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Sensor City: Six months on

Business professionals joined academics for an engagement event six months on from the launch of Sensor City, a government backed project to develop a £15m hi-tech sensors hub in Liverpool.

A joint venture between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, Sensor City is currently in the early design phase of building a sensor-based business innovation centre. It aims to create 1,000 jobs and house 300 new businesses within the next decade in its bespoke 2,500m2 building.

The focus for the six-month milestone event was on businesses, and how they could benefit from being part of the scheme and its growing network. Delegates were offered the opportunity to deliver a 90 second elevator pitch to an audience of more than 100 fellow professionals and academics.

Presentations were made by representatives from both major organisations and SMEs, such as IBM and Liverpool Enterprise Partnership (LEP), covering topics including the Internet of Things, healthcare and microbiology etc.

IBM’s Pete Norton said:

“Sensor networks and their use at Sensor City will be at the heart of transforming the city of the future.”

Knowledge Transfer Network Ltd’s Matt Butchers said:

“The UK is good on sensors but the translation into commercial solutions is held up by structural barriers. Initiatives such as Sensor City can really help develop the ‘concept to commercialisation’ process.”

The market for sensor systems is estimated to be £310 billion globally and is growing at over 10% per annum. The UK sensor industry is a £13 billion/annum sector supporting 70,000 jobs and producing £6 billion in exports. Around 1.4 million people in the UK are employed in the sensor-aligned professions, of which 159,000 are in the North West and 27,000 are in Liverpool City Region.

At the time of Sensor City’s launch, in December, Chancellor George Osborne said:

“The stuff being developed here is absolutely cutting edge. It is better than anything else happening anywhere in the world. “We are all going to use the technologies being developed here and we are going to be able to say they were made in Liverpool.”

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