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.
MediSieve helps doctors to rapidly target and remove infected cells from a patient’s bloodstream using a technique known as magnetic blood filtration. The new approach forms the foundation of the company’s device for targeting bacteria and pathogens.
MediSieve’s technology is currently being developed for use in treating blood-borne diseases such as Malaria, many of which can be fatal. Malaria causes six million people to be hospitalised globally each year, 120,000 of whom will die. The filtering device can also be used to treat sepsis or to target abnormal white blood cells caused by leukaemia and improve treatment and therapy options.
Cristina Blanco Andujar, Head of Research and Development, has responsibility for all aspects of product development from design to clinical trials and regulatory approval. With support from the SME Leaders Programme, Cristina is motivated to improve her commercial skills and establish a sales-to-market strategy that can adapt and respond to different audiences and markets.
MediSieve has generated significant funding to support product development. As the team grows, Cristina’s goal is to help MediSieve embed a shared vision to help the company thrive.
Loowatt designs and manufactures high quality, waterless flush toilets that could significantly improve access to adequate sanitation and hygiene where it is most needed. According to the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, 60% of the global population does not have access to safely managed sanitation, meaning that untreated waste from 4.3 billion people enters our environment every day. Loowatt toilets offer a safe and simple solution with a patented flushing technology that locks in odour and disease without using water or chemicals.
Virginia Gardiner, Founder and CEO, developed the technology and now leads the company in establishing a robust strategy and vision for growth. Loowatt has successfully generated revenue by operating toilets and waste processing in a range of contexts, from outdoor events in the UK to easy-to-install, outdoor toilets for homes in Madagascar. The company now aims to manufacture and sell universally-applicable, waterless flush toilets and sanitation solutions to a range of global markets.
Virginia aims to use training and support from the SME Leaders Programme to advance the company’s fundraising strategy as it develops plans to scale manufacturing processes and sell its products to international utilities.
Skin Analytics has developed a new screening technology that uses artificial intelligence to quickly and accurately detect melanoma skin cancer. The company’s machine learning algorithms can identify skin cancer from an image of a skin lesion captured with a specialist lens, helping clinicians to ensure that more cases of melanoma are caught at the earliest stage.
Since 2015, over 15,000 cases of melanoma skin cancer have been diagnosed in the UK. Skin Analytics’ technology can be integrated into mobile, internet-connected tools for rapid screening. This improves patient outcomes by making it faster and easier for people to get referrals for biopsies and other specialist support needed to help them survive the disease.
Jack Greenhalgh, Head of Artificial Intelligence, leads in designing and validating the machine learning algorithms behind the technology. With Skin Analytics core product moving from research and clinical validation into real-world use, Jack also has a role defining the company’s strategy for future research. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Jack’s ambition is to build a research team to explore how its technology might support diagnosis of other skin cancers along with skin conditions such as acne and eczema.
Medical 3D printing can be used to provide clinicians with access to accurate, personalised anatomical models to support preoperative planning. This improves diagnosis, saving hours in surgery. It also improves patient outcomes by reducing the likelihood of complications and increasing opportunities for less invasive surgery.
Globally, over three million complex surgical cases could benefit from 3D printing. Through a combination of software and expert services, axial3D aims to make 3D printing more accessible across the healthcare sector. Niall Haslam, Chief Technology Officer, leads in developing the software for augmenting and automating the production of 3D printable models of human anatomy using medical images.
Technology engineered by axial3D has been proven to save time in theatre at hospitals local to the company’s manufacturing base in Northern Ireland. The company now plans to build on this by further developing its services in the UK and Republic of Ireland while branching into new international point of care markets, such as the US.
Niall leads a rapidly-growing team of engineers involved in refining manufacturing processes and designing new services. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Niall’s vision is to support the development of the team while fostering a culture of innovation and continued growth at axial3D.
A patented technology, developed by VOID, is enabling the production of a new generation of high-performance products with significantly reduced levels of plastic. Known as VO+, the technology engineers micro- and nano-scale hollow cavities (voids) into plastics, for products such as flexible packaging, to create products with up to 50% less material.
Dr Graeme Karney, Chief Operating Officer, leads the company’s business development activity, manufacturing operations and supply chain. The company is scaling its technology and bringing it into the rapidly growing plastic film market. VO+ offers a substantial positive impact for product sustainability in a world with increasing focus on plastic products. It uses conventional manufacturing equipment to cost-effectively produce plastic products that use less material and are mechanically enhanced.
As VOID establishes its manufacturing operations and pilot laboratory, Graeme leads in building commercial relationships and embedding efficient operating structures and processes to support rapid growth as VO+ goes to market.
Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Graeme aims to strengthen his skills in managing technical operations and development, while also drawing on guidance from a mentor with experience in the materials manufacturing sector.
Accurate gas sensing enables better environmental monitoring and can be used in advanced process analysis in industrial settings. This allows companies to optimise processes and drives environmental efficiency in industries including oil and gas, petrochemical and environmental science.
MIRICO has developed a new laser sensing technology for real-time gas sensing. Its high-performance solutions accurately measure a range of gases, providing tools to better quantify emissions, enhance processes and improve safety across facilities through reliable detection of harmful molecules.
MIRICO’s platform can remotely detect, localise and quantify emissions of gases such as methane, a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide that causes more than $2 billion in lost revenue due to product loss from accidental emissions.
Its technology offers advantages over current methods, many of which rely on large, fragile instruments that are costly to maintain. MIRICO’s solutions can be fitted in situ or used remotely and perform well in challenging environments such as fog and snow.
With MIRICO gaining traction, Mohammed Belal, Co-Founder, has a central role in leading business development. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Mohammed aims to develop skills for leading a strong sales team, negotiating new business partnerships and mapping the market for new products to help MIRICO’s growth.
Diffblue is disrupting traditional computer programming by automating everyday tasks such as bug fixing, test-writing and translation across computer languages.
Diffblue is a University of Oxford spin-out that combines artificial intelligence with software analysis to make coding safer, more efficient and more cost-effective. Its core technology builds on over 15 years of research and uses automated reasoning techniques to easily understand existing code. This information can be used by the software to write tests, identify and repair bugs or automatically recognise and rewrite code that is poorly expressed or out of date, a process known as refactoring.
With increasing sales of its core product, Peter Schrammel, Chief Technical Officer, has a key role in coordinating technology development to support sustainable growth at Diffblue. He has a keen focus on working across teams such as product engineering, marketing and sales to avoid knowledge gaps between services.
Through the SME Leaders Programme, Peter aims to extend his leadership skills beyond engineering management and strengthen skills in effective communication and engagement to improve decision-making across both technical and non-technical challenges as the company grows in scale.
Paragraf has developed transformative manufacturing processes to make high-quality, large area graphene, bringing the full capabilities of the material to a range of advanced technologies. The University of Cambridge spin out works in partnership with collaborators to deliver commercially viable products that can benefit society.
Led by Dr Simon Thomas, CEO, Paragraf has had early success in manufacturing game-changing, graphene-based electronics by developing scalable processes for a range of markets. So far, Paragraf has developed approaches to utilise graphene’s high conductivity and thermal abilities to create ultra-sensitive sensors. Paragraf’s future target markets include using graphene in sustainable energy production, energy storage solutions and electronic devices, such as touchscreens and flexible mobile devices, which make use of graphene’s flexibility and transparency.
With support from the SME Leaders Programme, Simon manages strategy and operations as Paragraf moves from technology transfer to commercial viability. Training through the programme will help Simon in developing partnerships and building strategic business management skills to support the early-stage company in further commercial exploitation as its first products go to market.
CyberOwl develops technologies to help industry tackle the rising levels of risk associated with cyber threats. Effective cyber security is a critical concern for large-scale industry, with 24% of the world’s industrial control systems estimated to be under attack, a figure that is said to be rising annually. CyberOwl’s solutions use advanced security analytics to accurately target and identify threats at the extreme data scale to effectively support risk management.
Dr Daniel Tilley, Principal Analytics Scientist, manages the team that drives the analytical capability behind CyberOwl’s solutions. This includes CyberOwl’s first product, Medulla, an intuitive, risk-prioritisation platform that allows industry leaders to easily identify and respond to the cyber threats facing their most valuable assets.
As part of CyberOwl’s leadership team, Daniel is developing a corporate strategy for scaling the technology to access the market for cyber security in industrial systems, which has an estimated value of over £13 billion by 2022.
Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Daniel aims to strengthen his technical expertise, leadership and management skills to build a high-performance team to support the company’s growth.
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."