Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the LCR 4.0 project has already helped create 80 jobs and added £2.6m in GVA to the city region. Tony McDonough reports
A business support programme to introduce the manufacturing to the latest technology is projected to create 955 jobs and boost the Liverpool city region economy by £31.1m.
Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the LCR 4.0 project has already helped create 80 jobs and added £2.6m in GVA to the city region since its launch in 2016.
Working with local businesses, the project has given almost 300 SMEs the tools and resources to explore the opportunities and challenges of Industry 4.0 technologies, such as big data, systems integration, Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality (AR) and 3D printing.
In using this advanced technology, SMEs can increase productivity, reduce costs and pioneer first-of-its-kind innovations.
The figures were revealed at a Technology Showcase event at Sci-Tech Daresbury held to celebrate the success and impact of the LCR 4.0 programme, as well as a platform to highlight the additional support and funding available to SMEs across the North West.
Speaking at the event, Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, said: “There is a truly entrepreneurial spirit running through Liverpool city region.
“Because of this, the region can become, and in my opinion is becoming, a manufacturing global hotspot. Programmes such as LCR 4.0 are making that possible, establishing innovative and dynamic manufacturing communities across the six boroughs.”
Several LCR 4.0-enabled SMEs took to the stage to give real life examples of advanced manufacturing in situ and there were several thought leadership talks from businesses including CNC Robotics which spoke about the ethics of robotics.
A recent survey by LCR 4.0 found that 82% of SMEs say the programme changed their understanding of Industry 4.0, while over two thirds of businesses said it helped them to bring a product to market quicker.
Dr Andy Levers, technical director at the Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC) and technical lead for LCR 4.0, added: “These figures are real testament to the impact of the LCR 4.0 programme to date and that, if a business starts to operate in a more innovative way, they will generate better results quicker.”
The LCR 4.0 project has been delivered by partners University of Liverpool’s VEC, Liverpool John Moores University, Sensor City, STFC Hartree Centre and the Liverpool City Region LEP.