iiCON to host Dragons’ Den style pitching event for innovative businesses during Liverpool City Region (LCR) Innovation Investment Week

The Infection Innovation Consortium: iiCON will host over 20 businesses and global venture capitalists as part of a Dragons’ Den style pitching event held during LCR Innovation Investment Week.

The event is part of a week-long series of events running from May 13 to May 18 held across the Liverpool City Region to highlight the opportunities and world-leading innovation within the city region.

Innovative businesses from across the region will take the stage at Pembroke House to showcase their ground breaking ideas to a diverse panel of investors. The event on May 15 is organised by iiCON and Lyva Labs on behalf of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

The city region is a world leader in infection prevention and control, materials science and AI solutions and emerging technologies with emerging strengths in net-zero and maritime innovation. As a Health and Life Sciences Investment Zone, it has also become one of only three places in the UK to benefit from both Investment Zone and Freeport status.

The Investment Zone will help the city region towards its innovation powerhouse goal of spending 5% of its economy on R&D by 2030 – nearly double the UK target. Achieving the city region’s 5% R&D target would deliver an estimated £41.7bn of gross economic benefit, a 10% increase in productivity and 44,000 new jobs.

Dozens of children will help usher in the week on Monday, May 13, at the unveiling of a new primary school book to inspire 6 to 8-year-olds into science and innovation.

The week will be packed with innovation-themed events including a local Investment Zone launch and pharma conference.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Executive Director Investment and Delivery, Dr Aileen Jones, said: “These are hugely exciting times for innovation in the Liverpool City Region. We have a new Life Sciences Investment Zone, which like our Freeport, offers significant opportunities to businesses and investors wishing to capitalise on our world-leading innovation capabilities.

“Innovation Investment Week will allow us to showcase the city region’s creativity, entrepreneurship and scientific brilliance, while shining a light on plans to inspire the next generation of innovators.”

Led by Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), iiCON is comprised of partners Unilever, Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust, University of Liverpool, LifeArc, Evotec, and Infex Therapeutics.

The consortium has recently received £10 million in funding to develop what is believed to be the UK’s first Category 3 AI Robotic laboratory as part of the Liverpool City Region Health and Life Sciences Investment Zone. Investment Zone funding will support the development of the high-containment laboratories within LSTM capable of handling deadly pathogens and fitted out with leading-edge robotics and AI technology.

Founded in 2020 with an £18.6m UK Government grant, iiCON brings together industry, academia and clinicians to accelerate the discovery, development and deployment of new treatments and products for infectious diseases – saving and improving millions of lives across the world. The consortium has quickly grown into a £260m programme working with a global network of more than 800 companies.

By enabling industry access to world-leading facilities and expertise, it has supported 36 new products to market, with more than 5 billion units of life-saving products and treatments reaching communities across the world. It has also created 559 jobs and bolstered the region’s R&D infection spend by £700m.