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Future of Engineering

The UK is home to engineering excellence – we want to promote entrepreneurship as a path for top engineering talent and advance them along it.

There is still a large gap to bridge – many of the best engineers don’t yet know how to connect their skills to enterprise, industry and markets. Britain still has a large aspirational problem to address – we’re still behind Silicon Valley when it comes to the career aspirations of the brightest engineers.

We want to celebrate engineering excellence in the UK whilst closing the skills and mindset gap required to turn engineers with high-potential into future tech leaders.



The engineering leadership prize is designed for students and early career engineers who are thinking about practical applications of their work, but might not have all the skills needed to bring their ideas to fruition. With a focus on emerging talent, we’re looking primarily for student engineers, PhD candidates, and junior engineers working in industry.

This is designed for individuals at the concept stage – you have ambition and exciting idea, but have not put it into action yet and don’t know where to start.

One week later all applicants will be invited to present their idea at a pitching competition, the winner and runner up of which will receive £10,000 and £5,000 respectively.

The winners will also receive mentorship and a ‘stamp of approval’ endorsement should they choose to apply to the Enterprise Hub or Entrepreneur First.


Eligibility criteria

We will select individuals who display the greatest potential to become the next generation of leaders in innovation. Applicants must:

– Be within the 18 – 26 age bracket on 31 December 2016
– Have either an engineering background, currently studying engineering or have a demonstrable interest in engineering
– Be available to attend the training workshop in late April / May 2017
– Be available to attend the competition final in late April / May 2017
– Be eligible to work in the UK


How to Apply

All applications must be submitted via the online system, available here: If you have not already done so, all Applicants must first register with the system and provide some basic log-in details to create a profile.


Submission Deadline

The submission deadline for this round of applications is 4pm on Friday 31 March 2017.

Assessment criteria:

The applications will be assessed by Entrepreneur First and the Enterprise Hub.

At the application stage the qualities we are looking for are:

1. Organisation
2. Responsibility
3. Resourcefulness
4. Expression of opinion
5. Drive and motivation

At the final event we will choose three winners based on the following additional qualities:

6. Transformational leadership
7. Growth mindset
8. Ambition
9. Personal impact

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the assessment by the end of April 2017.


The Royal Academy of Engineering

As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers from across the engineering sectors for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering.

Forming part of the Academy, the Enterprise Hub harnesses the expertise, insight and networks of Academy Fellows, who include some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, to support the country’s most promising engineering entrepreneurs.  Prominent tech entrepreneurs and investors such as business icons Mike Lynch OBESir Robin SaxbyAnne Glover CBE and Ian Shott CBE commit their time to the Enterprise Hub.


Entrepreneur First

We specialise in supporting people to build technically defensible companies from scratch. Companies founded on our programme solve hard problems using commercialised applications of unique and cutting-edge technology. We fund you as an individual, then help you meet your cofounder and develop an idea.

Our programmes in London and Singapore give you everything you need to have the best shot at building a world-class technology company.

We’ve helped over 350 individuals build 100 companies with a total valuation of over $500m.

We select people at any stage of their career – from recent Computer Science graduates at the world’s top technical universities, to postdoctoral researchers and engineers working at tech firms. But we don’t just go by paper credentials – the people who join EF are usually motivated by applying new technology and solving hard problems. Technologists who are resourceful, creative and relentless usually make brilliant founders.

EF logo

22 August 2017

Schemes & Awards

Through the Enterprise Hub, the Royal Academy of Engineering offers a number of grants aimed at identifying and supporting the next generation of high potential entrepreneurs and prizes celebrating success in innovation and entrepreneurship.