LCR4 START programme launched to deliver £3.9M digital strategy support

A group of technology partners including the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Hartree Centre will deliver a new £3.9M initiative, enabling Liverpool City Region SMEs to unlock the business benefits of digital technologies.

a group photo of the  LCR4-START Team
Representatives from the LCR4 START partner organisation​s gathered at the Hartree Centre to officially launch the programme.

New digital strategy support programme LCR4 START, launched in January 2020, is a part European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funded business support initiative for Liverpool City Region SMEs, and will be delivered in partnership with the STFC Campus Technology Hub, University of Liverpool Virtual Engineering Centre, Liverpool John Moores University, Sensor City and the Growth Platform.

Fully funded business support will be available to qualifying SMEs in the Liverpool City region operating in any industry sector and the project is targeted to support at least two hundred businesses over a three year period. Alongsid​e the other partners, the Hartree Centre will support the SMEs in the development of an effective digital strategy and offer practical, hands on support to enable them to identify opportunities to develop and deploy digital technologies to unlock business gains, growth and savings and, if appropriate, further funding.

Lynn Dwyer, Chief Commercial Officer at Virtual Engineering Centre, the lead partner in the programme, said: 

“We are hugely excited to be leading on a project that we think has the potential to be transformative for Liverpool’s SME community. Many smaller businesses are lagging behind in digital transformation because they lack the time and resources to identify their digital needs and do not have the skills or financial resources to access and effectively use digital technologies and tools. What that does is create a widening gap between SMEs and their larger competitors. We hope this support programme will help SMEs seize the opportunities presented by digital technologies such as sensors and virtual reality which may previously have seemed out of reach.”

​LCR4 START follows in the footsteps of LCR 4.0, a hugely successful ERDF funded project involving the group of project partners which, to date, has created 80+ new jobs and supported 300+ SMEs across the region, giving them access to the expertise, technology and collaboration opportunities they needed to boost productivity and drive innovation.

​For more information, contact Simon Reid, Sector Manager Advanced Manufacturing via email at:​​

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