Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Activate was launched in November 2017 to help SMEs grow by exploring and adopting emerging technologies. Tony McDonough reports
A quarter of Liverpool city region tech businesses who accessed the Activate support programme have launched new products or services as a result of that support.
Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Activate was launched in November 2017 to help SMEs grow by exploring and adopting emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, VR/AR, machine learning and high-performance computing.
So far, 46 enterprise have accessed the programme with a quarter already having turned their ideas into commercial reality.
Among those created are a first-of-its-kind AR mobile application for the hospitality industry, a smart digital multi-music instrument and a powerful market intelligence platform.
A further 52 companies have signed up for support in 2019 and, to date, Activate has awarded just under £100,000 of funding to 11 SMEs across ecommerce, IT, product design, music and gaming, all of which have used the capital for product development or further consultancy.
The programme provides opportunities for businesses to work closely with experts at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) and Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership to assess growth challenges, accelerate new ideas through new technology and to launch new products or services.
Over the past year, Activate has hosted 18 events at various locations to help SMEs learn about the potential benefits of working with emerging technologies and gain specialist insight from industry leaders. The events have been attended by more than 700 individuals from the digital and creative industries.
Jonathon Clark, business and technology manager at Activate, said: “Activate has been running for just over a year now and the sheer volume of interest that we’ve had proves just how much the Liverpool city region needs a programme like Activate to support those in the creative and digital sectors.
“What’s more, the success that businesses have experienced since completing the programme shows how effective support and funding can be for driving business growth and how using the right emerging technologies must be central to that.”
To see case studies of support that has been provided and to find out how Activate, which is set to run to 2020, can help your business growth, get in touch via by clicking here.