 4.0 launch

Small and medium-sized firms across the Liverpool city region are being urged to take full advantage of the technological revolution to turbo-charge their businesses.

Industry leaders made the call at the launch of LCR 4.0, a new business support programme aimed at manufacturers.

Industry 4.0

LCR 4.0 centres around what is being called the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ or Industry 4.0 – which will see a huge growth in connectivity between digital and physical assets.

One example is Sensor City in Liverpool, a £15m project focusing on sensors and the ‘internet of things’ – using web-connected sensors to speed up industrial and workplace processes.

Companies such as Unilever and Jaguar Land Rover and organisations such as Alder Hey Hospital are all using sensor technology.

Practical support

The first of its kind in the country, LCR 4.0 will allow businesses to access practical support and connect with other SMEs to help them unleash the transformational potential of Industry 4.0.

This latest evolution of the manufacturing sector offers opportunities for companies to increase productivity, respond more quickly to customers’ needs and grow sustainably.

Click to learn how the EEF can help you de-mystify Industry 4.0

This is achieved through the adoption of technologies that enable increased connectivity between digital and physical assets.

Innovation call

Steve Warren, region director (North West) at manufacturer’s organisation EEF, one of the key note speakers at the LCR 4.0 launch, called on businesses to drive innovation from the top down and integrate IT departments into board level decisions.

Simon Reid, sector manager for advanced manufacturing at the Liverpool City Region LEP, added: “SMEs have to want to innovate and for some this could mean a major culture change is required.

“There can be an attitude that embracing new digital technologies is something for big businesses, not SMEs, but if they don’t they could get left behind as the industry continues to evolve in order to meet customers’ expectations.

“In Liverpool we are in lucky that we have world class technical and knowledge assets on our doorstep that can give SMEs the support they need to find out what opportunities are available for their business.”


Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the LCR 4.0 programme is being delivered in partnership by some of the region’s key knowledge and scientific assets.

They include the University of Liverpool, Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LCR LEP), Liverpool John Moores University, the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Hartree Centre and Sensor City.

“The focus can’t just be on manufacturers though,” added Mr Reid. “We need innovators to come forward and provide the technologies which are going to help our local businesses to continue to compete nationally and internationally.

“We have a strong digital community in the region which we should tap in to if we are to see our manufacturers upskill and adapt to embrace new ways of working.”

LCR 4.0 is a part of the Liverpool City Region Local Growth Hub.

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