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Bringing wind power back into shipping and bracelets to help diagnose ADHD among City Region projects to share over £2m of innovation grants

GRANTS of between:- £93,000 and £496,000 have been offered to 13 Liverpool City Region projects in the second round of a programme designed to drive innovation beyond southeast England.

The City Region was one of only two areas chosen to pilot Innovate UK's ground-breaking Launchpad programme which over two rounds has now offered £7.5m of grants to 37 locally based projects.

Launched in September last year, the programme focusses on developing innovations to transform the City Region's advanced manufacturing cluster, with an emphasis on digital technologies and net zero outcomes.

Innovate UK is the UK's agency responsible for driving innovation. Innovate UK CEO Indro Mukerjee joined Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram to announce the latest projects today at an event in St Helens to celebrate the 1st year of a landmark partnership between the City Region and the UK's agency responsible for driving innovation.

In Round 2, 3 Collaborative R&D schemes have been selected, including:-

Sci-Tech Daresbury campus based Evove Ltd who have been awarded £496,297 to develop and manufacture products to make water filtration less energy intensive. Membrane filtration is used for desalination and other purposes and the global market is worth £25bn. The project promises to bring high value manufacturing jobs and export opportunities to the City Region.

A further 10 schemes were awarded up to £100,000 each, including:-

Sci-Tech Daresbury campus based Addhere Technologies were awarded £99,000 to develop the innovative manufacture of bracelets that help diagnose Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (see case study below)

Wirral based GT Green Technologies who were awarded £99,066 for a project to bring wind power back into commercial shipping. Their trademarked Air Wing propulsion system has the potential to help reduce carbon footprint of global shipping and help LCR Freeport towards its net-zero targets (see case study below)

Liverpool based Fusion Implants Ltd who were awarded £99,512 to develop digital treatments for dogs with elbow disease; including manufacturing 3D implants

BossIt were awarded £98,627 to develop a new structural construction system that turns recycled plastic and non-recyclable textiles into a composite building block

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:- "If centuries of being at the helm of generation-defining discoveries and ingenious inventions has taught us anything; it's that innovation is in our DNA. We 're fortunate to be home to an abundance of talented and creative individuals who shape our Region's reputation as a hotbed for creativity and it's a testament to their talents that we were chosen as a Launchpad by Innovate UK. We 're using this second round of investment to our advantage by providing some of the most pioneering local projects with ambitious funding to take their business to the next level and provide secure, well-paid jobs. We might already be home to a thriving innovation economy;, but I 'm not content with resting on our laurels. If we want to become the UK's next science and innovation superpower, then we need to think bigger and better than the rest."

Innovate UK CEO Indro Mukerjee said:- "Innovate UK is building strong Regional partnerships across the UK to support local innovation and commercialisation. The Innovate UK team and I are pleased to collaborate with Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region team to support economic growth and productivity. The Innovate UK launchpad programme, and our other partnership activities, continues to strongly contribute to boosting business-led innovation across the Region."

Nearly £5.5m was awarded to 23 Liverpool City Region innovation projects in Round 1 of Launchpad; with schemes ranging from developing green energy technologies to protecting coasts with eco-friendly blocks.

The second round of competitive grant applications opened for Liverpool City Region advanced manufacturing projects in February this year and offered funding of between £15,000 and up to £1m for businesses of all sizes.

Ongoing support is available to businesses in the advanced manufacturing innovation cluster via LYVA Labs, who were appointed cluster manager for the advanced manufacturing Launchpad, having won an open competition earlier this year.

Formerly LCR Ventures, LYVA Labs was set up with £10.5m of Combined Authority funding to help innovators turn their ideas into high-growth businesses and good quality jobs.

Innovate UK's decision to work with the Liverpool City Region as a pilot area reflects our highly developed place based innovation approach. It also followed publication of the Liverpool City Region's 1st Innovation Prospectus that highlights World Leading strengths in infection prevention and control, materials chemistry, and AI solutions, plus emerging capabilities in net zero and maritime technologies.

Since then, Liverpool City Region has agreed the country's 1st place based partnership and action plan with Innovate UK, has signed a landmark innovation deal with South Korea's 2nd City, Busan, as part of a major Government UK-South Korea innovation twinning programme, and been designated one of 12 UK Investment Zones.

The City Region has also published a refreshed Innovation Prospectus which showcases more than £11bn of City Region investment opportunities, including a £1.9bn R&D project pipeline, plus the Mersey Tidal Power and HyNet megaprojects. It also highlights the area's distinctive innovation assets and clusters, fertile innovation ecosystem, and exceptional partnerships between:- industry, research and technology organisations, and the public sector, coordinated by the Combined Authority.

It is estimated that realising the Liverpool City Region's ambition to invest 5% in R&D by 2030 would deliver a gross economic benefit of £41.7bn GVA, a 10% increase in productivity and create 44,000 new jobs.

The Launchpad programme is designed to build on Innovate UK's commitment in its Plan for Action to help build local strengths and help businesses benefit from them, in support of the Government's levelling up agenda.

Launchpad's key objective is to ensure more places in the UK host World Leading and globally connected innovation clusters; creating more jobs, growth and productivity in those areas.

The Combined Authority, Growth Platform; the Region's growth company, STFC Daresbury Laboratory, and other key local stakeholders were directly involved in developing the national pilot Launchpad programme.

Projects funded through round 2 of the advanced manufacturing Launchpad that have already started include:-

  • Digitalisation of canine elbow disease surgery, by Fusion Implants.

  • Eliminating barriers to entry of a production scale continuous flow reactor for the chemical industry, by Ashe Morris.

  • Supply Works; Unlocking the power of network effects for supplier intelligence and visibility in the medical devices sector, by Senti Tech

  • AirWing Wind Propulsion Advanced Manufacture Development Liverpool, by GT Green Technologies.

  • Locblock turning a plastic and non-recyclable textile waste issue into a housing solution... Phase 2; System and prototype completion, by

  • X-AudioPD:- USB Power Delivery Speakers for Multichannel Audio, by Sonalux.

  • NetGrow; Network Portal for Growth and Opportunity for SMEs, by Valuechain Technology.

  • Digital Manufacturing Process Design for AI Driven Customization in Wearables Production... ADHD Pioneering Diagnosis and
    Treatment Support, by Addhere Technologies.

  • BAC; DTDA (Digital Twin Development Accelerator), by Briggs Automotive Company.

  • Automated Cooking Oil Storage and Recycle System, by Bomac Electric.

  • Spacer production scale-up via proprietary 3D additive manufacturing for industrial desalination, led by Evove.

  • Development of intelligent multisensory technology for proactive asset management, led by Central Electrical Armature Winding Company.

Varna Ballet and Orchestra are heading to Liverpool's Empire for the 2024 season

RAYMOND Gubbay Limited is pleased to announce that Varna International Ballet and Orchestra will return to UK after a hugely successful debut in 2023. This season they will bring much loved classical ballets:- The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty coming to Liverpool Empire, from:- 9 January to 11 January 2024.

British dancer Luc Burns will perform alongside:- Italy's Mara Salvaggio, Martina Prefetto, Giovanni Pompei, Agnese Di Dio Masa, Andrea Conforti, Mirko Andreutti, Giacomo Ammazzini and Vittorio Scolé, France's Pauline Clémence Faget, Spain's Mónica Alegre and Yael Delgado, and Brazil's Wellson Felipio.

The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty will be classical versions of the original, including:- sumptuous costumes and familiar choreography and settings.

Swan Lake will be a recreation of Tchaikovsky's original production, that was created for the Bolshoi Ballet in 1877. Modern audiences are more familiar with the 1895 version that included musical and chorographical changes to the original by Marius Petipa and Riccardo Drigo, which was presented at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1895, 2 years after Tchaikovsky's death. The producers of Varna International Ballet went back into the archives in order to return to the original score, orchestration and libretto, above all to preserve the original meanings that were at the bottom of the musical dramaturgy of the ballet.

Renowned for its award winning soloists from:- the UK, France, Italy and Spain, and magnificent corps de ballet, the company has been delighting audiences for decades at home in Bulgaria and abroad with its performances of the highest quality.

Artistic Director Daniela Dimova and Music Director and Chief Conductor Peter Tuleshkov from Varna International Ballet and Orchestra said:- "We are thrilled to be bringing our highly talented company of dancers and musicians back to the UK. We can't wait to perform for British audiences again and to bring these magical ballets to life on stage."

Varna State Opera was founded in 1947 by the renowned Bulgarian tenor Peter Raycheff. The main credit for the development of the ballet troupe goes to Galina and Stefan Yordanov who were Artistic Directors and choreographers for over 25 years (1960-1985). They formed the image of the Varna Ballet and brought it to the international stage and founded the 1st and now world-famous Varna International Ballet Competition in 1964. Since 2010 Varna State Opera and Varna Drama Theatre are united in 1 cultural institute called Theatre and Music Production Centre Varna.

The ballets to be performed this season are:-

  • Swan Lake; The greatest romantic ballet of all time is brought to life by Tchaikovsky's haunting and unforgettable score. From the impressive splendour of the Palace ballroom to the moon-lit lake where swans glide in perfect formation, this compelling tale of tragic romance has it all. From Odile, the temptress in black tulle as she seduces the Prince by spinning with captivating precision to the spellbound purity of the swan queen, Odette as she flutters with emotional intensity, the dual role of Odette/Odile is 1 of ballet's most unmissable technical challenges.

  • Sleeping Beauty; Every child's favourite fairy tale, this is the classic story of love and innocence, mystery and magic set to Tchaikovsky's sublime score. Stunning choreography, sumptuous costumes and wonderful sets form the fantasy world in which the Lilac Fairy struggles against the evil Carabosse.

  • The Nutcracker; This most famous of fantasy ballets for all the family begins as night falls on Christmas Eve. As snowflakes fall outside, the warm glow of the open fire sends flickering shadows across the boughs of the Christmas tree and all the presents beneath. When midnight strikes we are swept away to a fairy-tale world where nothing is quite as it seems, toy dolls spring to life, the Mouse-king and his mouse-army battle with the Nutcracker Prince and we travel through the Land of Snow to an enchanted place where the magic really begins...

Book now at:- and for more information about the show, please visit:- RaymondGubbay.Co.UK.

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