In June, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram launched the £3m Future Innovation Fund which has now handed out grants to 14 small businesses. Tony McDonough reports
A £3m fund to support the most innovative companies in the Liverpool city region has already handed out £1m to 14 businesses in the first few weeks.
In June, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram launched the Future Innovation Fund to provide grants to support SMEs that are continuing to innovate in the changed business environment created by COVID-19.
Following the initial announcement, 236 businesses applied for the grants and this has been whittled down to 14 who will each receive a grant to continue their groundbreaking work. They include:
- Perfectus Biomed in Sci-Tech Daresbury which has produced a COVID-19 self-audit kit for businesses
- Tickr in Liverpool which has developed a CO2 emissions calculator and carbon offsetting app.
- Inovus Medical in St Helens to support its augmented reality surgical training via home simulator and online portal.
As part of Building Back Better, the Liverpool City Region’s economic recovery plan, Mr Rotheram has requested £20m of funding from Government to expand the scheme in future. He said: “Coronavirus is the biggest challenge that many local businesses will ever face, but they have shown a remarkable ability to adapt and innovate.
“I launched the Future Innovation Fund to help support them through that process. It is great that the fund is able to supports SMEs who are able to demonstrate that they are working positively in our priority areas.
“From working towards a zero carbon economy, to using new technology for the good of society, we want to help good businesses to keep doing good. Unfortunately, funding was limited so we haven’t been able to help everybody that we would have liked to.
“As part of our recovery plan for the region we have asked Government for £20m to allow us to scale the fund up in future. We will be doing all we can to help local businesses to survive this crisis and thrive afterwards.”
Hannah Thomas, operations manager at Perfectus Biomed, said: “This investment will allow us to scale up the technology so that it can be offered to all businesses who want to take a proactive, informed approach to monitoring the virus on their premises.”
The initial 14 successful applicants are:
App using habit building technology to support mental health & lifestyle.
Development and deployment of niche software products to online suppliers.
Anti-viral sprays and coatings.
Augmented reality surgical training via home simulator and online portal
Freeform Fabrication Industries
Additive manufacturing and 3D Printing for rapid production of parts and tooling.
Studio A.N.D. T/A Black & Ginger
Expansion of Good Liverpool online marketplace for local produce.
4D coastal monitoring and exploration portal.
Zero carbon heaters for homes and commercial spaces.
CO2 emissions calculator & carbon offsetting app.
Developing new products using low-carbon substitute for cement.
Automated, digital production management for precision engineering.
Mobile robotic scientists.
Covid-19 self audit kit for businesses.
Surface coatings that kill microbes and viruses at high speed.