We aim to foster a culture of entrepreneurship, innovation and success among engineers in the UK, creating economic growth and societal impact. At the heart of how we do this are the Hub Members, the promising entrepreneurs who we support through our programmes, and our Hub Mentors, the business leaders who volunteer their expertise and time to help the Hub Members succeed.
From manufacturing to medtech, our Hub Membership is made up of some of the UK’s most innovative entrepreneurs. But don’t just take our word for it: read more about our Hub Members to see how they are, without exaggeration, changing the world.
CEO, Mobilus Labs
Mobilus Labs is transforming voice communication with a wearable, hands-free, ear-free voice platform that enables teams of any size to communicate and connect in any environment from whatever distance.
Using innovations in bone conduction technology and voice recognition, Mobilus enables voice communication in extreme and noisy environments. Its two-way bone conduction technology uses micro-vibrations on the surface of the head to capture voice and transmit it directly to the inner ear. Its ability to isolate the voice makes the platform effective even when used in noisy environments, making it easier for teams to communicate in target industries such as construction, mixed reality and the emergency services, amongst others.
Building on over 10 years of experience as an entrepreneur building complex hardware and software platforms, Jordan McRae founded Mobilus Labs and leads the development of its technology. Jordan will use the SME Leaders Programme to support his vision of creating a diverse and inclusive team focused on agile innovation while delivering a return to investors. Working with experienced mentors, Jordan aims to triple the size of his team as the company scales up and builds on traction in the construction sector where the cost of poor communication costs an estimated £16 billion each year.
Visit Mobilus Lab's website here.
COO, mOm Incubators Ltd
Cost-effective, electronically controlled, inflatable incubators, developed by mOm, could help to improve the survival rates of prematurely born babies.
The World Health Organization estimates that there are 15 million premature births each year and highlights that preterm birth complications are the leading cause of deaths in children under the age of five, responsible for one million deaths in 2015. Three-quarters of these deaths are said to be preventable with current, cost-effective solutions. Compact, robust inflatable incubators, created by mOm can provide an accessible solution in places that need it.
The incubators have been designed in close collaboration with clinical specialists to ensure that it is both user-friendly and meets clinical quality standards.
Chief Operating Officer and co-founder, Matthew Khoory, has a significant role in leading strategy and business development as the company finalises development and testing of its product. This includes conducting clinical trials to gather the data needed for regulatory approval.
Using training from the SME Leaders Programme, Matthew will develop skills for managing a team that is growing significantly. Mentoring and coaching through the programme will help as Matthew strengthens skills in negotiation and project management to create and foster the partnerships that will support the company’s continued growth.
Visit mOm Incubator's website here.
CEO and Founder, Provenance
Provenance uses blockchain technology to help brands and retailers build customer trust through greater transparency. Its software platform helps brands to promote conscious, low-impact consumption by providing a digital history that makes it easy to trace and verify the origins, attributes and impact of a product.
Ethical spending grew by 3.2 % to £81.3 billion in 2016 and it has been suggested that products marketed as sustainable grow more than five times faster than those that aren’t. With openness and trust as key drivers to a brand’s success, Provenance leads the movement for greater transparency. Its novel data systems assemble and verify supply-chain information using blockchain technology. This allows information to be stored securely while remaining accessible but unchangeable. The software can be embedded into existing business systems making it easier for a company to provide accessible, trustworthy information about the origin, journey and impact of its products.
CEO and Founder, Jessi Baker leads a team that has more than tripled in size over the past year. With further growth anticipated to meet consumer demand, Jessi will use support from the SME Leaders Programme to help scaling up Provenance while navigating the challenges of establishing a new product in an emerging market.
Visit Provenance's website here.
Chief Financial Officer and Head of Commercial, Notpla
50% of plastic packaging is used once and thrown away with estimates suggesting that plastics can take several centuries to decompose. Notpla is a plastic alternative, made from plants and brown seaweed, that biodegrades naturally in 4-6 weeks.
Notpla’s sustainable materials can reduce plastic waste and lessen the carbon impact. It is estimated that they have 85 % less associated carbon emission than equivalent plastic packaging. The company’s first product, Ooho, is a flexible biodegradable packaging for beverages and sauces that can even be eaten!. Ideal for products with a short-use life, Oohos can replace plastic cups at sporting events and sachets in take-aways. Oohos recently replaced 40,000 Lucozade bottles at the Virgin Money London Marathon. Notpla’s future packaging solutions include heat sealable films, take-away boxes and nets.
Chief Financial Officer and Head of Commercial, Lise Honsinger, is responsible for business development, strategy and financial planning and leads the company’s transition from development to commercial operations. With a fast-growing team, SME Leader Lise aims to use mentoring and coaching through the programme to help establish operational structures and a culture that promotes growth as Notpla enters new global markets.
Visit Notpla's website here.
CEO, Odin Vision
Odin Vision has developed a novel artificial intelligence (AI) technology for endoscopy to help support doctors in detecting and diagnosing cancer.
Patients showing signs of bowel cancer may have a colonoscopy with a small endoscopic camera to inspect tissue for small growths, called polyps, some of which can develop into cancer. These can be challenging for clinicians to detect and diagnose with some studies suggesting that over 20% of polyps can be missed.
Founded by a team of clinicians, medical imaging and AI experts, Odin Vision has developed a suite of tools that use AI to improve detection and diagnosis. The technology uses deep-learning algorithms to identify polyps in real-time so that doctors can more efficiently make diagnoses at the earliest stage possible. This improves patient outcomes by increasing opportunities for early treatment to reduce the incidence and impact of bowel cancer.
Peter Mountney, CEO, is developing a strategy to support Odin Vision through clinical trials and obtaining regulatory approval. Peter aims to use a combination of training, mentoring and coaching through the SME Leaders Programme to get timely support in financing and change management at a time of significant growth.
Visit Odin Vision's website here.
COO and Co-founder, Open Bionics
Open Bionics have created the Hero Arm, an affordable, 3D printed, multi-grip bionic hand. Lightweight and durable, the Hero Arm is an empowering, medically-approved, myoelectric prosthesis for below elbow amputee adults and children aged eight and above.
Designed with customisation and comfort as priorities, the Hero Arm is lightweight and robust while also being breathable and adjustable. Embedded with special sensors, it intuitively detects muscle movement so that it can move and coordinate with life-like precision.
Developed by a rapidly growing team in Bristol, the award-winning technology is now available through prosthetic clinics in the UK and Europe with expansion into the US market planned soon. COO and co-founder, Samantha Payne leads Open Bionic’s product design, branding, communications, culture, HR and customer service. Samantha will use training and coaching through the SME Leaders Programme to strengthen leadership and management skills as the start-up scales internationally. Mentoring and coaching support will also help Samantha to further develop her design-thinking and gain a deeper understanding of the company’s commercial offering as it expands into new markets and develops new products.
Visit the Open Bionics website here.
CEO, Agile Analog
Agile Analog’s novel approach to the design of analogue semiconductors is transforming the electronics industry by making it easier to deliver customised solutions in electronic circuits.
As systems-on-chip and application-specific integrated circuits grow in complexity to meet digital demands, the demand for better analogue solutions has also increased. Current techniques in analogue design are based on older, manually-intensive methods that often lead to components that are restricted in use, inefficient and costly to change. Agile Analog uses artificial intelligence to automate the design and delivery of customised components that efficiently match customer’s requirements at the same time as driving efficiency in both power consumption and cost.
Tim Ramsdale, the company’s CEO, is developing a roadmap to support Agile Analog as it enters the next phase of growth. This includes raising additional funding, delivering first products to market and expanding their customer base. Tim will use training and development through the SME Leaders programme to strengthen skills in areas such sales and business development as the company targets a $2 billion market in analogue intellectual property design.
Visit Agile Analog's website here.
Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Arctoris
Arctoris offers fully automated experiments-as-a-service that helps researchers to accelerate progress towards new discoveries. The service increases accessibility in cancer research by making cutting-edge techniques available using just a laptop and internet connection.
Current data generation methods in cellular and molecular biology are inefficient and yield poor quality data. Arctoris enables efficient data generation with a high degree of consistency, precision and reliability. Leveraging the power of robotic experimentation, Arctoris makes it easier for researchers and biotech entrepreneurs, in cancer research and other fields, to generate, analyse and visualise data. The cloud-based platform removes many of the financial, technical and geographic barriers to cancer research, improving the accessibility of leading techniques to all.
Arctoris co-founder, Tom Fleming, brings significant expertise as a chemist and experience in leading clinical research to the role Chief Operating Officer. He is responsible for overseeing daily operations and directing strategy and development of new capabilities and technologies.
Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Tom has plans for the company to scale effectively and transition from small-team strategies to large-scale approaches for global distribution. Leadership training will help Tom to develop skills in measuring individual and team performance while creating an organisational culture that promotes collaboration, satisfaction and exceptional results.
Visit Arctoris's website here.
CEO, Cambridge GaN Devices Ltd
Cambridge GaN Devices’ (CGD) new approach to designing high-performance Gallium Nitride (GaN) power electronic devices could transform the 600V semiconductor industry by offering a more efficient alternative to current silicon-based and GaN devices.
GaN’s physical properties mean it can operate at higher frequencies than silicon, resulting in circuits that are smaller, faster and more efficient. While GaN power devices already exist, CGD’s approach overcomes the stability issues associated with them, through use of a novel, patented transistor and adding smart functionalities. This new combination makes CGD’s solutions more accessible, allowing customers to leverage the benefits of GaN in a wider range of applications.
The University of Cambridge spin-out was co-founded by CGD CEO, Giorgia Longobardi who had a central role in engineering the core technology. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Giorgia is defining the company’s strategy while developing a rapidly growing staff. With an energy-efficient product that delivers from 5- to 10 times less power losses, Giorgia’s vision is to establish production partnerships and a customer-base that will allow CGD to target the £400 million GaN power device market.
What makes us different is the Academy’s Fellows and our wider Mentor network – an unrivalled community of the UK’s most successful industry leaders, technology experts and entrepreneurs. Find out more about our Mentors and their areas of expertise.
Chairman of The Abbeyfield Research Foundation and Hull Minster Development Trust.
Trustee at Livability, Royal Academy of Engineering, Methodist Independent Schools Trust, Royal College of Surgeons.
Director of Eva Diagnostics.
Former Chairman/Chief Executive of Smith & Nephew plc.
Former Chair The Abbeyfield Society, Chairman Railtrack plc, George Wimpey plc, Low and Bonar plc, UK Coal plc, Voyage Ltd and a number of companies in the care sector.
Past President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.
Past President of the Chartered Institute of Management.
Past Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the University of Hull Governing Council
Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Engineers, Chair of The Engineers Trust.
Professor May has over 45 years' experience in transport planning and traffic engineering. He has been a professor at Leeds since 1977, and has served as Director of the Institute for Transport Studies, Head of the Department of Civil Engineering, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research. Between 1985 and 2001 he maintained a link between research and teaching at Leeds and practical experience in consultancy with MVA Ltd for which he was Director of Transport Policy.
Prior to 1977 he spent ten years with the Greater London Council, where he was responsible for policy on highways, traffic management and transport-related land use planning for the capital. He managed major studies on traffic restraint, parking policy and motorway traffic control during his time there.
Anthony was elected to a fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1995, and awarded the OBE for services to transport engineering in 2004. He retired in 2009 but is still active in research, consultancy and professional development. He served as President of the World Conference on Transport Research Society between 2007 and 2013. He has until recently been Editor in Chief of the European Transport Research Review and Secretary General of the World Conference on Transport Research Society.
John is currently Chair of the Water Informatics Science & Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training (WISE CDT) advisory board where he provides guidance on strategic development, direction and future sustainability.
He joined Severn Trent Water on its foundation in 1974 and held a number of senior roles until his retirement at the end of December 2004. He has served as a director of Severn Trent plc; Severn Trent Water Ltd; and was a non-executive director of the North American subsidiary together with a number of other non-executive positions; Board member of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland; Chairman of the West Midlands Innovation and Technology Council; Chairman of the Development Forum for the Infrastructure Conditions of Contract; Chairman of the Civil Engineering Standard Method of Management Panel. He also works as an independent consultant.
He is a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Engineers and is currently their Treasurer.
John is a Chartered Civil Engineer and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1997. He was made a Fellow of the City & Guilds of London Institute in 2000 and awarded an OBE for services to Engineering and The Water Industry in December 2004.
Christopher is Professor of Biotechnology and Director of the Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences at the University of Cambridge.
His main research interests cover areas of healthcare biotechnology including biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics and sensors, ageing and medical microbiology. The work is highly multi-disciplinary, encompassing biochemistry, microbiology, chemistry, electrochemistry, physics, electronics, medicine and chemical engineering, but also covering the entire range from pure science to strategic applied science, much of which has significant commercial applications.
He has carried out research in the area of biosensors, biopharmaceuticals, and enzyme, protein and microbial technology.
Professor Lowe has been the driving force for the establishment of 11 spin-out companies with a current market capitalisation of well over $1.5 billion, and has been awarded numerous national and international prizes and distinctions. His research has been recognised by over 20 major national and international awards. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (2005) and is also a Fellow at Trinity College.
"I vowed to take matters into my own hands and exploit technologies developed in my own laboratories myself. I have unique experience of this approach in the UK and hence my title, the Most Entrepreneurial Scientist of the UK.”
Professor Jon Cooper holds the Wolfson Chair of Bioengineering (Biomedical Engineering) and is responsible for Glasgow University’s Knowledge Exchange strategy. He manages the university’s relationships with its strategic partners in industry, the NHS, government and charities.
Jon is responsible for the university’s enterprise activities which includes the promotion of spinout companies. He has been involved as an academic founder of three spin-out companies in the fields of medical diagnostics, drug delivery and new medicines discovery: Modedx; SAWdx and Clyde Biosciences.
His research group is currently looking at using phononic structures to shape how sound interacts with fluids. Applications are in varying stages of development and include ‘silent’ underwater motors; new diagnostics for infectious diseases; sample processing for next generation gene sequencing tools and targeted drug delivery.
Jon was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2001) and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (2004). He holds an ERC advanced investigator award, a Royal Society Merit award and is an EPSRC Fellow.
"Focus above all else on excellence – whether this be in publications, knowledge exchange & innovation, teaching or supervision. Try to do one thing really well."
Nick is Professor of Regenerative Medicine Manufacture at Loughborough University and Director of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Regenerative Medicine.
Nick has experience in regenerative medicine development building on a career in industry as a chemist and chemical engineer. Regenerative medicine is the application of living cells and tissues to resolve disease or injury. It has the potential to revolutionise healthcare. It has been named by the government as one of the priority technologies for UK competitiveness. The market has a global value estimated to be worth $20 billion by 2025.
Nick is a Chartered Chemist and a Chartered Chemical Engineer, and he has spent a significant amount of his career working within Smith & Nephew. Nick also has experience in quality assurance, process design, regulatory affairs and economic analysis.
His specialties include: project cost projections and cost control, advice to grant funding bodies, set up and management of cleanroom facilities and pilot plant, application of healthcare regulations to new medical product development, project planning and control, the construction of efficient Quality Management Systems for medical research programmes.
He was made Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2011.
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.”
Bill was previously Chief Scientist and Head of Research of ICL/FUJITSU and Chairman of the ECRC (European Computer Research Centre) in Munich.
Bill was an advisor to two International Governments on Science and Technology Strategies. He has also had many advisory roles to the European Commission on Science and Technology initiatives especially around biocomputing.
He is currently interested in the security of embedded controllers in scientific and engineering systems and he is an advisor to several tech startups. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1998.
Ian is known worldwide as an authority on microdisplay technology, systems and applications. He describes himself as an "academic, innovator and entrepreneur."
Today he is employed by the University of Edinburgh as its Head of the Institute for Integrated Micro and Nano Systems (IMNS) and also acts as an independent consultant with pre-spin-out technology projects and early stage technology companies. He was a force in the pre-spin-out stage of Sofant; is Chairman of PureVLC; advisor to Holoxica and has mentored the management at Optoscribe.
Ian is an Associate Editor of the Journal of the Society for Information Display and sits on the technical program committee of the International Solid State Circuits Conference, the International Displays Research Conference and the Society for Information Display's Annual International Symposium.
His specialities include: electronic information displays, photonic and optoelectronic devices, components and systems.
Recent personal recognition includes Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year, Scotland (2003); Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2004); Gannochy Medal for Innovation winner (2004); Fellow of the Institute of Physics (2008); Appointed to the Scottish Science Advisory Council (2008) and elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in 2008.