Sensor City, Liverpool’s new £15m sensor technology hub, has welcomed its first tenant as work on the site reaches practical completion.

Work on the 25,000sq ft site has been carried out by Contractor Kier, who will now leave  to make room for the Sensor City team to complete the interiors.

As one of four University Enterprise Zones, the site’s aim is to create a focal point in the UK for exploration and investment in sensor technology and will house high-tech businesses around sensor technologies. 

Fatigue Management International (FMI) is the first official occupant of Sensor City, as it continues its work with sensor technology to detect and driver fatigue, making roads safer.

FMI has taken a 344 sq ft suite on the building’s second floor, where it will make use of the top-notch in-house facilities to test new products and grow its business.

Ian Thomas, FMI’s managing director, said: “We are very pleased to be the first official tenant in this impressive new building.

“We’ve been cohabiting with the Sensor City team at Liverpool Science Park since January, ahead of the building’s completion, and were eager to continue that relationship.

“We have already experienced significant growth since working with the university partners at Liverpool Science Park, with our team increasing from two to five and a further two more appointments to be made this year.

“We’ve seen an explosion in business opportunities in South America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Australia and have implemented a three-year R&D plan to develop cutting-edge, sensor functionality to enhance and diversify our current product range.”

FMI is the company behind ASTiD – an early warning system to make drivers more aware of their own limitations, allowing them to monitor and manage their fatigue risk and cutting the risk of them falling asleep at the wheel.

“The practical completion of Sensor City is an exciting milestone, as it allows us to finally open our doors to organisations that are looking to bring their ground-breaking sensor technology ideas to market,” said Sensor City’s business development manager, Dr Joanne Phoenix.

“It has been fantastic to watch FMI succeed and grow over recent months and we are delighted to continue our relationship with the company. We look forward to watching them develop further at Sensor City.”

The centre, which has made its home on Russell Street, is the fruits of a partnership between the University of Liverpool and John Moores University.

It has received £5m funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and £5m from BEIS, as well as ongoing support from the university partners.

There are a total of 21 suites for let in Sensor City, ranging from 140 sq ft to 849 sq ft. Hot desking and collaborative work space opportunities are also available.

Businesses located at Sensor City will also benefit from access to laboratories for sensor and Internet of Things (IoT) technology development, alongside technical and business advice.

“Sensor City is all about creating a community of like-minded people who can come together to share ideas and contacts,” said Phoenix.

“The joint venture partnership with the universities, coupled with its location at the gateway to Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter (KQ) and its links to a developing ecosystem of companies involved in sensor technologies, makes Sensor City the premier location for anyone serious about the sensor industry.”

It is estimated that Sensor City will help to create 1,000 jobs over the next ten years and nurture around 300 technology start-ups.