Sensor tech researchers head for Liverpool Science Park

Sensor tech researchers head for Liverpool Science Park

Sensor City to provide hub for IoT R&D in the North West of England

A £15 million project to create an IoT research hub in the North West of England has opened up and is offering firms in the area access to its sensor technology.

The Sensor City project has moved in the Liverpool Science Park ahead of the opening of the new facility on Copperas Hill in 2017. It means that sensor technology businesses will be able to access leading researchers and expertise and learn more about Sensor City in the run up to the building completion.

As one of the world’s first sensor tech innovation centres, Sensor City will bring together knowledge and experience in sensor technology and house, support and establish high-tech businesses working on sensor systems and applications.

It aims to create 300 start-up businesses and 1,000 jobs over the next decade as well as foster industry to academic collaborations.

With more than 15 years’ experience in early stage business creation and development, Dr Joanne Phoenix will be leading the new team at Liverpool Science Park.

She said: “The science park is a prime, central location from which to build the profile and activities of Sensor City and is on the doorstep of the new facility once it opens.

“We’ll be working to actively bring suitable companies into the network and it has been excellent to see such high levels of engagement from the local SME community and tenants within innovation centre 1 (ic1) with an interest in sensor technologies. I look forward to further interactions with like-minded people who are all committed to bringing new exciting technologies to the market.”

Related: Google invests in San Fran IoT sensors start-up

Sensor tech a key growth area

Sensors mark one of the key growth areas in the recently launched Liverpool City Region Growth Strategy which details ambitions to: “Establish the city region as the leading British city for sensor technology.”

Worldwide, the industry is estimated to be worth $490 billion.

Sensor City and Liverpool Science Park sit at the heart of the Liverpool’s rapidly growing Knowledge Quarter which is the focus of investment programmes worth more than £1bn

“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be part of the growing Knowledge Quarter and we look forward to driving Liverpool’s status as a leading sensor city in the UK and beyond,” said Phoenix.

Dr Phoenix will be based at the ic1 building, where she will work closely with Knowledge Quarter chief exec Colin Sinclair.

Liverpool Science Park’s chief executive, Chris Musson, said: “Sensor City is one of a number of key initiatives in the Knowledge Quarter, which will lead to a step change in commercial activity in 2017. Its offer complements perfectly LSP’s own.

Jouni Leskinen, partner and director of Research and Development at Avarea, told Internet of Business that if the organisation doesn’t have prior experience of using analytics or IoT then the first step is to get help from someone who does.

“This can save huge amounts of time and resources,” he said. “It’s important to select a business case for the proof of concept that has value and is not too hard to implement in order to get some success as early as possible. The availability of the data should also be considered quite early on because companies often struggle to access the data in internal data sources, it’s often poor quality, or the required data collectors—like sensors—are not in place.”

Related: Wireless battery-less sensors could extend IoT reach further