Sensor City - NEWS


Technical innovation centre, Sensor City, is working towards making Liverpool City Region the go-to location for Industry 4.0 technologies with a host of new tenants.

Open source engineer and design experts, DefProc Engineering, is the latest SME to join Sensor City’s community of innovative businesses, after being impressed with its Internet of Things (IoT) offering.

Established five years ago, DefProc Engineering supports individuals and businesses with products and services, including the development of ideas and the manufacturing of physical items for prototype.

The innovative SME already has connections in the sensor and IoT community as a partner of the 5G Liverpool testbed, which is being led by Sensor City.

DefProc Engineering also recently initiated ‘The Things Network’ community in Liverpool. The Things Network is a first-of-its-kind open, global and crowdsourced IoT data network. Owned and operated by its users, the network enables people to connect small low powered devices to the internet without using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or mobile data.

Going forward, DefProc Engineering will use its new base at Sensor City to explore IoT capabilities even further, expand its team, use the space to run events and undertake the roll-out of 10 new gateways.

Jennifer Fenner, managing director of DefProc Engineering said: “We have recently relocated to Sensor City to access its state of the art equipment, and to be in the heart of the activity following the Liverpool 5G Consortium bid win, which we are part of.”

BiBCOM Ltd has also taken desk space at Sensor City to develop its new remote condition monitoring and coaching tool. Originally based in Sheffield, the company’s innovative technology allows sports coaches to communicate directly with players during training sessions, even when on the pitch and working within a team.

Through the links with Sensor City, BiBCOM is now working with the renowned Sports Science Department at partner institution Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). Academic and technical experts have helped the company construct a robust evaluation framework, which will now be rolled out in an elite premier league football club’s training academy to assess the impact of BiBCOM’s novel approach.

Easa Taheri, owner of BiBCOM, said: “The extensive support we have received from Sensor City, in particular the help and support of Dr Joanne Phoenix, made us choose the hub as the location in which to grow our business.

“We’re already experiencing the benefits of being surrounded by such a supportive community at Sensor City, and we are starting to explore synergistic links with other tenant companies which are also involved in sports training.”

In addition to these new tenants, Sensor City has also recently seen a huge take up in companies hot desking from the innovation centre to tap into the facilities and expertise on offer. These include Pin IoT Ltd, Thinnovation Ltd, and Digi-Hawk.

Joanne Phoenix, business development manager at Sensor City said: “It’s a really busy and exciting time for us at the moment. We’re seeing more companies looking to introduce sensor and IoT technology into new and existing products and services.

“It’s great to know we’re attracting these companies to Liverpool City Region as opposed to the likes of London and Manchester – we’re truly moving up the ranks of what is considered a leading global hub for innovative technology.”

Sensor City also offers technical and academic support to larger businesses that are keen to uncover additional routes to market through collaboration with those at the forefront of technical innovation.

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), for example, has recently established a regional outreach team and the newly appointed North West innovation partner, Jonathan Jones, is now based in Sensor City.

DASA finds and funds exploitable innovations or ideas that could shape the future of defence and security in the U.K. The company works with those interested in helping the UK’s defence and security work better and faster, be more efficient and safer, and Sensor City’s connected community is helping to facilitate this further. Likewise, for other companies based in the building, direct access with DASA and its early stage funding opportunities is a beneficial connection.

Additionally, both Unilever and EDF Energy have also taken up hot desks in Sensor City following their recent Challenge events with the Innovation Centre.

As a joint venture between Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool, Sensor City is a global hub that works with hi-tech businesses on new systems and applications using sensor technology and the IoT.

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.

August 2018

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