£1m boost for innovative Liverpool businesses

Metro Mayor Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram has awarded the first £1m of funding from the Future Innovation Fund to 14 local SMEs who have shown an ability to innovate and adapt in the face of disruption.

Launched by the Mayor in mid-June, the £3m Future Innovation Fund is providing grants to support SMEs that are continuing to innovate in the changed business environment created by Covid-19.

The first wave of funding was significantly oversubscribed, with 236 applications bidding for just over £1m. Future funding rounds will be announced shortly.

Among those awarded funding are a company that has developed a mobile robotic scientist, a fin-tech company developing a carbon offsetting product, and a company that will help other businesses reduce the risk of Coronavirus spreading on their premises.

Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, commented: “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.

“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.”

Andy Cooper, CEO, at Mobotics, one of the successful applicants, said: “We have had worldwide interest in our work developing mobile robotic scientists and this funding will enable us, as a very young company, to scale up the business to meet that global demand.”

Hannah Thomas, operations manager at Perfectus Biomed, which also received funding, 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, potentially helping to reduce the spread of the virus and allowing them to continue to operate.”

The 14 successful applicants and their product descriptions are:

  • Sophron Health – App using habit building technology to support mental health & lifestyle
  • Conveyor Networks – Development and deployment of niche software products to online suppliers
  • Shimyatech – Anti-viral sprays and coatings
  • Inovus (T/A Inovus Medical) – 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
  • MM Sensors – 4D coastal monitoring and exploration portal
  • 2DHeat – Zero carbon heaters for homes and commercial spaces
  • Tickr – CO2 emissions calculator and carbon offsetting app
  • C-Probe Systems – Developing new products using low-carbon substitute for cement
  • Beverston Engineering – Automated, digital production management for precision engineering
  • Mobotics – Mobile robotic scientists
  • Perfectus Biomed – Covid-19 self-audit kit for businesses
  • Gencoa – Surface coatings that kill microbes and viruses at high speed