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.
The NHS spent £8.3 billion on wound care between 2017 and 2018, with £5.6 billion on chronic and complex wounds. Despite this investment, 51% of complex wounds failed to close after 12 months of treatment. This problem is growing, with associated markets demonstrating a 5.5% compound annual growth rate, a problem that is reflected worldwide and linked with rising incidences of diabetes, obesity and aging populations. There’s a clear market need for a technology that aims to address problems in the care of chronic and complex wounds, rates of infection and time to wound closure.
Corryn Biotechnologies’ novel technology allows the production and application of advanced micro and nanofibrous materials directly onto wounds at the point of care, without the need for any technical expertise. This will allow a new generation of materials, which have proven beneficial in academic literature, to be applied to wounds directly.
Over the next 18 months, the company will initiate and complete clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and usability of the technology, as well as beginning to quantify the benefit of this approach and materials over existing technologies.
There is no shortage of hazardous work environments that require inspection, monitoring and surveying to maintain their operation, all of which are requisite for customers that seek to provide efficient asset management. One such example is the nuclear sector, which in the UK alone spends £2.3 billion annually on decommissioning activities. Many current techniques are primarily manual and put human workers in harm’s way, having to wear restrictive PPE and access a range of dangerous environments, such as radioactive or confined spaces. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has set four grand challenges, one of which is to reduce human decommissioning activities by 50%, by 2030.
Ice Nine offers autonomous mobile robots to gather inspection and survey data. This data includes geospatial, visual and radioactive information. Ice Nine’s software architecture is modular in design, so that additional sensing capabilities can be integrated based on customer requirements. The robots can position accurate and reliable gathered data in environments with no prior, or out-of-date, CAD drawings, providing a digital twin of the customer’s assets.
Ice Nine’s robotic technology will be deployed in active nuclear decommissioning sites Dounreay, Magnox and Sellafield, with feedback gathered from these trials used to improve the technology and value proposition. Backed by these active trials and early adopters, the company will pitch for private investment.
Over the course of the Enterprise Fellowship and the following six months, Ice Nine will develop its innovation from TRL6 to TRL9, with CE marking of the system a primary goal.
Aged 14, Naomi sustained an injury through ballet that took over three years and eight specialists to finally diagnose correctly. At this time, she was told she would never be able to dance again. Sadly, this is not a unique story, as athletes across the world continue to suffer life-altering injuries that could be dealt with in a more efficient manner or prevented entirely.
With rugby players suffering from 13 injuries per 1,000 hours played and having an average professional career span of only 8.5 years, injuries have major cost associations in elite sports. In 2019 alone, rugby injury recovery cost £62 million. Naomi established her company Movetru with an aim of eradicating preventable injury through wearable technology, with the vision of all information created being easily understood by any non-medical professionals.
Initial product launch will focus on the sports industry, a market that is worth £447 billion globally. Specifically, Movetru seeks to penetrate the sports medicine market, which is expected to be worth £11 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 8.2%. Sports clubs and teams display the highest product need as they lose enormous amounts of money each season through injury-related decrement in performance. This makes it the perfect industry for Movetru’s debut market entry. The average injury related loss per team per year is £45 million for Premier League teams and £305.4 million for Major League Baseball teams. A major market opportunity is available for a solution to counteract this high-expense issue.
Over the course of the fellowship Naomi intends to begin industry-based trials, finalise the Movetru app, restructure aspects of the business, and gain an understanding of raising funds with the ambition to open a seed round later this year.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Stroke Initiative states that strokes have substantial impact on social economics and healthcare system resources worldwide. Stroke is the second leading cause of disability, with 15 million new cases occurring each year.
Some stroke survivors find that the rehabilitation programmes they receive from physiotherapists can often be unengaging, difficult and painful. Stroke survivors complete on average only two minutes of physiotherapy a day, nowhere near the recommended 45. This issue significantly impacts the speed and quality of recovery. As patient numbers continue to rise, conventional physiotherapy and home physiotherapy will face challenges. A solution that improves healthcare processes and patient recovery is needed, which will place less burden on healthcare systems and reduce economic impact when strokes occur in working age groups.
eXRt Intelligent Healthcare provides a virtual reality physiotherapist software platform that allows stroke survivors to use fun physiotherapy-based games to increase engagement and adherence to their physiotherapy programme at home. The company conducted decades of research to create AI that tailors the physiotherapist games to each patient’s movement skills, creating a balanced programme. The cloud-enabled web app allows physiotherapists to remotely monitor and manage all their patients’ progress. This also improves efficiency as they can treat more patients and reduce waiting lists, as well as getting patients home sooner.
Over the next 12 to 18 months, Dominic is excited to continue his personal development towards become a better entrepreneur and CEO, gaining more knowledge of the business landscape. A key milestone moving forward will to be optimise and refine the current product so that it is reliable and ready to be competitive in the commercial market. A parallel milestone is to work toward the product’s approval as a medical device, which is essential for entering the market.
Antimicrobial resistance is globally responsible for 700,000 annual fatalities. By 2050 this could reach 10 million annual deaths, costing the global economy £66 trillion. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are significant causes of this cost and morbidity, affecting 150 million people worldwide. UTIs account for 19.7% of hospital infections, costing £300 to £3,000 per patient, per bed, per day, and cost the NHS £434 million annually. Ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) causes 10,000 to 20,000 infections in the UK annually, with 10% to 20% of patients ventilated for more than 48 hours developing the condition, each case costing the NHS £10,000 to £20,000.
Metallobio’s novel panel of antimicrobial additives are based on protected, scalable one-agent chemistry, have as high activities as clinically available antibiotics and retain this high activity on WHO critical pathogens. Metallobio is incorporating the additives into medical device coatings that, when compared to their silver, copper and zinc competitors, are more durable and more active on a broader spectrum of bacteria. Although broadly applicable, Kirsty’s present target markets are catheter-associated UTIs and VAP.
In collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University, Metallobio is developing an antimicrobial sol-gel coating, developed for controlled release of patented antimicrobials. The technology has shown potential as an antibiofilm coating for urinary and central venous catheters and demonstrated effective release of antimicrobials, while exhibiting no cytotoxicity in vitro against human uroepithelial and bladder cell lines.
Kirsty’s vision over the next 12 to 18 months is to develop the technology towards a marketable product, with the prototype of hard lacquer and sol-gel coatings complete and antimicrobial efficacy studied. This will lead to preclinical development for catheter and endotracheal tube coatings, de-risking the technology.
Many common commercial adhesives are neither biodegradable nor recyclable, making products they are used in difficult to responsibly dispose of at end of life. Even compostable and biodegradable packaging items often need separating from their labels before they can be recycled for this very reason.
Algreen intends to tackle this problem by bringing its fully bio-based adhesive to market.
Algreen adhesive achieves 70% carbon reduction over conventional adhesives by using full biological-based raw materials and an organic, solvent-free manufacturing process. Zhixuan’s solution facilitates the complete recycling of biodegradable packaging, without the need to separate labels. Not only this, but the adhesive has been proven strong enough to be used in the textiles and fashion industries. Algreen adhesive can be used to safely secure buttons, build clothes hangers and secure chipboard, allowing it to be used in the fashion and furnishing industries in the manufacture of fully recyclable clothing and furniture.
Algreen adhesive is currently applicable in total markets worth £102 billion, including the sustainable packaging, low-cost furniture and sustainable fashion sectors. Of this market, realistically £15 billion is accessible and the target market is £900 million. This target market presently consists of designer brands with an interest in sustainability, who market research indicates are ready to pioneer Algreen’s novel material.
Over the coming six months, Zhixuan aims to secure two to three pilot contracts, file IP and seek industrial application certification. Following this, she aims to raise a seed round of around £500,000, which will be used to develop an overseas production line. Zhixuan has ambitions to then have Algreen adhesive certified for use in surgical applications.
Mirrors matter. Every road user has mirrors, they are so important it would be illegal to travel without them. This begs the question – why are there no good options for cyclists?
HindSight’s glasses solve the problem of providing cyclists with rear vision. Its patented angled lens technology provides users with unparalleled situational awareness by adding mirrors into their peripheral vision, integrated into a pair of sunglasses. These facilitate a fuller understanding of the user’s surroundings, with a simple piece of technology that can be slipped on and off.
In the UK cycling sector alone, HindSight has a potential market of seven million customers, with another 145 million in the EU and US. HindSight aims to make cycling safer and ease people’s most common cycling fear – how safe they feel on the road.
Beyond cycling, there are a multitude of issues that rear vision can assist with are. The product was developed to help cyclists make smarter decisions but since then, new markets have been identified in other sporting and personal protective equipment applications, as well as defence and security sectors.
Over the coming 12 to 18 months, CEO Alex aims to continue to grow and scale HindSight organically through international expansion, strategic corporate partnerships, and the development of new products and technologies. The next key milestones will be the launch of its new and improved V2 consumer technology, solidifying key partnerships with industry leaders and quantifying HindSight’s efficacy in new applications.
Michael Korn came up with the idea for portable, retractable screen dividers after observing the problems that medical staff and patients face in hospitals. His research uncovered a need for more side room capacity, providing extra private and segregated spaces. Using a new glass fibre composite, Michael developed portable, retractable partitions that can swiftly turn any open-plan ward into smaller, more discreet and isolated spaces.
KwickScreens can also be printed with views of nature or artistic patterns. It was this difference from traditional hospital curtains that helped provide early success. A new breastfeeding mother appreciated being alone with her baby surrounded by calming colours. A grieving family was able to spend the last few days with their loved one in a secluded environment.
The KwickScreen enabled a patient space to be swiftly created anywhere. It could also act as an isolation room for immunosuppressed or infectious patients who might otherwise be in an open ward at risk of contracting or spreading healthcare acquired infections.
Michael founded KwickScreen in 2008. By 2020, over 100 NHS Trusts were using his partitions in critical care units, theatres, recovery wards and maternity units. The hygienic and easy-to-clean screens really came into their own during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, KwickScreens have been supporting the NHS and it was partly for this reason that Michael joined the SME Leaders programme in 2021.
Michael says “I need to make sure that I grow, in order to stay ahead of the company’s rapid expansion! I believe the programme will help establish valuable external connections and potential partnerships. Most importantly it will help me develop as a business leader, enabling us to get new ambitious projects off the ground capitalising on the exciting opportunities ahead of us.”
In two years, the KwickScreen company has increased its revenue from £1 million a year to over £6 million. It is now well placed to replace medical curtains in North America, Japan and Europe. Originally developed for hospital and healthcare environments, it is now also being used in public and work spaces.
"The SME leaders programme is an excellent way for engineering leaders to learn and share from each other. I enjoyed the 6 month official programme and am so grateful to be part of the wider RAEng community which is an amazing support."
In a global analysis of all the plastic ever made, the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances estimated that of the 8.3 billion tonnes that has been produced, 6.3 billion tonnes has become plastic waste. With only 9% recycled, the vast majority is accumulating in landfills or in the natural environment as litter. If present trends continue, by 2050, there will be 12 billion tonnes of plastic in landfills.
Many feel that a circular economy that considers the end destination of what is manufactured would help manage material production responsibly. From buttons to car doors, and spectacles to countertops, the use of sustainable alternatives to petroleum plastics would offer multiple plastic end-of-life scenarios.
Rowan Minkley, is the Co-Founder and CEO of Chip[s] Board. Chip[s] Board is a bioplastic technology company that converts food waste into bioplastics. It currently produces polymers and composites. The composites are natural-fibre reinforced melt blends for applications such as furniture, fashion and consumer electronics.
The company has developed a process to convert waste food by-products into a trademarked bioplastic called Parblex®. The main ingredient for this is upcycled potato scraps, supplied by the global food processing giant McCain Foods. By combining this with natural fibres, biobased composites can be made that are biodegradable and recyclable at the end of their product life. Parblex® is compatible with injection moulding, 3D printing, milling and other industrial processing techniques.
Rowan says: “Many current bioplastics are produced from virgin food crops – such as corn or sugar beet – that are grown specifically to create the materials needed for creating the bioplastic substance. Our philosophy is that a circular economy within waste (by-product) management and material production will create a new sustainable model, utilising the abundant resources we already have rather than continuing to process virgin materials.”
Chip[s] Board’s team is currently looking into the waste stream to find new materials to upcycle and diversify their product lineup.
2017 - Company founded
2018 - Shell LiveWIRE Award, Creative Conscience Award, Santander Entrepreneur of the Year
2018 - Rowan Minkley was awarded an Enterprise Fellowship
2018 - Rowan won the Launchpad Competition
2018 - McCain secured as a material supplier
2018 - Raised pre-seed Angel investment
2018 - Team expands to five full time staff
2019 - Relocation to Leyton warehouse, 100-litre production line established
2019 - Received Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology SME grant and Knowledge Transfer Network Spark Award
2020 - Team expands to seven full time staff
Visit their website: www.chipsboard.com
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.