Enhancing the region's productivity

Enhancing the region's productivity

Academia and research

A University of Liverpool, School of Engineering led project, the VEC was catalysed by funding from the ERDF and the former Northwest Regional Development Agency. Since 2013 the VEC has established a partnership with STFC Hartree Centre which provides access to the UK’s largest High Performance Computing facility.

The VEC is underpinned by the University of Liverpool's academic achievements and works closely with their Centres of Excellence (Centre for Autonomous Systems Technology and Risk and Uncertainty) to provide industry-specific requirements to their research.

The VEC provides a link between the Liverpool city region’s Knowledge Quarter and the science and innovation campus Sci-Tech Daresbury, with offices in both locations. More than that, it provides industry with access to the academic excellence of the University of Liverpool and the UK’s science infrastructure .

Industry engagement

The VEC supports the advanced manufacturing sector and wider industry by providing a focal point for leading and emergent virtual engineering technologies, research and expertise.

Key sectors include:

Aerospace, Automotive, Nuclear, Space and Energy, with newly emerging sectors such as Medical and FMCG.

The VEC engages with a range of organisations of all sizes including:

•Network of over 140 SMEs, over 70 based in the Northwest
•Over 60 large companies  within the UK, such as BAE Systems, Bentley Motors and Jaguar Land Rover

Which has helped to generate over £30m of investment in the regional economy.

Supporting industry and productivity 

The Virtual Engineering Centre is leading the field in how the digital revolution can be maximised by industry.

Through digital engineering collaborative projects, industry benefits from the VEC’s expertise by helping them to improve their product’s physical design, manufacturing, assembly and testing processes, enabling these companies to gain a competitive edge. 

Examples include:

Bentley: used VEC facilities and expertise when designing their new SUV and benefitted from a reduction in product development time of 6 months. This project also involved a University of Liverpool Psychology student, and was part of the AMSCI-funded STRIVE project.

The STRIVE project has created:

457 new jobs within the partner organisations and supply chain , many which are newly developed roles due to the new technologies deployed.

GAMMA: the VEC worked with over 20 technology SME’s to develop new products in the field of autonomous systems mission management and supported further funding proposals for these technologies.

Supporting academics and graduates

The VEC works with University of Liverpool students across disciplines at post-graduate level, including Industrial Design, Psychology, Architecture and Engineering.

This includes student-projects such as ARION (LandSpeed Bike) and the Formula Student international competition team, with the aim to equip students with industry-ready skills.

The VEC is also working  on an industry-academia project with world-leading advertising agency McCann Erikson and PhDstudents, focussed on digital advertising in the urban realm.