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.
Matthew has developed and patented Ultrafast Laser Plasma Implantation (ULPI) as a novel manufacturing platform with his product, Alpin.
ULPI can implant any glass with femtosecond-laser generated plasma – a highly charged and energetic gas, such as one containing optically active elements. This introduces visible or light-activated colouring (e.g. when exposed to UV) to glass.
Using a mask much like a stencil, ULPI can create a pattern upon the surface such as a barcode or branding.
This could have any number of applications such as an anti-counterfeiting measure, made unique for an individual batch or product. It could provide security and authenticity for diverse products such as pharmaceutical, alcohol and perfume bottles. The invention could add a unique selling point to a product as well as limiting the severe health and financial implications of counterfeiting.
Matthew founded Ultramatis Ltd as a spin-out of the University of Leeds to further expand the possibilities of this exciting technology.
Angus is working to ensure transport companies improve margins through better investment in efficiency solutions. An average heavy goods vehicle in the UK uses £42,000 of fuel annually. For haulage companies operating on extremely tight margins averaging between one to three percent, savings on fuel can have a huge effect on their profits.
There are a number of products available on the market designed to improve the efficiency of haulage vehicles, but a lack of evidence of savings on fuel has limited their uptake. Angus established his start-up Dynamon to address this lack of quantifiable data for the haulage industry.
Dynamon combines big data from vehicles with dynamic modelling and statistics in order to give hauliers tailored recommendations on the products that will help them make the greatest savings. It can also be used to help in gauging impact on air quality improvement programmes.
The company has two main products, both of which provide measurements that are far more reliable and accurate than MPG (miles per gallon) or litres per 100km.
The first product, Advanced Fuel Measurement, measures fuel savings from tracking aerodynamics, fuel additives, driver training and regenerative braking. Dynamon’s software links directly to vehicle telematics data and can measure vehicle performance without variables caused by driver behaviour, route, traffic, and vehicle weight.
Dynamon's second product is currently under development. The Fuel Saving Platform utilises a database of fuel saving products to recommend those that provide best return on investment (ROI) for a particular company. This ensures road transport companies invest in the correct fuel saving products based on how they use their vehicles.
Wayve Technologies has created a software system that teaches cars to drive autonomously. Rather than use sensors and hand-coded rules, it uses artificial intelligence and machine-learning to navigate city streets.
Initially, Wayve-vehicles are trained using simulated environments. This knowledge is then taken onto the road where a safety driver prompts and intervenes when needed. The car learns to drive autonomously through this reinforced learning supported by cameras and GPS navigation. Wayve Technologies’ vehicles have successfully negotiated roads they have never been on before without the need for an HD map of the environment.
Alex Kendall co-founded Wayve in 2017 and is currently CEO. When he joined the SME Leaders programme in 2020, his company had already generated £20 million of investment from interested organisations worldwide. Alex hopes that the networking opportunities the programme provides will help his company generate product strategies and promote organisational growth. The wealth of engineering experience within the programme will be relevant, as robotics, mechanical and software engineering are all crucial for developing autonomous vehicles.
Alex’s mission over the coming years is to advance the role of machine-learning for self-driving cars. He plans to have vehicles using Wayve technology deployed across European cities and wants the company to demonstrate that scalable autonomy can be achieved without the need for HD-mapping infrastructure or hand-coded behavioural rules.
Jack founded the innovative startup Massless to address the frustration of working with computers using existing devices.
Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) will move us far beyond just using the keyboard, mouse and touchscreen (2D) to new 3D mixed reality interaction with computers.
Massless is developing an interaction layer allowing people to experience new approaches such as using fingers, high precision devices and mobile devices.
This would affect user interaction in both work and play. High-quality Massless solutions can improve productivity for professionals such as developers, designers and engineers and also improve mobile VR interaction for entertainment.
RoboK Ltd is a Cambridge startup that produces 3D-sensing software for automotive and industrial applications. Its technology uses computer vision and deep learning to enable optimised perception on low-power computing platforms. The company’s technology provides in-depth spatial information to plan paths and avoid collisions.
This low-cost solution brings the safety benefits of machine-learning and decision-making to a wider public. RoboK’s technology is optimised for general-purpose and low-power computing platforms to enable efficient and fast real-time processing. Its perception module will detect and avoid objects for advanced driver assistance systems and is useful for automated navigation, for example automated forklifts and other automated-guided vehicles.
Hao Zheng is the co-founder and CEO of RoboK and is responsible for business and commercialisation. Hao joined the SME Leaders programme in 2020 and is looking forward to participating in topical round-tables and workshops. She says: “I am particularly interested in the training courses and coaching from experienced mentors. The training programmes will help us develop team building and improve commercial negotiations.”
The company is hoping to grow its list of customers and partners. It wants to expand its market range for both automotive and industrial uses to include commercial and agricultural applications.
People with poor control over their bladders increasingly prefer to use intermittent self-catheterisation (ISC) for treatment. This is the procedure where the patients insert catheters via their urethra into their own bladder by themselves.
Thanks to the greater degree of personal independence and lower infection risk there are over 600 million ISC sold each year. However, the regular insertion of catheters can be painful and lead to complications such as urethral damage, bleeding and inflammation.
The lubricant coatings traditionally used on catheters haven't changed in a decade. They tend to dry out quickly, making them less slippery. This means inserting and removing a catheter can become difficult and painful.
Nicola, Professor Colin McCoy and her team at Queen’s University Belfast developed a new coating that is cheaper, more slippery, stays wet longer and adheres strongly to the catheter which eases insertion and reduces damage on removal.
By transforming catheterisation into a quick and painless process patients can easily do themselves, Uroglide is expected to save medical personnel time and, importantly, make a life-changing difference to the dignity and health of patients.
Uroglide is undergoing independent testing and expected to be available for use by patients in healthcare and home settings next year.
“With the training and mentoring provided through my Enterprise Fellowship, I hope to be able to confidently make the transition from the academic environment to the commercial world. I’m keen to develop my entrepreneurial skills and business acumen so that I can effectively drive the expansion of the company.”
Dr David Heath is founder and CEO of Cutitronics Ltd, a spin-out company from the University of Strathclyde. David identified a gap in the market for personalised, adaptive skin care which would harness the power of engineering and technology-based innovation, to support consumers in achieving their desired skincare and beauty results.
Cutitronics offers a menu of patented CutiTron™ technology including assessment of personal skin health, a unique method of automated skin stimulation to enhance topical product absorption and precise personalised product dosage. The technology becomes intuitive through adaptive coaching, supporting the consumer to achieve optimum results.
In August 2017 the company announced a strategic partnership with FTSE 100 Company Croda International plc, who recognised CutiTron™ technology as truly innovative and disruptive for the personal care industry. The partnership will support David and the Cutitronics team to progress their ambitious growth and development plans, taking the technology from prototype to market-ready.
"Breaking into such a huge and established market is both an exciting and challenging prospect. The experience of my mentor, Dr Jeremy Burroughes, will be invaluable in this respect, and gaining this recognition for my technology from the Royal Academy of Engineering stands me in excellent stead to take it to market."
Ben is a research associate at Imperial College London and a founder of MicroTech Ceramic Ltd. The company is producing new catalytic convertor technology to reduce exhaust emissions in vehicles.
Catalytic convertors are used in engines to convert the pollutants in exhaust gas into less toxic pollutants. This is done by using ceramic substrates to connect exhaust gas with the catalyst.
Innovations and advances in this field had plateaued in the last decade, but MicroTech’s system has changed that.
Ben has developed an advanced structure of the substrate that provides a larger surface area for the contact and thereby make it more efficient.
This drastically reduces the quantity of precious metal required in the catalyst and the production cost of the catalytic converter overall.
The new structure also delivers a two to three percent fuel saving and offers high performance
cars an equivalent increase in engine power.
Microtech's system means the size of catalytic convertors can be reduced by around 50%. As this offers engine and exhaust system designers greater freedom, it is a benefit that has already garnered significant interest from the automotive industry.
“Having spent two years beginning to commercialise my technology, I’m now at the stage where the project needs support from experienced and like-minded individuals to develop collaborations, generate funding and fully understand customer needs. With its focus on helping researchers quickly make the transition from academia to operating as a fully-fledged entrepreneur, the Enterprise Hub is the perfect support platform.”
Scientists use atomic force microscopes to examine matter such as biological cells and bacteria at the nanoscale.
Loren set out to develop the fastest one in the world, and achieved this ground-breaking goal in 2014.
His project is unique in that it can map not only the height of the sample surface but also its stiffness and conductance with nanometre resolution.
The microscope has a touch screen interface so that scientists can use ‘multi-touch’ gestures much like on smartphones to interact with samples in real time.
This improves usability, makes analysis quicker.and opens up new ways of manipulating samples. And it lets non-skilled operators control the instrument.
Having already invested significant time in his research at the University of Bristol, Loren is now commercialising the project through his company Bristol NanoDynamics. It promises to be even more of a game-changer in future.
“I have spent the last ten years developing and refining my technology, and now is the time to take this work to the next stage and begin to really revolutionise nanoscale imaging. Working with the Enterprise Hub is the ideal opportunity for me to learn how to do this successfully and ensure it is available to users around the world.”
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.
Dr Supti Sarkar leads the Technology and Investments Group at PwC. She is responsible for the commercialisation of new tech ventures across the firm, and works with in-house entrepreneurs to get their products market ready.
Supti was formally a management consultant at PA Consulting, where she worked with international and regional governments to support their trade and investment strategies. She was also part of Mayor Sadiq Khan's 2016 delegation to Chicago and New York as part of her role in supporting high growth companies entering the US market for the first time. Supti holds a first class degree and PhD in engineering from University College London and is mum to an eight-year-old daughter.
Dr Douglas C Anderson OBE FREng FRSE has a 40-year business career covering almost every aspect, at every level, of healthcare technology product design and product commercialisation processes.
Having trained in industrial design engineering (Edinburgh Napier University 1974), Douglas progressed from hands on designer to the management of design in the high-tech arena.
Using his consulting company Crombie Anderson as a base for innovation and incubation, he subsequently spun out three other high-tech startup companies, two of which became publicly traded business operating in medical fields.
Douglas was the prime mover in these businesses by leading both the innovation and commercialisation processes, including raising over £40 million in private and institutional funding prior to floatation. Today he is internationally recognised for his innovation and entrepreneurial experience and is a regular keynote speaker at healthcare and business congresses around the world.
In 1990, his five-year-old son Leif suffered a spontaneous retinal detachment that went undetected until it was too late to treat. Douglas was struck by the limited capability of diagnostic tools available to practitioners to examine the retina and decided to address this issue. He built a dedicated research team, which led to the formation of Optos plc, a business funded by Archangel from the outset.
Optos succeeded in designing and patenting a scanning laser ophthalmoscope: the world's first ophthalmic device that enabled eye care professionals to capture a digital ultra wide-field image of the almost the entire retina in a single scan. The new method of examining the retina, marketed as the optomap® Retinal Exam, is now offered as the preferred standard of care by tens of thousands of eye-care specialists globally. Over 200 million optomap® retinal exams have been conducted worldwide and a number of novel diagnostic techniques added to improve the understanding and treatment of a wider range of conditions that have been historically difficult to manage.
In 2006 Douglas was awarded an OBE for services to healthcare. Douglas was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2013.
David is an investor and CEO with companies based on technology and innovation.
After a degree in electrical engineering at the Technion and an MBA from INSEAD, David worked his way to senior management and board level in a wide range of sectors including sustainability, construction, life sciences, manufacturing, mobile telephony, cyber security and software. His broad experience ranges from startups to public companies, from turnaround missions and crisis management to business development and growth.
David is deeply involved in the UK startup space, as a member of UKBAA, VCs, EIS funds and university angel groups, and is an active mentor with the Royal Academy of Engineering and Imperial College London’s IVMS programme. He also serves as a non-executive on the board of directors of Kerur Holdings (a public company), the board of governors of the Technion, as an advisor with the US accelerator Silicon Catalyst and the board of trustees of Hadassah UK.
He believes that success comes from a culture of excellence, a multidisciplinary approach, and that the boundaries between B2B/B2C and startups/LargeCo are increasingly blurred.
"Startups challenge and can defeat established companies. An explosion of new technologies will accelerate this trend. Large companies cannot afford to be on the defensive, they must proactively adopt a startup culture. But startups must also learn to be humble and pragmatic, build structures, communicate at a senior level, and strive to serve all their stakeholders, clients, staff, investors, and society as a whole. A fusion of cultures is now pivotal to success."
Richard joined sustainability investment focused Earth Capital Group in 2009 and has worked both on the group’s investment in investment managers and direct growth company investments, including most recently the fund’s investments in SoftIron and Propelair. He takes a leading role in promoting technology transfer opportunities across the group’s international offices.
Prior to joining Earth Capital, Richard was an Investment Director with IBIS Asset Management Ltd, a London-based captive advisor to a large Caribbean conglomerate. Richard was earlier a senior manager in the London office of L.E.K. Consulting, a global strategy consultancy. During his five years with LEK he provided due diligence advice, in numerous large cap and mid-market private equity deals, and advised corporate clients on corporate strategy, business unit growth strategy, process redesign and cost reduction programmes.
A chartered engineer, his early career included successful engineering, operations and customer support management roles with Ford Motor Company and Visteon Corporation. Richard holds an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD and MEng and MA (First Class) degrees in engineering from the University of Cambridge. He is a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment, and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and a Sainsbury Management Fellow.
Dr Andrew Hosty FREng is an international leader with over 15 years of non-executive board experience and 30 years of executive and management experience, spanning private equity, UK Plc and global blue-chip corporates. He is non-executive director of a companies including: RHI-Magnesita, the global leader in the manufacture and supply of refractories; James Cropper Plc, who create some of the world’s most distinctive and technically advanced paper products; and Rights and Issues Investment Trust Plc, a fund that focuses on small cap UK industrials.
Andrew is Non-Executive Chairman of mOm Incubators ltd, a pre-revenue startup developing low-cost baby incubators for crisis zones. He is also Non-Executive Chairman of Nexeon ltd, a company developing next-generation cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries. From 2016 to 2018 Andrew was the CEO of the Sir Henry Royce Institute, the UK's home of advanced materials research and innovation. He was Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Advanced Materials, and served on the Plc Board as an Executive Director from 2010 to 2016.
From 2013 to 2016 he served on the board
of Consort Medical Plc, a healthcare company focused on developing advanced
delivery technologies, formulation and manufacturing solutions for drugs. He is
a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, holds a PhD from the Faculty of
Engineering at the University of Sheffield and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy
of Engineering (2011).
Chris McIntosh joined Methera Global as CEO in 2017. The company’s vision is to enable the delivery of digital applications to rural and underserved communities worldwide via a resilient constellation of Ka band MEO satellites. He previously spent seven years as CEO of ViaSat UK where he was responsible for the inception and growth of ViaSat’s UK satellite capabilities. Headquartered in the US, ViaSat are renowned as being one of the most disruptive players in the satellite communications and security domain.
Before joining ViaSat Chris was CEO of Stonewood Group, developers of state-of-the-art cyber products and services. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the British Army and has worked within the challenging, high threat cyber and communications environment for over 30 years. He holds a BSc in computer science, MSc in design of computer systems and an MBA. He is a member of the UKspace trade association and the National Security and Resilience Consortium, and is a chartered engineer.
Roy Williamson has been helping companies see how their new innovations can disrupt markets for over 20 years.
For the past six years has been successfully helping early stage companies identify and define their strengths, enhance their uniqueness and develop their storylines to engage investors. Roy’s background is in engineering and cleantech and since 2013, he’s been supporting SMEs and entrepreneurs across a broad area of technologies and innovative business models.
Roy is an aeronautical engineer and started his career at Alstom, developing algorithms and models to estimate hardware costs of power generation gas turbines based purely on, often novel, thermodynamic cycles. He has assessed innovation ecosystems of the UK, published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. He has also co-authored guides to support technology developers in the UK automotive sector assess technology readiness levels and help those in the biofuels sector to review pathways for second generation biofuels. He’s appraised novel technology solutions for blue-chip clients, developed proof of concepts and carried out due diligence activities to support investor decision making. He is passionate about the UK and knowledge-intensive companies, from software to deeptech.
Roy is Head of Origination at the Department for International Trade with relationships across the department’s teams, government and the UK’s innovation and investment ecosystem.
Professor Mark Arthur Tooley FREng is the immediate Past President of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine. He was the Head of the Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering and Director of Research and Development at the Royal United Hospitals, Bath until 2017 when he retired from full-time NHS work. Since then, he has held several part-time roles. He is a specialist scientific advisor for NHS England, a digital clinical advisor for the West of England Academic Health Science network, and a healthcare technology consultant. He is a registered Consultant Clinical Scientist, an honorary professor at the University of Bath, and a visiting professor at the University of the West of England.
Mark completed his BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Bath in 1979. He was sponsored by Westinghouse Brake and Signal company for the four years of the course. He then did an MSc and PhD in Medical Physics at the University of London. His MSc thesis was developing a EEG frequency analyser for anaesthesia. For his PhD research, Mark invented (with a cardiologist) an original method for rate-independent diagnosis of cardiac rhythm for implantable devices, which was patented. He spent the rest of his career in Medical Physics and Bioengineering departments, both in hospitals and academia, working along medical colleagues. He has worked at St Bartholomew’s hospital in London, Bristol University, United Bristol healthcare NHS Trust, and the Royal United Hospital, Bath. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal College of Physicians, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, and the Institute of Physics. He is a chartered engineer and chartered scientist. Mark is on the peer-review college of EPSRC, has recently been a member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Healthcare Technologies Strategic Advisory Team and the Royal Society Fellowship panel.
Mark has been a long-standing member of the Panel for Biomedical Engineering at the Royal Academy of Engineering (now called the healthcare policy topic group). He was recently a member of the biomedical engineering membership panel, the Policy Committee, and the working group for Systems thinking in healthcare. He has mentored on the enterprise scheme.
Mark’s research interests include innovations in medicine, physics applications in anaesthesia, simulation in medicine, physiological measurement, biological signal processing, measuring the depth of anaesthesia, blood pressure measurement and novel patient monitoring solutions.
Dr Liane Smith FREng founded Intetech Ltd in 1991, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2012 for its software. She sold the business to Wood Group in 2013 and in 2018 she left to form a new consulting engineering business, Larkton Ltd.
Liane is enthusiastic about the capability of digital technologies to transform businesses, bringing efficiencies, cost reduction, production control and increasing safety. In her last role as Senior Vice President Digital Solutions for Wood, she built the new global service line and defined its strategy roadmap and development plan. Her expertise is in various specialist branches of engineering in the industrial and energy sectors and in software product design and commercialisation, data management, data analysis, and analytics.
“I try to fill in gaps in mentees experience and give them confidence in their decisions. Typically we touch on building strong teams, role and task delegation, agile development, growing sales, exporting and strategy."