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.
Optical sensors developed by Oxsensis meet the challenge of taking precise measurements in harsh and hostile conditions. For industries that rely on high-accuracy measurements, its sensors capture data for variables such as temperature, pressure and acceleration and deliver it via optical fibres for use in monitoring systems.
With technology based on the micro-machining of super resistant materials such as single-crystal sapphire, Oxsensis optical sensor systems can optimise performance in a range of applications and industries. In aerospace, they can be used in flight systems to manage safe propulsion of aircraft. In oil and gas, they support efficient gas turbine monitoring to help with clean energy production.
Oxsensis is becoming firmly established as a manufacturer of optical sensors that track variables in real-time. As a non-electrical system, it can achieve this at extremely high temperatures (over 1,000°C), with immunity to interference from electromagnetic fields. This allows systematic observation in critical systems, leading to savings in size and cost, while improving safety.
Ian Macafee, CEO, has been an SME Leader since 2018 and has benefited from mentoring and an extended peer network, which help with managing the challenges of an expanding business. Since receiving the award, his team has grown to 32 employees, an increase of four staff. Oxsensis has also secured equity investment and opened a scale up finance round of investment. This will support the company’s vision for well-managed, long-term, sustainable growth.
Co-founder and Chief Science Officer, Adaptix Ltd
A planar (flat) X-ray imaging solution developed by Adaptix Ltd could significantly improve the availability of 3D X-ray diagnosis.
X-ray is the most commonly used imaging technique in healthcare, supporting clinicians in accurately diagnosing disease and trauma. However, most methods involve bulky, expensive equipment, which can result in limited accessibility for many.
Adaptix aims to transform this situation with its lightweight, portable X-ray imaging solutions. The technology is cost-effective, energy efficient and harnesses the strengths of emerging techniques, such as digital tomosynthesis. It produces high quality 3D X-ray imagery and increased diagnostic accuracy.
Making X-ray imaging techniques more mobile will ensure that those who had poor access before, will benefit from rapid, accurate diagnosis for a range of conditions. These range from cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases to lung cancer and osteoporosis.
Dr Gil Travis, Co-founder and Chief Science Officer, leads Adaptix work on developing novel X-ray sources for medical imaging. Since becoming an SME Leader in 2017, Dr Travis, and other members of the management team, have benefited from access to specialised training to support the company’s goals to scale the business, raise revenue and secure capital.
Adaptix has raised over £8 million in equity and published over 50 patents. With its first products launching soon, the company is well-positioned to make a groundbreaking impact on medical and dental practice. It has also identified other uses for its 3D imaging technology with industrial, security and veterinary applications.
CCm Technologies has developed patented technology that converts captured CO2 from industrial power generators and other waste streams into materials such as fertilisers, soil conditioners and plastics.
In 2019, the company applied this technology to its first full-scale fertiliser plant, which was deployed at a Viridor’s multi-waste site in Somerset the following year. This is capable of annually transforming 6,500 tonnes of anaerobic digestate cake into 13,000 tonnes of high-grade compound fertiliser. The excess heat from the exothermic operation is then used in the pasteurisation process.
CCm Technologies continues to break new ground. It has developed a fibre that absorbs large amounts of CO2, which can then be incorporated into a wide range of plastics, such as polypropolene, polythene and polyamide.
As CCm’s CEO, Pawel Kisielewski is responsible for all non-technical issues. He has helped oversee rapid growth in the company since he was enrolled into the SME Leaders initiative in 2018.
The company’s innovatory work has been recognised by the Carbon Trust and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which recently allocated £1 million for CCm Technologies and Severn Trent to explore new ways to recycle wastewater in the sewerage process and convert it into a commercial product.
CCm is one of the 16 founder members of the Sustainable Markets Council, a platform created in February 2020 by HRH The Prince of Wales with the support of the World Economic Forum to drive the transformation to sustainable markets – Build Back Better. The company is now aiming to expand internationally, especially in Canada and the US.
“The programme has provided access to a central London location and high-quality master classes – such as in media training and public speaking. One of the other positive spin offs from this scheme has been the chance to become part of a cadre of fellow engineering entrepreneurs.”
Anaemia is defined by a low red blood cell count. It is the world’s second leading cause of disability, with 1.6 billion sufferers globally. Although it has multiple causes, once they are identified anaemia is often curable.
Based on proprietary technology developed at Imperial College, Toby’s start-up company Eva Diagnostics is developing two affordable handheld anaemia diagnostic devices.
The first one is AnemiPoint, which can be used to identify the presence of anaemia in patients. The other device AnemiStat will identify different types of anaemia.
This is a market-first development in point-of-care anaemia diagnosis that enables clinicians to provide tailored treatments for patients. Eva Diagnostics plans to focus on the global market and the $1 billion or more spend on anaemia-related costs.
Sustainable construction demands better management of social and environmental impact. To achieve this, reliable, efficient tools are needed to make sense of large volumes of data across the range of related fields.
Qflow is a cloud-based platform that enables construction projects to manage their environmental risk and stay compliant with environmental standards.
Qflow brings together machine learning and the Internet of things to capture and analyse environmental data, making it easier to identify and manage risk. This increases productivity and reduces cost while positively impacting the built environment.
The technology connects to existing, on-site systems to automate real-time data collection and analysis. This leads to better informed decisions, more accurate predictions and the ability to generate standardised reports. It reduces costs associated with delays and mitigation processes caused by unmanaged environmental risk.
Trials have shown that Qualis Flows’ solutions can improve data capture against existing competitors by over 100%. Four pilot programmes are scheduled for spring 2019 to further validate the technology’s use in monitoring aspects such as waste, noise, air quality and vibration.
Brittany Harris brings significant experience in civil engineering as she leads a multi-skilled team of engineers, environmental professionals and software architects as Qualis Flow brings its solutions to market.
Wearable technologies are making a massive impact on society, beginning to blur the boundary between human and machine. It is also an exploding commercial market set to be worth $12.6 billion by 2018.
The next generation of lightweight, high performance machines will rely on technologies that are capable of bringing the user as close to a device as possible.
Peiman has created the first reported nano-display device that uses both optical and electronic property modulation in Phase Change Materials. Peiman’s company, Bodle Technologies, spun out of Oxford University in November 2015, to further advance this technology.
An entirely new class of ultra-thin, ultra-high resolution displays with nanosecond access speed and no power consumption in static mode is now under development by his team.
This revolutionary display will initially target the rapidly growing microdisplay market compact, projection based displays used in emerging near-eye applications like Google Glass. The first prototypes are currently under development, with a small working device set to be ready within the next 12 months.
A large part of improving transport involves using real-time data on commuter behaviour to design transport networks that can predict, adapt, respond and prevent congestion - before it happens.
Yang has developed an intelligent camera system that gives real-time insight into traffic and commuter behaviour. By combining machine learning with the latest advances in high performance computing, the system produces a unique method of classifying and identifying images in real time.
It is the first camera that can accurately identify cyclists among other traffic, enabling transport operators to observe how cyclists use a city. This means cities can effectively target investment in cycling and create cyclist-responsive smart traffic lights and smart signage.
It also has potential applications in everything from real-time traffic counting to crowd management and security. The technology is being used right now to map how commuters move around railway stations, how buses are really used and to generate insights from the humble car park.
His company, Vivacity Labs, is now working with several major transport operators and already has over 100 cameras in use across Britain.
Chief Product Officer, Mirada Medical Ltd
Mirada Medical uses deep learning technology to develop medical imaging software that improves treatment and care for patients with cancer and other diseases. Its software automates tasks and processes in a range of clinical work, including diagnostic imaging, radiation therapy and interventional oncology, thereby helping to optimise workflows, save time and improve consistency.
The company has developed a range of accessible solutions that easily fit within existing platforms and technologies. Mirada Medical’s products have been installed in over 2,000 hospitals, imaging centres and cancer centres worldwide, supporting clinicians to make better decisions and deliver personalised care. One of its products, developed to optimise treatment for patients undergoing radiotherapy, offers significant time savings when compared to similar technologies.
As Chief Product Officer, Sarah Bond aims to strategically increase revenue and market share through the development of innovative products that will help the company to retain its competitive advantage.
Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Sarah Bond will have access to workshops, training, mentoring and networking opportunities to help strengthen the skills needed to lead a talented, growing team. This will help her to deliver a complex and ambitious business plan for growth in the rapidly evolving market of artificial intelligence for healthcare.
Visit Mirada's website here.
CTO, Humanising Autonomy
Humanising Autonomy develops software solutions targeting the human-centred implementation of autonomous technology in the road safety sector. The company combines expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) and behavioural psychology to better understand the range of complex human behaviours. It uses this knowledge to predict the actions of vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians, so that autonomous systems can operate with greater safety.
Estimates suggest a two second warning could help prevent up to 90% of all collisions between vehicles and hazards that may lie ahead of them. Humanising Autonomy is building a large, diverse and global data set of human behaviours that takes into account culture and context. Using novel approaches in AI, this data will be used to deliver real-time predictions for different automated driving systems to make roads safer.
In 2019, the start-up partnered with Arriva London and Transport for London to develop new software for driver-assistance systems to improve safety.
Raunaq Bose, CTO, leads the development of Humanising Autonomy’s core technologies. With support from the SME Leaders Programme, his mission is to manage R&D in a responsive way that integrates the company’s goals with the needs of external customers and investors. Structured learning through the programme will help Raunaq Bose to strengthen his leadership skills as the company looks to integrate its technology into real vehicles in urban environments and laying the foundations for deploying its software more widely.
Visit Humanising Autonomy's website 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.
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."