On June 13th it was announced that Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham would provide an extra £3.2m to LYVA Labs, to support start-ups and innovators in the Liverpool City Region.
Set up in December 2021 as LCR Ventures, and subsequently rebranded, LYVA Labs supports and funds entrepreneurs and innovators in the health and life sciences sector, one of the strongest sectors in the country with over £2bn in research in infection alone per year. However, with the extra £3.2million injection, creating a total of £11million, LYVA Labs will now look to expand its activity into new sectors and turn more entrepreneurial ideas into high-growth businesses and create high-value jobs.
As the city region’s dedicated innovation commercialisation vehicle, LYVA Labs will be key to achieving the LCR Combined Authority’s ambition to invest five per cent of regional GVA in research and development (R&D) by 2030 – nearly double the Government’s national target.
As part of its drive to boost innovation, the combined authority has published its Innovation Prospectus, a multibillion-pound plan to supercharge the city region’s innovation powerhouse credentials linked to its distinctive world-leading capabilities in materials chemistry, infection control, and AI solutions, plus emerging strengths in net zero.
Mr Rotheram said: “Our region is home to a thriving ecosystem of innovators who have got the talent, ambition and creativity to rival anywhere else in the world. I want to offer them a helping hand with the additional funding that can help them to realise their potential. When local businesses flourish, the rest of our economy does too.
“I want the Liverpool City Region to develop a global reputation as a place that creates more businesses, attracts greater investment and files more patents. The more we can encourage businesses to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit, the faster we can realise our ambition of becoming an innovation powerhouse.”
The additional funding for LYVA Labs is a response to Project Boom, commissioned by the LCR Innovation Board to examine how economic growth could be maximised and accelerated by the distinctive innovation assets of LCR.
This financial boost will enable LYVA Labs to address the three urgent needs identified by the report, namely improving the commercialisation of ideas generated by the city region’s knowledge base, enhancing innovation collaborations between the knowledge base and city region industry, and developing large scale collaborations to exploit the city region’s unique base and capabilities.
LYVA Labs will do this with a four-part programme:
- Creating a £1m Challenge Fund supporting the establishment of start-ups from the LCR knowledge base.
- Consultation work to create a portfolio of new high value innovation opportunities linking larger businesses and HEI across Liverpool City Region.
- Developing new consortia between established businesses and the knowledge base both by deploying insights and through the provision of grants to fund the development of initial concepts.
- General support to ensure that initial ideas are supported to access other business support mechanisms within the Liverpool City Region.
Lorna Green, chief executive of LYVA Labs, added: “We’ve had amazing support from the innovation community for the launch of the Health & Life Sciences Challenge Fund and have already established a strong pipeline for investment.
“This second phase of funding allows us to work with established businesses across all sectors who want to innovate, and to establish up to 20 new deep tech businesses. The Combined Authority approved an initial £7.5m investment to create LCR Ventures, later rebranded as LYVA Labs, in August 2022, to allocate a further £3m.”
If you have an innovative project or idea and you’re based in Liverpool City Region, get in touch on how LYVA Labs can help you find an accessible route to early-stage investment.