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.
Methane leakage from a gas distribution network (GDN) has serious environmental and financial implications. Methane is 84 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2 and it causes an estimated the global loss in revenue of £16 billion. The most practical way of reducing leakage is through improved management of the pressures in networks. However, existing technology is time-consuming to install and needs constant manual intervention.
Utonomy has developed an innovative control system that includes a motorised actuator, which can be retrofitted to gas governors already installed across a GDN, and a cloud-based data platform. Utonomy’s grid-monitoring software and algorithms allow GDNs to better control and manage pressures on their network.
Claire-Elise Orleach is the Head of Business Development at Utonomy. She is responsible for the company’s stakeholder management across gas utilities and for its sales and marketing initiatives. Claire-Elise joined the SME Leaders programme in 2020 and says: “The training, mentorship and coaching offered by the programme will be a support to me and the company as we the transition to commercialisation. There will be significant opportunities in the UK as the gas grid is digitised and Utonomy aims to lead in this space with smartgrid solutions.”
Utonomy’s new technology has the potential to greatly reduce the global problem of methane leakage from GDNs worldwide. Following a series of trials, Utonomy is about to launch its first product. Its innovation should enable GDNs to achieve their environmental targets and improve their operational efficiency.
Autonomous vehicles promise to revolutionise mobility by reducing road accidents, removing mobility barriers for older and disabled people, and reducing traffic congestion. However, safely navigating autonomous vehicles is challenging. To date, approximately $1 billion has been invested but no imaging system has been able to accurately meet all key performance requirements.
LIDAR is an advanced vision technique used to navigate autonomous vehicles. An infrared detector enables the LIDAR system to see. Phlux has created a breakthrough detector technology that will drastically increase the measurement range of LIDAR systems enabling autonomous cars to see further, lowering rates of misdetection, and improving data quality and confidence. These all translate to safer navigation.
Over the next 12 months, Phlux will develop prototype detectors and demonstrate them in commercial LIDAR systems to validate its value proposition. In the next year, Ben is looking forward to establishing commercial partnerships and refining his business model.
The infrared sensors market is expected to experience rapid growth over the next few years, driven by the demand for LIDAR-based advanced driver assisted systems. The automotive infrared sensor market alone is predicted to reach £150 million by 2026, with 46% compound annual growth rate.
Phlux has been supported by the North by Northwest ICURe team, Innovate UK, Research England and the University of Sheffield.
“Being from a technical background I recognise that I need to develop new business skills if I am to fulfil my ambitions for Phlux. The Enterprise Fellowship is an incredible opportunity for me to develop the skills, network and confidence I need to become a successful entrepreneur.”
There is a need to manufacture new materials to produce lighter planes, cars and vehicles.
iCOMAT is a University of Bristol spinout that has developed a patented process for making advanced carbon fibre composites. These are lighter, stronger and more cost-effective than the current state-of-the-art processes used in the aerospace, automotive and marine sectors.
The sum of annual fuel bills for airlines globally can exceed $200 billion . iCOMAT’s technology can drastically reduce the weight of aerospace components (a 10% to 38% improvement over existing composite parts) and lead to significant economic and environmental benefits.
The next key milestone is to demonstrate the benefits of this technology through pilot projects the company has already secured. This will help develop and finalise our manufacturing technique, utilising unidirectional tapes laid upon part moulds prior to loading known as tape laying.
So far, iCOMAT has secured two grant-funded projects, which are currently underway with Innovate UK as well as privately funded development contracts with leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
“I look forward to the Enterprise Fellowship and the support that is provided by the Royal Academy of Engineering. The network of the Academy and the expert mentorship will be invaluable in scaling up iCOMAT and its offering.”
Over the past decade, no sports injury has been discussed more in the media than concussion. With players getting fitter, faster and stronger, head-on tackles have the equivalent impact of a 40 mph car crash.
Although governing bodies have developed concussion protocols, they are too reliant on human observation, meaning the subtle changes in behaviour caused by an injury to the brain are often missed. Undiagnosed concussions can lead to serious, permanent health problems later in life or, worse still, death. There is an urgent need to improve the detection, monitoring and treatment of concussion.
Concussions disrupt vital communication between the brain and the body. Walking in a straight line, moving to intercept a ball, remembering a short sequence of numbers, and even buttoning a shirt can all become extremely problematic. INCISIV’s solution, VR-HIT, challenges our brain's ability to accomplish these tasks.
Cathy’s technology goes beyond observing and takes the guesswork out of head injury assessment. VR-HIT uses virtual reality to control what the brain sees and sensors to accurately measure how the brain responds. Analysis of brain responses provide key insight into how well the brain is functioning.
In England and Wales, 1.4 million patients per year attend hospital following a head injury, and it is the most common cause of death under the age of 40. While the main market segment is sport, VR-HIT will also help improve the management and treatment of all patients who suffer a concussion or are at risk of suffering concussion.
In the next 12 months, INCISIV aims to take VR-HIT to market by placing it directly into existing sectors where governing bodies dictate concussion protocols. It is working alongside Scottish Rugby to test the product directly within the buyer community. INCISIV will then explore routes into other sports where head injuries pose a significant risk, including soccer, ice hockey and boxing.
Like other cognitive-based products, INCISIV aims to sell VR-HIT into the pharmaceutical market to improve the testing of drugs’ behavioural effects in clinical trials.
Across the world, 30% of people don’t have access to safe drinking water. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the number of people with access to improved water services, but not safely managed, currently stands at around 1.4 billion. Many families in developing countries now have access to ‘basic water services’ but can’t drink the water. Although the water is clear, it still contains pathogens, meaning people become ill and therefore still need to boil or buy bottled water.
Blue Tap has designed a simple Chlorine Doser that has no moving parts. It inserts the correct amount of chlorine into a piped water system to make it safe to drink in accordance with WHO guidelines. An innovative hydraulic control system makes the Chlorine Doser function with a wide range of water pressures without a complex and time-consuming calibration process. The simple design makes it easy and cost-effective to produce, install and maintain.
Blue Tap end users are people who have access to piped water that is not safe to drink. They reach them through small water service providers, which include small utilities, community water networks, private boreholes and water kiosks.
Blue Tap will shortly reach its first key milestone, which is the first drinking water pilot to be installed in Kenya. The trial will last for one year and will assess user experience, longevity and community attitudes to chlorine.
Other funders include Innovate UK and prizes include:
Co-Founder, Head of Research, Xampla Ltd
Xampla Ltd is a spin-out from the University of Cambridge. The company has developed the world’s first plant protein material for commercial use. The material performs like synthetic polymers, but decomposes naturally and fully, without harming the environment. Xampla’s aim is to replace everyday single-use plastics like sachets and flexible packaging films as well as the less obvious, such as microplastics within liquids and lotions.
The material is made by using by-products of agriculture and food industries such as pea isolate protein. After concentrated vinegar, heat and energy have been added, Xampla engineers the plant proteins into a molecular structure similar to spider silk. This combination creates a material that is strong, flexible and transparent, much like conventional plastic.
Xampla has recently raised over £8 million in seed funding and is looking to rapidly expand. The company aims to ensure security of supply by identifying alternative plant protein sources and increasing production of its base material. It is also gathering evidence of its manufacturing potential using industry standard equipment.
Dr Marc Rodriguez- Garcia is a Co-Founder and Xampla’s Head of Research. He leads the technical development of the company’s new materials and their applications. Marc joined the Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2021. He says: “I feel that the training will help with strategic team development like managing talented and senior employees. That will help us achieve sustainable growth as we scale up. I’m also interested in finding ways of identifying new markets for our products.”
Microplastics are commonly added to fabric softeners, shampoos and cosmetics, AND agricultural and industrial products. Many end up in the ocean, where they are ingested by marine life. Xampla is helping the transition from traditional plastics to a high performance, non-synthetic alternative.
For updates from Xampla, you can follow their Twitter channel here.
There are five million social homes in the UK and many landlords struggle to know what is going on inside them, hindering them from reducing operating costs and improving quality of life for tenants. To help them do this, Switchee Ltd supplies 90 of the biggest housing providers with a scalable technology solution providing insights and analytics from its tens of thousands internet-connected thermostats.
Switchee has built its own hardware and connects to the cloud via the mobile phone network, rather than relying on residents’ own internet connections. Its patented device has motion, light, humidity, temperature, and air pressure sensors that enables it to judge how quickly a property heats and cools. Using this data, the system can then optimise heat settings remotely. The technology has been independently proven to reduce energy bills by 17%.
The humidity readings can help determine the risk of mould growth, and the other sensors can help pinpoint common housing stock maintenance issues, such as poor insulation or a failing boiler. The social housing provider Flagship Group is placing the Switchee device in 20,000 of its homes and can already see that for every pound invested in the technology, net two pounds is generated in operating efficiencies and a further two pounds in savings for residents.
Tom Robins originally trained as a chemical engineer and joined Switchee as its Chief Strategy Officer in 2020, becoming CEO a year later. Tom is responsible for helping structure the company’s short- to long-term objectives with its stakeholders and supporting his team to deliver them. He joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2022 and says, “I am looking forward to taking time to invest in my personal development and to learn from the coaching and mentoring. I will then use the resulting skills and expertise to stay ahead of the curve and prepare for our next challenges.”
Switchee’s potential has already been spotted and it has received millions of pounds in Series A and other funding. The company is further developing its connected hub for rented homes to enhance the way residents interact with their properties and help landlords manage their homes. Switchee’s momentum is likely to enable it to treble its revenue in the next 18 months.
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, CytoSeek
Of the 20 million new cancer cases diagnosed each year worldwide, 85% are solid tumours. Unfortunately, solid tumours are resistant to cell therapies. CytoSeek Ltd, a spin-out from the University of Bristol, has developed artificial membrane-binding protein (AMBP) technology for the next generation of cell therapies that will target solid tumours.
In early 2021, the discovery-stage biotech company successfully raised a £3.57 million seed round. This will allow CytoSeek to expand its research programme and the operational team to address this unmet need.
Dr Ben Carter is Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at CytoSeek. Ben is responsible for running operations, project management, patenting matters, liaising with collaborators, and dealing with contracts and suppliers. He joined the Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2021 and says: “I look forward to networking with like-minded businesspeople, which will be useful in uncovering unknown-unknowns. In addition, there will be people with investment experience and that will allow me to further develop my negotiation skills.”
CytoSeek is developing a broad pipeline of therapeutics based on its patented AMBP platform. Its mission for cell therapies to treat cancerous solid tumours is well underway. When it closes its forthcoming Series A financing round, the company will proceed to clinical trials and scale up its manufacturing capabilities.
For updates from CytoSeek, you can follow their Twitter channel here.
Chief Product Officer, Riverlane
Quantum computers have the potential to scale up computing power considerably. This would allow algorithm and app developers to accelerate their research by making collaboration easier and reduce down-time in labs. Such a leap would drive innovation in a range of industries such as pharmaceutical, materials and energy.
However, the problem of how hardware and software interact while enabling the best possible performance of a quantum computer has been slowing down this development. In 2020, Riverlane, a University of Cambridge spin-out, released Deltaflow.OS. Deltaflow gives software developers access to all types of quantum computers at a high performance level. It provides a shared language for applications and quantum hardware development.
Riverlane’s rapid progress has helped it raise over £14 million in Series A funding and the first contract to supply quantum software to the UK’s National Quantum Computing Centre.
Dr Leonie Mueck joined Riverlane in 2019 and is its Chief Product Officer, responsible for product strategy and delivery. Leonie joined the Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2021 and is looking to further develop her communication skills. She says: “In addition, I want to improve my knowledge of good delivery practices, especially when it comes to growing a product and engineering organisation quickly.”
Riverlane’s mission is to build a quantum operating system that is high performance, portable across all qubit technologies and scalable to millions of qubits. The company already collaborates with 30% of the world’s quantum hardware companies with Deltaflow.OS. It is now looking to increase this and exponentially speed up computations in areas like drug discovery and new battery technologies.
For updates from Riverlane, you can follow their Twitter channel here.
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.
Formerly the UK Innovation Director for Atkins, Elspeth is the CEO and Founder of IAND, a digital platform that helps major enterprises manage multiple suppliers.
Initially graduating as a chemist, Elspeth later turned her hand to transport and urban design, demonstrating business and technical leadership on over 100 transport planning projects both nationally and around the world.
Elspeth chairs the Enterprise Hub’s Innovators Network and is a judge for the Hub’s Launchpad Competition. She is also a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
In 2017, Elspeth was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to Engineering and Enterprise.
“I believe that collaboration within our industry is the key to driving innovation faster. I am so proud to be involved with the Enterprise Hub, as a Mentor, and as Chair of the Innovators Network and to support young entrepreneurs as a Judge on Launchpad competition.
It is rare to find a place which brings together startups and established companies to exchange ideas and learn from each other. We have a shared goal which is to fast track the growth of engineering enterprises in the UK. The Enterprise Hub has helped me grow my business and it is helping young engineers build the businesses of the future.”
Paul Excell is an award-winning entrepreneur, investor and global executive leader with an impressive track record of delivering growth and transformation in startups, scale-ups, global corporates and is passionate about social mobility. He is Chief Operating Officer and Non-Executive Director at ScaleUp Group™️, providing tech scaleups with unique insights from successful entrepreneurs with over $4 billion in exits plus patient equity/debt growth funding (£2 million to £20 million). He has six tech clients in the growth portfolio, and his clients have raised £30 million to date.
In addition to this, Paul is Co-Founder and Chair of Global iLabs, Founder and CEO of Excelerate™️ and Non-Executive Director with Knowledge Gateway (University of Essex). He acts as a judge and mentor for the UK Enterprise Awards and the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Launchpad Innovation Award and SME Leaders.
Paul was previously Chief Customer Innovation Officer, Chief Operating Officer/Group Technology Officer, SVP[PS1] Global at BT, Chair/member of several business Boards (UK and Spain, Nordics, AsiaPac) and sat on BT Group Board committees on Technology, Risk and Diversity. He was an Engineering Council Board member and acted as advisor to UN Secretary General on sustainability, technology and innovation.
He started his career as an apprentice and is now a chartered engineer (CEng), Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET), the Chartered Institute for IT (FBCS) and Court Liveryman, Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.
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.
As an entrepreneur and communications professional, Helen's mission is to help businesses do more good in the world. After nearly 15 years working in government relations and leadership communications, Helen set up her own boutique communications agency, HN Communications. A smaller and more person-centred alternative to bigger agencies, HN Communications works with large and small clients to deliver complex communications projects. Clients include Bosch, Heineken, Nissan and The Climate Group.
Helen founded her latest venture, Leaders LIVE in 2020, just as COVID-19 hit. Leaders LIVE fills a much-needed gap in the market for an independent, online platform for thought leadership and debate. Leaders LIVE brings together leaders from business, government and NGOs to debate some of the biggest challenges facing our world today, from tackling climate change to addressing diversity. After only a year Leaders LIVE has built a dedicated community, with live events hosted on LinkedIn and YouTube. Events regularly have hundreds of live attendees, with thousands more catching up on the replay.
With a mechanical engineering degree from Imperial College London and an MBA from Erasmus, Mike is a chartered engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a Sainsbury Management Fellow.
He has led turnarounds, helped establish new businesses and delivered complex projects; challenging and coaching teams to innovate and transcend existing performance. Mike’s experience includes senior operations, project and corporate roles with Royal Dutch Shell UK, and large-scale project development and delivery roles at Alstom in locations across Europe, Asia and North America. Most recently he has been a Director at Centrica Energy, where he is responsible for one of the company’s largest operated gas businesses. He is a Non-Executive Director of Acqualithium and Vice-Chair of the Board of Hymers College.
Naomi started her career at the National Criminal Intelligence Service (now the National Crime Agency), where she spent three years looking at fraud and financial crime intelligence. It included a stint working with the FBI in Quantico, Virginia. She then moved to RBS, where she spent 10 years working in various risk roles, across both the first and second line of defence.
Most recently, Naomi has been working at LBG as a Director in the Chief Resilience and Security Office, where she led on operational resilience and cyber and information security policy. She co-founded the Operational Resilience Collaboration Group, made up of more than 40 firms working together to build resilience in the industry, and co-authored the ORCG industry standard on operational resilience. Naomi also developed the ‘Mind the Gap’ initiative across various FTSE100 companies, with senior women giving inspirational talks and providing mentorships to help encourage more women into careers in security.
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.
Richard has significant experience in managing early stage and high-growth investor-backed businesses. He has spent the last 20 years finding, building and exiting these, investing in many.
He has a strong focus on numbers, financial models, strategic and execution planning, and risk management. He has a toolkit of methodologies to call on to help businesses grow.
He is an experienced non-executive director of both SME and PLC (AIM) companies, has a good knowledge of the funding landscape and is well networked (UK and global) with connections to most Venture Capital, PE, lawyer, accountant and High Net Worth Investor communities. He has led and advised on many fundraises, including: grant; EIS and SEIS High Net Worth Investors; Venture Capital Trust; crowdfunding; ‘follow-ons’; Series A; ‘new’ such as, revenue-based funding; and all forms of debt.
Richard is a trained mentor and coach and able to challenge and win trust at the same time. He has designed and delivered incubator and accelerator structures and programmes.
He founded and runs Realise Capital, a strategic financial and growth practice, is a chartered accountant (FCA) and previously has had roles as co-founder, CEO and corporate finance director. He has seen and had to deal with most situations that arise on a growth journey and can be hands on if the need arises. He has supported more than 75 ambitious founders to achieve exits in excess of £150 million and raise investment in excess of £25 million.
Amelia is a Senior Growth Architect at BCG Digital Ventures. She has more than five years’ experience building and scaling numerous B2B and B2C tech startups in the UK, US, Dubai and France. She has also worked with some of the world’s largest corporates to accelerate their marketing, sales and e-commerce efforts.
Her capabilities include competitive market intelligence, data-driven marketing experiments, analytics, go-to-market strategies, proposition development, digital marketing, and creating martech stacks across traditional and digital channels. Prior to BCG Digital Ventures, Amelia was a Growth Strategy Consultant at Manifesto Growth and Head of Brand and Partnerships at TRIBE.