Liverpool’s global hub for the development of sensor technologies has struck a deal which could potential see a sister centre open in China, paving the way for a new fund to invest in UK businesses operating in the field.
Sensor City, one of four Government-sponsored University Enterprise Zones and a joint venture between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Tianjin-based Zhengxin Group.
The deal, which is expected to be ratified in early 2017, would see a Chinese Sensor City established in Tianjin, a city in the North East of China close to the capital Beijing.
It would also see an investment fund established by the Zhengxin Group to support early stage companies based at Sensor City, and help to support Chinese student entrepreneurs studying in Liverpool to develop their idea for new sensor-related technologies and companies.
Mr Zhihua Feng, Executive Vice President Zhengxin Group, Liverpool Vice Mayor Gary Millar and Dr Joanne Phoenix, Business Development Sensor City
The sister Sensor City in China would also provide hands-on support to UK companies seeking to do business in China.
The deal is a consequence of contacts made between Sensor City and the Zhengxin Group during the International Festival for Business, which took place in the BT Conference Centre in June this year.
The global sensor market is currently worth some £400 billion and is growing at over 10% each year. Sensors play an important role in day-to-day life with increasing use in industry, safety and security; and in personal gadgets and devices.
Sensor City Liverpool aims to create 300 start-up business and 1,000 jobs over the next decade, as well as foster industry-academic collaborations. It will include a Technology Development Zone, an Open Innovation Lab and offer coaching, business mentoring and access to funding.
Sensor City currently reside in our ic1 building whilst work is completed on their new facility, a short distance away on Brownlow Hill.