LCR 4.0

Posted 23rd March 2017
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Key Project Information
Project Name: LCR4.0
Lead Organisation: University of Liverpool
ERDF value: £4,383,239
Duration: April 2016 – Sept 2019
Contact: Simon Reid

The project is delivered by a partnership of the University of Liverpool’s Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC), Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Sensor City, STFC Hartree and Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LCR LEP).

Project summary
In modern global manufacturing, industrial leaders are ever increasing the need to innovate and adopt new technological advances to remain competitive.

Industry 4.0, the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), is a concept that is becoming increasingly familiar and focuses on digitisation of physical assets and integration into digital eco-systems with value chain partners. This involves the generation and analysis of data to create value in the manufacturing process.

To address the forthcoming challenges facing the manufacturing sector, Liverpool City Region (LCR) has developed a transformational support project – LCR 4.0 – a flagship initiative to support manufacturing and advanced engineering organisations in Liverpool City Region, by bringing together world-class, practical support to transform businesses through digital innovation.

The project will provide businesses the opportunity to develop smarter products, processes and supply chains to increase productivity, improve their competitiveness and de-risk innovation. This project aims to be the first of its type in the UK, to actually help companies implement new technological developments and fully embrace the benefits that 4IR will bring.

This initiative brings together key assets with the skills and expertise to support industrial growth, merging the virtual and physical world to ultimately transform modern manufacturing and associated supply chains.

LCR 4.0 provides a dedicated team to drive innovation into SMEs via intensive research and development programmes, transferring knowledge through the development of concept ideas to the point where they are market ready.

SMEs can take advantage of the knowledge and expertise within the partnership to help develop solutions to technical challenges whilst gaining valuable commercialisation support (such as support for funding/investment applications), helping develop complete solution packages for local companies, ultimately accelerating ideas from concept to commercial reality.

Expected Key Outputs / Results

  • 300 Businesses supported
  • 60 Jobs created
  • 50 New products to market
  • 200 New Collaborations
  • 70 New to the firm products.

Beneficiary Experience





e-Mailers – Testing and Validation on new product

Alan Rae, Director:

“We have developed an innovative new 100% recyclable packaging solution, which we believed had increased durability than any competitor. Through LCR 4.0, experts at LJMU we were able to develop bespoke testing procedures and provide extensive data analysis to validate qualities of our new product against competitors. We have been able to share these experimental results with our customers which has directly led to in an increase in demand for our product and the need to start production.”

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Magnex Exercise Technology – Virtual Prototyping

Maurice Dempsey, CEO:

“At Magnex we required assistance to visualise our exciting new exercise and rehabilitation technology. The LCR 4.0 project has brought our concept to life by producing Virtual Prototypes to show the technology in a working environment. The VEC created the initial virtual environment, and now through an internship at LJMU we are further refining the design before looking at funding and investment to build a physical prototype. We look forward to receiving this support through the LCR 4.0 team to help us achieve our dreams”

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Data Performance Consultancy – Funding and Investment

Brian Bishop, Managing Director:

“The support we have received from the LCR 4.0 team has been fantastic. For many years we have been trying to ensure key stakeholders understood the benefits of our smart procurement platform. We lacked the required expertise to develop funding strategies and applications that would clearly articulate our ideas into competitive funding proposals. I am delighted to say that with help from LJMUs commercialisation team through the LCR 4.0 project, we have successfully secured funding from Innovate UK which has allowed us to progress our technology in a timely fashion. Without this support we would still be trying to raise funds.”

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Value Chain – Strategic Partnerships

Tom Dawes, CEO:

“I have remained close to the LCR 4.0 project since its inception. At Value Chain, we welcome initiatives like this which we can not only take advantage of as a beneficiary but reap the rewards from creating more strategic links with key stakeholders regionally and nationally. In partnership with LCR 4.0, we are looking forward to a number of specific strategic opportunities in the near future, such as the forthcoming manufacturing round table in April 2017 to look at the future of manufacturing sector. This will help us develop innovative solutions, by providing key insight into the main challenges facing the sector. We see this project as having a major impact in the Liverpool City Region.”

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