Liverpool is fast becoming the go-to place for any start-up looking to create something in the sensors and Internet of Things space.
That was the key message from Alison Mitchell, who was speaking to BusinessCloud after innovation and technology hub Sensor City celebrated a very successful first six months in business.
Launched as a joint venture between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, Sensor City is now home to approximately 20 promising tech companies.
The centre’s long-term goal is to create 300 start-up businesses and 1,000 jobs, as well as support high-tech businesses working on sensor systems and applications.
It specialises in “rapid prototyping” – helping businesses turn their IoT and sensor concepts into a reality.
“Sensors run across pretty much every industry sector, from food technology, farming and transport to health and sport science,” said Mitchell, who is executive director at Sensor City.
“I haven’t found a sector that isn’t using sensors in one way or another.”
Mitchell rated Sensor City’s six months in operation as “10 out of 10” but stressed that there are still some big targets to be met.
She said: “I want to see the building full. I want to bring in more companies, more events, more sponsors, companies of all sizes engaging with us and for Liverpool to become the place you’d come if you want to be involved in sensors and IoT.
“We want to help create successful companies – and as part of that hopefully create jobs for the regions as well.
“I want companies to be a success and to have their products out there.
“My background is in product development and I love to see new products come to life and that means selling them and generating income.”
Mitchell believes that a number of firms based at Sensor City could emerge as game-changers in their field and develop into global companies.
She said: “I think quite a few of the ones we’re dealing with have got real potential for that, and a number of them are already getting good investment coming through, they’re getting great contacts – partly as a result of being here and partly from their own networks – and we’re very proud of what they’re doing.”