KQ Liverpool appoints new Assistant Chief Executive

Policy and Research Manager, Emily Robson, has been appointed as Assistant Chief Executive of Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool). 

Emily, who has spent the last four years supporting the strategic development and delivery of inclusive innovation programmes within the innovation district, will be working alongside Colin Sinclair, who is the Chief Executive of both KQ Liverpool and Sciontec Developments Limited. 

Wirral-born, Emily graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2020 with a 1st Class Degree in History and English Language before joining KQ Liverpool as a Graduate Policy Assistant. 

Emily Robson, Assistant Chief Executive at KQ Liverpool, said:

“The strength of the knowledge economy in Liverpool and the potential that it has to positively impact people’s lives is something I am incredibly passionate about. 

“To be working for an organisation that genuinely cares about making a difference is inspiring and I am really excited to be leading on that agenda going forward.” 

Colin Sinclair, Chief Executive of KQ Liverpool, said:

“As we look to accelerate the work we already do around inclusive growth, business support and skills, we needed someone with laser-like focus to maintain momentum and push forward to deliver our objectives. 

“With the recent announcement of the £1.26m of Liverpool City Region Life Sciences Investment Zone funding being injected into our education, skills and outreach programmes, it is the perfect time for Emily to take the next exciting step in her career.”

KQ Liverpool to embark on five-year city region skills programmes backed by Innovation Zone funding

KQ Liverpool is set to invest £1.26m, matched by funding from the city region’s Innovation Zone, to scale up its groundbreaking innovation skills and outreach programmes over the next five years.

It will also bring forward new partnership programmes to target underprivileged communities and address issues around digital barriers, social mobility and access to opportunities in careers such as health and life sciences and advanced manufacturing.

The series of programmes will be part of a skills and innovation testbed designed to benefit the entire city region and improve outcomes for local communities by creating pathways into innovation. It will also support the creation of new traineeships to help kickstart science and tech careers.

The skills and outreach programmes will focus on supporting students to develop greater work-readiness, behaviours and soft skills, while connecting the curriculum to local initiatives and employers.

Students from local schools will also take part in activities at institutions across KQ Liverpool innovation district, including live venom extractions at the Snakebite Research Centre within Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, hands-on robotic demonstrations at Manufacturing Technology Centre at Liverpool Science Park and immersive VR demonstrations at the Digital Innovation Factory.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“With up to £800m of investment and thousands of quality, high skilled jobs on offer, the Liverpool City Region’s Innovation Zone is an important tool in our arsenal to position ourselves at the head of UK science and innovation. But to take advantage of the jobs that it will create, we have to make sure that local people have the skills to get them.

“In our area we’re proud to do things differently. Throughout the development of our Innovation Zone, I have been clear that we need to deliver more than purely financial incentives. We have to use this status as a force for good, to connect our residents up to secure, well-paid jobs and training opportunities, and attract transformational investment into our communities.”

Cllr Nick Small, Cabinet Member for City Development at Liverpool City Council, said: 

“KQ Liverpool is home to some of the world’s most influential players in science, technology, health, culture and education.

“Within that ecosystem is a huge spectrum of skills and career opportunities that should be available to anyone with aspirations in this sector and our outreach programmes reflect our focus on developing these skills within our young people.

“Our existing Future Innovators Programme has already welcomed dozens of young people and we are incredibly excited to scale up those efforts and roll out a series of new programmes across a wide variety of institutions to share the many experiences and pathways available within our innovation district.”

Liverpool City Region’s Investment Zone plans to supercharge health and life sciences and create 8,000 jobs

  • 21 projects unveiled – including major development plans for Sci-Tech Daresbury, Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, Maghull and St Helens 
  • Schemes to create new hi-tech facilities while training next generation of talent
  • Potential to attract £800m investment, transforming the economy while saving lives worldwide

Ambitious plans to supercharge Liverpool City Region’s economy, creating 8,000 new jobs and saving lives across the world have been unveiled today.

The city region’s Life Sciences Investment Zone plans are detailed in a new Prospectus highlighting the area’s world leading innovation strengths and assets, while showcasing 21 projects that will create new hi-tech facilities, provide business and innovation support and train the next generation of talent.

Major developments are proposed at Maghull Health Park, St Helens Manufacturing and Innovation Campus, Earlsfield Park Knowsley, Sci-Tech Daresbury and Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, where two new buildings will provide additional laboratory space to boost the city region’s world-leading infection innovation capabilities.

Other projects will drive breakthroughs in children’s health, mental health, vaccine production, therapeutics and the use of data and AI to help people lead healthier lives.

The Investment Zone will run for 10 years and has the potential to deliver £800m of public and private investment.

Three Investment Zone tax sites at Maghull Health Park, St Helens Manufacturing and Innovation Campus and Sci-Tech Daresbury will offer financial benefits to expanding or relocating businesses, while Halton and St Helens borough councils will be able to retain business rates on new properties to help pay for further developments.

Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, said:

With up to £800m of investment and thousands of quality, high skilled jobs on offer, the Liverpool City Region Innovation Zone is an important tool in our arsenal to position our area at the head of UK science and innovation. 

“But in the Liverpool City Region, we’re proud to do things differently. Throughout the development of our Innovation Zone, I have been clear that any investment in our area must go further than purely financial incentives. I want to use our status as a force for good, to connect our residents up to secure, well-paid jobs and training opportunities, and attract transformational investment into our communities. 

“Becoming an innovation superpower is a lofty ambition – but I firmly believe that, if anywhere has the potential to achieve it, then it is the Liverpool City Region.”

Projects planned as part of the Investment Zone include:

  • HEMISPHERE One and Two in Paddington Village, Liverpool City Council’s flagship regeneration scheme in the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool innovation district. The two multi-storey high-tech new builds will help satisfy a soaring demand for chemistry and life science laboratories.
  • Within Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, Investment Zone Funding will enable the expansion of the University of Liverpool’s world-first Centre of Excellence for Long-acting Therapeutics (CELT) and the Civic HealthTech Innovation Zone (CHI-Zone), which will spearhead the use of AI to transform health and social care. The Pandemic Institute will also continue to progress its plans to tackle emerging infections and pandemic threats.
  • New high-containment Category Three labs fitted with leading-edge robotics and AI technology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine for use by the Infection Innovation Consortium: iiCON, a £260m programme that works with more than 800 companies worldwide and has delivered over 5 billion units of life-saving products and treatments in just 3½ years. 
  • Major expansion of Sci-Tech Daresbury. The Investment Zone will help deliver a new laboratory and new office building to accommodate further growth on the north of England’s only national science and innovation campus. It would ultimately deliver 70,000 sq m (750,000 sq ft) of new laboratories, offices and technical facilities. The site is home to the NW Healthtech cluster and hosts more than 150 high-tech businesses, including 50 involved in health and life sciences. It is also home to the UK’s most powerful supercomputer dedicated to industrial R&D. Investment Zone support will help SciTech Daresbury towards ambitious plans to increase its workforce from 2,000 to around 10,000 over the next 15-20 years.
  • A Mental Health Digital Research Centre at Mersey Care’s 42-hectare Maghull Health Park, which is home to Europe’s largest concentration of complex secure mental health services and leading clinical excellence for serious mental illness. Based on the former HMP Kennet site, the new centre will create the environment for innovators to develop new treatments to support improved mental health care. Mersey Care’s expansion plans are expected to create 1,270 new jobs.
  • St Helens Manufacturing and Innovation Campus. The £500m project will redevelop land formerly used by the glass industry to expand the area’s manufacturing and innovation capabilities. It has the potential to create more than 1,000 new jobs. Key players include St Helens Borough Council, Glass Futures, Inovus Medical, NSG Pilkington, Network Space and SINA Medical Glass, which is creating a modern manufacturing facility. 

Other projects are located at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Earlsfield Park, Knowsley and the Speke Pharma Cluster, where Investment Zone funding is set to support TriRx’s £10m investment to enhance its capabilities to manufacture monoclonal antibodies.

Speke Pharma Cluster is one of Europe’s largest biomanufacturing centres, containing the UK’s biggest vaccine facility, and is home to some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical names including CSL Seqirus and AstraZeneca, who last week announced a £450m investment in its Speke facility.

The Liverpool City Region also has the UK’s largest concentration of specialist hospitals outside London and with more than 7,000 volunteers, is a leader in clinical trials.

Together with neighbouring Cheshire and Warrington, the city region delivers £2bn of infectious disease research and development each year – the biggest concentration in the UK and one of the largest in Europe.

Investment Zone projects will also provide business and innovation support, with KQ Liverpool and Inovus running new skills and talent programmes for local people to aid workforce creation and recruitment. Social value, net zero and equality, diversity and inclusion will be important considerations in project development.

The Investment Zone plans were developed in collaboration with the city region’s life sciences sector, with the University of Liverpool playing a major role.

University of Liverpool Vice Chancellor Professor Tim Jones said:

“We are a global University, delivering world-leading research but with a keen focus on our civic role in the city and wider region.

“We look forward to playing a vital role in the delivery of these ambitious plans which will result in meaningful research that will have real-world impact.”

Liverpool City Region Portfolio Holder for Digital and Innovation Cllr Paul Stuart said:

“The Investment Zone has the potential to transform the city region’s health and life sciences sector by growing our world-leading strengths and tapping into our innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.

“It will also provide huge opportunities to local people. The projects are both ambitious and imaginative and will help ensure the benefits are felt far and wide.”

Sciontec doubles its vision for Liverpool’s HEMISPHERE lab development as Life Sciences Investment Zone prospectus is launched

Sciontec has unveiled plans for a second phase of its HEMISPHERE development, creating 350,000  sq ft GIA of new laboratory and workspace in the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) innovation district.

It is proposed the HEMISPHERE Two development is located adjacent to HEMISPHERE One at Paddington Village, Liverpool City Council’s flagship development site. The scheme is subject to discussions with the Council in relation to master planning and the future disposal of remaining plots at Paddington Village and planning consent.

It was announced today that the two buildings will receive Liverpool City Region Investment Zone grant funding, and Sciontec has already reached outline agreements with a number of Investment Zone funded projects, which could take HEMISPHERE One to 66% occupancy prior to works commencing. 

The Centre of Excellence for Long-Acting Therapeutics (CELT), a cross-faculty research initiative by University of Liverpool targeting clinical needs not currently addressable using conventional medicines, is lined up to take 44,421 sq ft of laboratory space across the top three floors of HEMISPHERE One. 

The building will also be home to Civic Health Innovation Zone (CHI-Zone), which could occupy 16,211 sq ft of innovative workspace, and National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC), which is poised to move into 14,807 sq ft of laboratory space.

This follows a recent decision by the Department of Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities to support Liverpool City Council’s investment proposal to create a world-leading science and innovation hub, including the provision to deliver HEMISPHERE One.

HEMISPHERE Two will feature Open Access Laboratories on its ground floor, chemistry labs, and has also been identified as a potential location for the new Pandemic Preparedness and Response Laboratories.

The decision to create a second phase of the HEMISPHERE development is designed to meet growing demand for laboratory space in the city and region. Both buildings will also feature Sciontec’s all-inclusive, flexible workspace solution, Sciontec AI, which has proven popular at the neighbouring building, The Spine.

Professor Mark Power, Chair of Sciontec and Vice-Chancellor at Liverpool John Moores University, said: 

“With existing lab facilities at Liverpool Science Park already at capacity and HEMISPHERE One now significantly pre-let, we have a robust platform to move forward confidently with plans for HEMISPHERE Two and create even more places for pioneers to thrive in the heart of the city region.”

Professor Tim Jones, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Liverpool, said:

“The innovation community within KQ Liverpool will be the engine room for the delivery of Investment Zone ambitions to create a production superpower in life sciences and pharmaceuticals over the next five years, and it is clear that increasing numbers of businesses want to be a part of that.”

Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, said:

“With up to £800m of investment and thousands of quality, high skilled jobs on offer, the Liverpool City Region Innovation Zone is an important tool in our arsenal to position our area at the head of UK science and innovation. It’s fantastic to see HEMISPHERE take a big step forward with up to £13m of funding that I’ve secured as Chair of the Liverpool Strategic Futures Advisory Panel.

“But in the Liverpool City Region, we’re proud to do things differently. Throughout the development of our Innovation Zone, I have been clear that any investment in our area must go further than purely financial incentives. I want to use our status as a force for good, to connect our residents up to secure, well-paid jobs and training opportunities, and attract transformational investment into our communities.”

Cllr Nick Small, Cabinet Member for Growth & Economy at Liverpool City Council, said: 

“As our reputation as an innovation hotbed continues to rise, so does the demand for high-quality lab space in KQ Liverpool. This is reflected in the impressive collection of occupiers already lined up and the decision to expand HEMISPHERE marks another important milestone in the development of Paddington Village.”

HEMISPHERE will be designed with the capability to integrate with the newly-completed LCR Connect network, part funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, maximising its resilience and connectivity benefits as part of one of the best-connected areas in the UK.

Sciontec expects works to commence in Spring 2025, with practical completion of HEMISPHERE One reached by early 2027, followed shortly thereafter by HEMISPHERE Two.  

Sciontec is the spin out development company of KQ Liverpool and is jointly owned by Bruntwood SciTech, Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Liverpool and Liverpool City Council.

CBRE and Knight Frank are the retained commercial agents for HEMISPHERE.

Liverpool pupils blast off for special book reading

Liverpool schoolchildren were treated to a sneak preview of a new science and innovation story based here in the city.

Pupils from LIPA Primary School listened intently as author Natalie Reeves-Billing read Animates Liverpool, a tale of a team of seven animal inventors who crash land in the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool innovation district and embark on an adventure to explore the different innovations that will get them back into space.

They then enjoyed a fun drawing and creative design workshop, hosted by illustrator Stuart Harrison, at John Lewis department store in Liverpool One.

The book, created by KQ Liverpool under exclusive licence with Connected Places Catapult, is designed to introduce young children to the concept of innovation and inspire them to understand the various science, technology and innovation careers on their doorstep.

Rachael Stevens, head of partnerships at Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, said:

“Animates Liverpool is a unique way of engaging young children in the ideas of invention and creativity. Knowledge Quarter Liverpool abounds with bright minds making incredible discoveries and we hope the book allows them to see what their own future might hold.

“The children had a great time hearing all about the adventures of the Animates in their home city and creating their own versions of Bam Bamboo, the space panda. It was wonderful to see the spark of innovation coming to life in a new generation of pioneers.