The Metro Mayor of Liverpool, following consultation with industry representatives, established the £3m Future innovation Fund Pilot programme in order to support Liverpool City Region’s (LCR) small and medium sized enterprise (SME) community. The pilot scheme aimed to incentivise SMEs to innovate, adapt and diversify in spite of or in response to the challenges and opportunities the pandemic and its impact on the economy and society presented.

NeedleSmart have received grant funding of as the project was found by the scheme organisers to be competitive, deliverable and strategically aligned with the scope of the fund.

This funding comes from the second round of the pilot, which received a significant number of applications from a diverse range of organisations from a number of sectors, locations and backgrounds across the City Region. The large response to the second round demonstrated the scale of innovation across LCR but also resulted in the chance to receive funding being extremely competitive.

The scheme outlines grant funding to cover eligible costs between £25-£75k on a strictly needs-justified basis. Projects deemed eligible must demonstrate alignment to a number of priority areas for the LCR including:

  • Open health innovation: business initiatives to enhance health & wellbeing, during and following the pandemic.
  • Tech for good: businesses that use technology and data to drive growth and improve society, including but not limited to “smart city” applications, high performance computing, data science and AI.
  • Digitalisation: initiatives in any other sector that will yield a clear improvement in business productivity, adaptability and/or diversification.
  • Delivering a sustainable industrial future: businesses seeking to take advantage of new opportunities in materials, manufacturing and engineering.

Cliff Kirby, CEO of NeedleSmart, said “NeedleSmart are absolutely thrilled to have earned a grant from the Future innovation Fund Pilot programme. The funds will enable us to continue our work in digital health innovation and our digital vaccination system to aid the upcoming mass vaccination programme. We are proud to be part of Liverpool City Region’s amazing SME community and congratulate all other companies who have received grants.”

NeedleSmart has developed market-leading, patented technology that heats hypodermic needles into a molten state, prior to compressing it into a ball. NeedleSmart’s DVS (Digital Vaccination System) digitalises the whole vaccination process with every detail being automatically recorded in the Cloud.

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