Shaping the industry of tomorrow

Posted on 8 Dec 2020 by The Manufacturer

Liverpool City Region is home to a thriving biomanufacturing ecosystem, populated by world-leading pharmaceutical players, vaccine manufacturers and institutions. Peter Timmins explained how digital technologies are transforming the sector and where the opportunities for collaboration lie.

Three factors contribute to the Liverpool City Region’s strong presence in biomanufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, R&D and academia: its assets, organisations and institutions. Though each plays a vital role independently, incredible things happen when the three come together.

One of the key assets in the City Region for pharmaceutical manufacturers is the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQL), with notable facilities and incubators dedicated to the development of business-changing sensor technology at Sensor City, and the Materials Innovation Factory, which is a unique open-access scientific facility using robotics and high-performance computing to accelerate the development of new technologies.


These are just some examples of the assets, capabilities and expertise in the region.

LiverpoolLiverpool City Region is also home to the Sci-Tech Daresbury Enterprise Zone; the Hartree Centre with its critical mass of expertise focused on data analytics and AI; Virtual Engineering Centre; Liverpool Bio-Innovation Hub and a cluster of nine NHS Trusts.

Supporting these assets are key organisations working in unison to create a robust pipeline of research and innovation from exploratory stage through to commercialisation and deployment. These include the Innovation Agency (connecting industry and the NHS); Liverpool Health Partners (connecting academia with the NHS), the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC – one of the High Value Manufacturing Catapults); and two clusters focused on HealthTec and E-Health.

All assets benefit from close proximity to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), Liverpool University and the Liverpool John Moores University. With all this on their doorstep, it’s little wonder that manufacturers such as AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Seqirus, Thermofisher Scientific, Unilever, to name but a few, have established strong roots in the City Region, making it a large pharmaceutical cluster.

Behind these major international companies lies a well-connected supply chain providing them with everything from clean rooms, labelling and automation, to data management, simulation, and inventory management.

Peter closed his presentation by mentioning just two from the many examples of how the Liverpool City Region is helping to shape the industry of tomorrow. Recognising the Liverpool City Region and North West’s existing world-class expertise, an LSTM-led consortium ( has received £18.6m from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Strength in Places Fund for a five-year project to deliver integrated therapeutic solutions for human infections.

The grant has already generated guarantees of around £90m for pilot projects eager to use the eight new platforms (six physical, two virtual).

The Digital Manufacturing Accelerator (DMA) is a £15m programme run by the MTC with funding from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. It provides manufacturers with access to modular and flexible testbeds to accelerate the implementation of digital technologies. It also provides access to the latest training and development programmes, and expertise and equipment to help reduce cost and potentially increase return on investment.

There is no place like Liverpool City Region, and no better place for your manufacturing business. Learn more at