Our Enterprise Hub members create groundbreaking innovations in a widely diverse range of fields, from nanotechnology to wind turbines, physical rehabilitation to counterfeiting protection and much, much more.
Here you can find out about our members and mentors, their experience of our programmes and how the Enterprise Hub has helped move innovative new technologies from concept to market.
Our prestigious programmes run throughout the year: if you are interested in finding out more about how the Enterprise Hub might benefit you, please find out how to become a member here
“I believe the Enterprise Hub provides a terrific opportunity to bring to bear the unique talents and networks of our Fellowship to address an area of real national need.”
The Enterprise Hub’s membership is made up of some of the UK’s most promising and innovative entrepreneurs and researchers. But don't just take our word for it. Read more about our members and their projects here, and see for yourself how Enterprise Hub members who have been supported by our programmes are changing their sectors, engineering, technology and indeed the world. Meet the innovators and innovations, members and projects that received early support from the Enterprise Hub. Many of these projects have gone on to achieve incredible success, recognition, market share and international awards. The work of our members are, without exaggeration, changing the world and the lives of people everywhere.
Imagine if you could replace all the interfaces that clutter your life with something that reads the gestures you already know. Now add the ability to detect the almost infinite subtlety of touch our hands can generate. By contrast, the many switches, joysticks, buttons and wheels that enable humans to interact with electronic products are unwieldy, difficult to use and expensive to make, requiring thousands of complex sensors within each one.
Ming Kong has invented a new sensing method using a soft, hyper-sensitive material that can sense a greater range of touch motions than traditional electronic devices. It can also be moulded out of one material into a 3D shape rather than assembled in parts.
His company TG0's technology aims to make controls more intuitive. Touchscreens and buttons require you to move a virtual object in 3D space with 2D controls, TG0 enables users to physically perform the desired on-screen movement on a flexible, soft 3D object.
The material can detect an incredibly diverse range of different hand movements, removing the need for multiple products to control different electronic functions, and improving control.
TG0 could ultimately replace conventional controls such as the trackpad, the car dashboard and even gaming handhelds with a sculptural, all-in-one 3D sensing material.
"Getting to grips with a whole new mechanism for sensing and control doesn’t come naturally when you’ve spent your life learning to use another system."
Sorin has found a way to significantly reduce the cost and trauma associated with kidney dialysis. He is the founder of Stent-Tek, the company which is continuing to expand upon this incredible innovation.
Over 27,000 UK and 2.5 million people worldwide have kidney conditions that require their blood to be externally filtered by routinely hooking their circulatory system up to a dialysis machine.
This requires surgery to open up the arm and prepare patients’ blood vessels by forming a connection between an artery and a vein (known as a fistula or vascular access). However, fistulas frequently clog up and fail, which can endanger patient lives and require expensive repair operations.
Sorin invented a new way to connect the vessels in almost any part of the arm using a small covered tube known as a ‘stent graft’, which could enable patients to receive kidney dialysis without surgery.
This would have enormous impact on patients by reducing stress, discomfort and the risk of vascular access problems. The technology could save the NHS an estimated £45 million per annum on kidney dialysis alone, and it also has potential applications in the treatment of coronary heart disease.
Dr Kai Yang has developed an everyday fabric-based electrode for wearable medical devices so that stroke sufferers and people in need of pain relief can get electrical stimulation treatment in a far more practical way than ever before.
Traditional electrodes (made from hydrogel) are not ideal for wearable applications as they are sticky, have a limited lifetime, need to be kept in a sealed bag to stop moisture evaporation, and are incompatible with clothing.
Dr Kai Yang's fabric electrode can be applied on the skin directly without using any gel. Everyday fabrics and clothing items such as an arm band or sleeve can have the electrodes added to suit various needs. The fabric-based electrode is comfortable to wear, easy to use, washable and unobtrusive.
The fabric electrode can be used to deliver Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) for stroke rehabilitation; TENS for pain relief (e.g. arthritis, back pain, neck pain) and health monitoring (e.g. ECG, EEG, EMG).
As a Principal Investigator, Kai has secured £1.1M research funding from the Medical Research Council for a multi-disciplinary team to develop a wearable FES training system for home based stroke rehabilitation using the fabric electrode together with advanced control and sensor technologies. The FES training system will enable stroke survivors to conduct rehabilitation activities without the need of a carer or therapist.
James identified one big problem with offshore wind generation: it costs way too much. If he can solve this, not only will he have a valuable stake in a huge market, he might just save us all.
A major barrier to widespread use of offshore renewable energy is the cost of generation and maintenance. It is estimated that offshore wind infrastructure is approximately 30% more costly than onshore wind and 40% more costly than gas generation.
After working in the wind industry in Germany and Denmark for three years, James started a PhD looking into the cost of wind energy at the University of Strathclyde.
He worked with Professor Bill Leithead on an offshore wind energy concept that aims to reduce the cost of generating energy from offshore wind turbines, making offshore wind more viable.
The resulting X-Rotor offshore wind turbine combines proven wind energy technologies in a manner that has never been done before, in order to save costs in manufacturing and maintenance of offshore wind turbines. It can reduce the cost of energy by approximately 30% in comparison to current offshore wind turbines.
The X-rotor development team is focusing on a proof of concept for the X Rotor Turbine and securing a patent. As soon as development partners are in place, the aim is to have the product to market in the next five years. The long term goal is to secure a 20% share of the new turbine market which is estimated to be 30GW (3,750 8MW turbines) between 2021 and 2023.
For Alexander, what started off as a way to make a fun robot for his nieces quickly turned into something with far greater potential impact.
There is a huge market for programmable robots as educational toys, but affordability has been a major barrier to success in the consumer market.
Founder of Robotical Ltd Alexander aims to change this by producing a working robot that can be bought for less than £100 - but is far more than just a toy.
Robotical's 3D printed robot Marty can walk, dance, or even be programmed to play football. The unique design halves the number of motors required for each of the robot’s legs, reducing production and retail costs dramatically.
Billed as an open-source educational toy for 'geeks of all ages', it can be wirelessly reprogrammed and modified with new 3D-printed parts, such as extra limbs. Users can control it from their smartphones, dive into programming through graphical language Scratch, or more traditional languages such as Python. It has already been used to teach children Python, who designed movements to make the robots walk.
There are plans for a novel 'robot app store' where consumers can download code for their robots to change how they move, alongside files for 3D printable parts to customise their appearance – effectively hardware apps for your robot!
Nick is developing a pioneering system that combines the wearability and ease-of-use of EEG scanners with the imaging capabilities of MRI to enable mobile imaging of brain activity in real time.
The benchtop version of the technology, using near-infrared light to image the brain, is already selling well. It has many uses such as investigating the development of language in children, monitoring the response to pain in premature babies and discoveries such as that the lack of social awareness in autistic children develops much earlier than once thought.
The new generation of wearable technology will open up whole new fields of neuroscience research and a potential new approach to monitoring long-term neurological conditions.
Nick's company, Gowerlabs, has already developed a series of successful prototypes and has been awarded an Innovate UK Smart grant to commercialise these.
He is also working towards a consumer version of this innovative neuroimaging system that will empower users to monitor their own brain function in any environment using headsets that can capture real-time images.
Every year hundreds of billions of pounds are spent on storing, separating, and transporting gases using traditional technologies . For example, the use of chemical absorption units to separate carbon dioxide from industrial gases cuts the amount of energy that power plants generate by up to 30%, driving up electricity prices.
Andrew is working to commercialise new technology that could dramatically lower these costs by being able to store gas at much lower pressures and separated more efficiently.
Porous materials called metal-organic frameworks (MOF) that enable gas to be absorbed at the molecular level have existed for over twenty years. However they failed to be applied on an industrial scale as they are unusable in their natural, powdered form.
Andrew's company Immaterial and a team of researchers from Cambridge created a unique, patented technology that overcomes this issue, making MOFs suitable for industrial use where performance and mechanical stability are critical. This new process of expanding them into marble-sized pellets is a revolutionary ‘enabling’ technology which could be the key for these materials finding widespread use.
Initially being incorporated into
‘rebreathers’ to extend the life of oxygen tanks for scuba
divers, the technology could make it significantly cheaper for
industrial power plants to ‘scrub’ carbon dioxide from
their output. It also has many other potential applications such as compressing natural gas at lower pressure so
that it could be stored at significantly lower costs.
Dental bone graft substitutes can take three years to resolve and less than 45% of the substitutes successfully integrate with the patient's surrounding bone.
Silo Meoto developed a novel bone graft substitute that could transform dentistry, enabling new bone graft substitutes to integrate into chipped or damaged teeth. It can potentially achieve 95% integration with the surrounding bone in just three months.
The technology could dramatically reduce the time and cost of repairing tooth fractures and could let people who have lost a large amount of bone to receive implants.
Silo founded Aerograft while at University College London and has already taken her product through in-vitro studies in partnership with a leading dentist.
Aerograft could eventually be used to aid tooth replacement. Longer term, it could be used in other areas of the body where patients do not have enough bone to receive implants.
Oliver has spent over five years as part of a team developing clinical probes that could revolutionise cancer screening. They are committed to enabling on-the-spot cancer diagnosis with minimal discomfort for patients - and without an anxious wait for results.
The group has developed a proprietary method of using small probes using fibre optics to direct laser light onto cells. They then analyse the interaction of this light with the molecules inside. This provides a molecular ‘fingerprint’ to identify different types of cells and any cancerous changes within them.
Using this technique can yield almost instantaneous results and is both faster and more objective than current testing. Traditional testing involves sending tissue that has been surgically removed to a lab to be analysed by a pathologist, a process that is traumatic for the patient and costly for the system.
The new process has been demonstrated to be at least as accurate as conventional gold standard pathology. However it doesn’t require the removal of tissue and allows for the immediate intervention and ongoing monitoring by clinicians.
In future, the technology is seen to have many other clinical applications as well as this humane testing process.
The technique has already undergone extensive tests on human tissue at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, with one of the probes set to begin clinical trials within 18 months.
An unparalleled level of access to the expertise of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Fellowship is a key benefit of being an Enterprise Hub member. With experience spanning the entire engineering and technology spectrum, the Fellows provide bespoke support and mentoring to Hub members. Mentors typically give at least one day a month to advise Hub members on business strategy, helping facilitate valuable connections, networking and practical support. The Enterprise Hub team connects members with the most appropriate mentor based on industry sector, stage of business cycle and any unique issues that need to be addressed. So far over a hundred Fellows have pledged their time in support of our programmes, and continue to be committed to help our members succeed.
David Gammon founded Rockspring in 2002 after 17 years of investment banking experience.
Rockspring provides advice and capital to disruptive technology companies from seed through scale up. His family are the benefactors of the JC Gammon Launchpad Award run by the Enterprise Hub.
David is a non-executive director at Raspberry Pi Trading Limited, Accesso Technology Group plc and Frontier Developments plc.
Jeremy is Chief Technology Officer at Cambridge Display Technology. He is one of the three original inventors of P-OLED, the technology used to create digital displays in devices such as TV screens, computer monitors and smart phones.
He played a major role in transforming early permutations of the invention into a fully manufacturable and marketable technology using new device architectures, materials and manufacturing processes - including the direct printing of full colour LED displays.
Jeremy's career has also involved working with Toshiba in the UK and Japan to develop quantum electronic and opto-electronic devices. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in 2009.
“I believe it’s vital that emerging entrepreneurs with bright ideas in this industry are given the encouragement and direction they need to make a real success of their work. By imparting my knowledge and experience with talented individuals at the Enterprise Hub, I hope to play a significant part in laying the foundations for the long-term growth of technology development in the UK.”
Anne is a prominent venture capitalist and European technology investor who has been Chief Executive of Amadeus Capital Partners from 1997. As a co-founder in the organisation, Anne’s role combines her experience as a scientist, operating manager and venture capitalist.
Anne began her career in manufacturing with Cummins Engine Company before moving into investment as a business angel. She was also Chief Operating Officer of Virtuality Group, which had been one of her investee companies.
Anne has held a number of high profile advisory positions, having served as Chairman of the British Venture Capital Association in 2004, and as a non-executive director of the UK Technology Strategy Board from 2005-2012. In 2008 Anne led the establishment of the Glover advisory committee for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, reporting on government procurement from SMEs. She is also a member of the European Research and Innovation Advisory Board. Anne was awarded a CBE for services to business in 2006 and was elected an Honourary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2008.
“There is a long-standing need for science to engage more proactively with policy-makers and business. The Enterprise Hub is playing a big part in addressing this, by bridging the gap between outstanding academic talent and influential figures in the industry to ensure the UK’s ongoing international success in science and technology.”
Dr John C Taylor OBE FREng was born in Buxton, Derbyshire in 1936. Having spent five years living in Canada
during his childhood, he returned home towards the end of the Second World War.
He attended King William’s College on
the Isle of Man before studying Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge.
Dr John C Taylor is one of the UK’s most successful and prolific living inventors and, over a sixty-year career, has invented, produced and sold components for numerous electrical appliances around the world.
While at his company Strix Ltd, Dr Taylor established the business as the world-leading manufacturer of kettle controls. His research was instrumental in designing the ubiquitous safety switch that turns a kettle off when it boils and prevents it from overheating, and he also designed the 360˚ cordless connectors in modern kettles.
Dr Taylor’s innovations led to the production and sale of almost two billion kettle controls - 75% of the global market. His inventions in the development of bi-metallic safety critical cut-outs for electric motors are also used in domestic appliances such as hairdryers and fan heaters. His work has also seen over four hundred patents filed, including automatic windshield wipers, electric motor protectors and cordless kettle connectors and controls, and it is a testament to these components’ visionary design that they continue to be in prolific use today.
Dr Taylor has been the recipient of many honours including, but not limited to, the following:
He is also an elected Honorary Fellow of Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge, and has been conferred Honorary Doctorates from University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) and Durham University. When he’s not inventing and innovating, Dr Taylor is a keen aviator, mountaineer, yachtmaster and philanthropist.
Dr John C Taylor is a committed philanthropist and has made a number of donations in order to ensure that young engineers in the UK have the tools they need to be competitive in a global market. In 2017, he became the main sponsor of the new Dr John C Taylor Enterprise Hub, affectionately known as the Taylor Centre, in the Royal Academy of Engineering. He also established in perpetuity a Chair Professorship of Innovation in the Engineering Department of the University of Cambridge.
Following his career in creating electrical control switches, Dr Taylor became well-known for his interest in clocks and is one of the world’s leading experts in the work of John Harrison, an early pioneer of timekeeping and sea clocks. This led him to design and help build the Corpus Chronophage, a large, time-eating clock which that stands proud on the exterior of the Taylor Library, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Dr Taylor donated the clock, alongside a bestowment to make the Taylor Library possible, to his alma mater in order to support bright students of future generations.
David Ball’s career has involved roles as a CEO for six businesses, chairing three publicly quoted companies, and positions as executive director on the boards of over 65 companies across the world.
David’s key experience lies in creating business success in established businesses which have failed and in start ups, with particular expertise in strategic business development, effective and efficient operational management of both large and small businesses, and managing major business transforming R&D. He has also served on the boards of numerous UK trusts, trade associations and public arts and industry bodies.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in 1998.
"It’s rewarding to work with enthusiastic and dedicated young people who have great ideas and inherent capability but lack experience of business. Knowing I’ve had an influential role as an integral part of the team in bringing about subsequent commercial and personal successes is so satisfying for a mentor.”
Chair of the Enterprise Committee and a long-standing Academy Fellow, Ian has played a prominent role in establishing the Enterprise Hub. His track record of helping businesses in the engineering and life science sectors transform their approach and improve their vision, ambition, business models and enterprise value is an invaluable resource.
Ian is currently Managing Director of contract R&D company Arcinova and is also the Managing Partner at investment and advisory firm Shott Trinova LLP. Prior to his specialist investment work at Shott Trinova, Ian was the founder and CEO of Excelsyn, which was sold to an American multinational in 2010. Earlier in his illustrious career he held numerous senior executive positions at multinational life science companies across the globe.
Ian has a wealth of experience with major industry bodies. He is currently the Chair of the UK government’s Leadership Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and a Governing Board Member of Innovate UK. Ian is also Visiting Professor at Oxford, Nottingham and Newcastle Universities.
“Apart from a deep-seated passion to change the entrepreneurial landscape in the UK and rediscover our legacy from the industrial revolution, I am highly excited by the prospect of engaging with new young talent and using my experience to accelerate and amplify their success. I’ve been involved in mentoring for over a decade but believe the Hub offers a very special opportunity to work with the brightest and best”.
Steve is a leading expert with over 35 years of experience.in the fields of semiconductor device research, nanotechnology and millimetre-wave integrated circuit design.
After founding and leading the Nanoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Glasgow, he co-founded and became Technical Director of Intellemetrics Ltd. His enterprising spirit continued with the foundation of Kelvin Nanotechnology Ltd in 2001.
Steve became Vice-Principal for Research and Enterprise at the University of Glasgow in 2005 where e is responsible for the University’s research strategy and policies. These includes key relations with research sponsors and strategic partners. He also heads up the University’s enterprise activities which has a strong focus on research links with industry and the promotion of spinout companies.
Steve was awarded an OBE for services to the field of nanotechnology in the 2002 Jubilee Honours List and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2007.
“Encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship in technology and engineering requires a genuine link up and sharing of knowledge between research partners and industry. The Enterprise Hub is a key part of this, sharing enterprising expertise with individuals who have an incredible amount of technical talent, and providing the links to springboard their success in the industry.”
Mike is a leading Silicon Fen-based entrepreneur. He is best known as a co-founder of enterprise software company Autonomy and founder of Invoke Capital, which invests in promising British technology businesses.
A celebrated technologist with a proven track record of identifying and monetising fundamental technologies, Mike has been recognised as one Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs in the industry. The Times has referred to Mike as “the closest thing Britain has to its own Bill Gates”.
Mike studied Information Sciences, received a PhD and held a research fellowship in adaptive pattern recognition at Cambridge University. After co-founding Autonomy he served as CEO for over fifteen years, during which time it became one of the UK’s most successful technology companies on the FTSE100. His latest venture Invoke Capital has raised over $1billion since its launch in 2012 and made its first investment in the cyber-security firm Darktrace in 2013 ,now valued at $800m, other investment areas include machine learning to automate legal functions, augmented reality and genomics.
Mike has received a number of prestigious honours throughout his career. He was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999 by the Confederation of British Industry; presented with an award for Autonomy as a technology pioneer by The World Economic Forum in 2000, and awarded an OBE in 2006 for Services to Enterprise. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering from 2008.
“It’s vital that we encourage and support emerging UK technology businesses, and mentoring programmes are a great way of guiding those with fundamentally clever ideas to fulfil their potential. I’m proud to be a part of the Enterprise Hub, which is helping to ensure the next generation of talent keeps Britain at the forefront of science and innovation.”
Nigel’s career has involved working in the UK and the Netherlands for Unilever and Wellcome Research. While abroad, he built and operated the first large-scale Dutch facility for the manufacture of the genetically engineered protein alpha-galactosidase. Later, he led the process design for Wellcome’s WelGen interferon manufacturing plant in the USA.
Nigel has served as a co-founding non-executive director for two manufacturing SMEs, Cobra Biomanufacturing Plc (which was listed on AIM) and Angel Technology Ltd. The latter was awarded the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2006 and the International Sial d’Or prize for the most innovative new UK nutritional product at the Paris International Food Conference 2004. Currently he is Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at Cambridge University.
Nigel was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in 2004.
“My relevant technical and personal experience was well-matched to Janice’s needs and I am pleased to be involved in such a positive initiative.”