Sensor City - NEWS


Alison Mitchell has been appointed Executive Director of Sensor City in a landmark move for the collaborative venture between Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool, one of four flagship University Enterprise Zones in the country, which will drive sensor technology and development across the UK.

An alumna of both university partners of Sensor City, Alison will help to establish Sensor City as a national asset for emerging technologies, placing Liverpool and the UK at the forefront of world innovation in the sector.

Alison brings a wealth of high level industry experience to benefit this new role. She joins Sensor City from BT Business where she was Chief Information Officer and helped to transform the telecom giant’s products, services and technical delivery.

Commenting on her vision for Sensor City, Alison said: “I am truly excited to be leading Sensor City. Sensor technology is driving the next generation of products and innovations that can transform lives and the economy. The technology that will be developed at Sensor City will support a modern industrial strategy and boost productivity across a range of sectors from health to transport.

“With the global sensor market currently worth $490 billion and growing at over 10% each year, Sensor City presents an incredible opportunity for the UK and for Liverpool. I am looking forward to unlocking the wealth of expertise that exists between Liverpool’s two leading universities in collaborating with the region’s highly capable SME community to put Liverpool at the forefront of sensor technology development and innovation.”

As Executive Director, Alison will support the establishment of hi-tech sensor businesses and start-ups, enabling graduate entrepreneurs from across the region to access leading experts and world-class research from the field of sensor technologies.

Professor Nigel Weatherill, Vice Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University and Chair of the Board, Sensor City, said: “I am delighted Alison is leading Sensor City. Alison brings the ideal industry and technological acumen to the initiative which can leverage the academic expertise that exists between Liverpool John Moores University and the University Of Liverpool, for the benefit of our graduate and business community.

“It is this kind of pioneering partnership that will enhance Liverpool’s collective competiveness as the leading British city that can address modern industrial challenges through sensor technology.”

Professor Janet Beer, Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, said: “Alison brings with her considerable industry knowledge, experience and insight which will ensure that Sensor City achieves its vision to put Liverpool at the forefront of sensor technology development and drive forward innovation, create jobs and boost growth for the City Region.”

About Alison Mitchell
Alison’s career spans 30 years in senior marketing, product development and business leadership roles across a range of small to large companies. This includes Director of Marketing and Product at First Telecom Ltd and Director of Network Products for BT – a company where she had a range of high profile positions, most recently as CIO for BT Business and she represented the company on their Regional Board covering Essex. Alison has two masters including an MBA from Cranfield University, a Masters in Marketing from Liverpool John Moores University, and prior to that, studied for a BSc in Geography from the University of Liverpool. Originally from Wirral, Alison attended Wirral Grammar School.

1. Sensor City is a joint venture project between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University which brings together knowledge and experience in sensor technology and houses and supports 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 - academic collaborations. Sensor City will include a Technology Development Zone, an Open Innovation Lab, and offer coaching, business mentoring and access to funding. Both universities will support entrepreneurial talent to enable the translation of innovative ideas from bench to revenue, stimulating business growth regionally, nationally and ultimately internationally.

2. The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (now Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, BEIS) backed the project with a £5 million University Enterprise Zone status capital investment award in 2014. In 2016, the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, awarded £5 million in capital investment as match funding to support the development of the hi-tech sensor hub

3. European Regional Development Fund.
The project is receiving up to £5m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit

4. The University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University are each committing £1.5m to the project and £2m of co-investment from corporate sponsors is to be secured over the next 5 years.

5. Occupying a prime position in the city centre, Sensor City will be sited at the heart of the city’s Knowledge Quarter.

6. Sensors are the crucial link between technological devices and the world around them, capturing data on a whole host of areas such as temperature, humidity and pressure. They can be used in everything from home security systems to medical technology and high value manufacturing.

June 2017

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