Bid submitted for Wirral Technology Innovation Centre

Wirral Council said a bid has been submitted for funding from the Government's £200m Technology and Innovation programme to develop a national Technology Innovation Centre in Birkenhead.

Led by trade group Mersey Maritime, an application was put together with partners including Cammell Laird, Peel Energy, Liverpool University, The Mersey Partnership, and Wirral Council.

The centre will be based at Mersey Maritime's existing facilities in Birkenhead and act as a national location for offshore renewable energy bringing together companies including Peel Energy and Cammell Laird.

Wirral Council said funding from the Government could total up to £10m a year, although details of when the funding period would end was not disclosed.

The council added funding might be used towards extending the existing facilities, as well as being used for equipment.

If successful, the Technology Innovation Centre will promote collaboration between UK businesses and universities to maximise Britain's research base and take forward innovation which meets the practical needs of the business world.

The University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moore's University, together with other UK research institutions such as C-Tech Innovation and EA Technology, will work with businesses to ensure that the commercial opportunities for new technology and ideas are maximised.

Cllr Phil Davies, cabinet member for regeneration and planning strategy, said: "Offshore renewable energy is a rapidly growing multi billion pound global industry which includes technologies for offshore wind, wave and tidal power. We are uniquely placed in Wirral because of our geography and existing skills to develop these industries and drive the development of innovative science and technology that can be used by UK companies to gain a share of this growing market.

"A national TIC in Wirral would enable British companies to access technology and skills that would otherwise be beyond their reach and for research organisations to more effectively focus on helping firms develop new products and processes so that they can grow and prosper within this high-value industry. If we're successful with our bid the TIC will lead to many new jobs for Wirral and the Liverpool City Region."

Jim Teasdale, chief executive of Mersey Maritime Group, added: "Mersey Maritime is the regional body for the Maritime Sector but we are increasingly working with companies and partners UK-wide in the field of renewable technologies, as related opportunities open up. We believe Liverpool City Region is the ideal base for a national Technology Innovation Centre and we're looking forward to working with partners to make that happen."

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