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.
Open surgery is the current standard for preparing patients for dialysis and bypassing blocked peripheral arteries. High failure rates (approximately 50%) in both cases present a serious danger to life and require repeat procedures, for US dialysis patients alone this adds up to $4.6 billion per year.
Sorin Popa, founder of Pathfinder Medical, developed an electronic catheter guidance system that enables clinicians to connect blood vessels in a minimally invasive way, eliminating the need for open surgery and improving outcomes for vascular procedures. This technology has the potential to reduce the cost and trauma associated with procedures to treat those with renal failure and peripheral arterial disease.
Worldwide 3.4 million patients have end stage kidney disease and require their blood to be routinely filtered externally through haemodialysis.
This requires surgery to open up the arm and prepare patients’ blood vessels by forming a connection between an artery and a vein (known as a fistula or vascular access site). Pathfinder Medical’s catheter system can be used to connect blood vessels using a small covered tube known as a ‘stent graft’.
This technology enables patients to receive kidney dialysis without surgery. It can also be used to bypass blocked vessels for those with peripheral arterial disease which affects over 200 million patients globally.
The technology improves outcomes for patients by reducing stress, discomfort and the risk of vascular access problems. It brings cost saving to healthcare providers by improving the efficiency of procedures and reducing the likelihood of costly repeat procedures.
The global market for the technology is worth over £3.8 billion annually. In the UK, the solution could save the NHS an estimated £45 million per annum on kidney dialysis alone.
A 2016 Enterprise Fellowship was awarded to Sorin to support the growth of his start-up as it trials its technology in preparation for commercialisation.
Co-founder, Head of Innovation and Director, OXSIGHT
OXSIGHT develops smart glasses that enhances the residual vision of people with visual impairments. Visual impairments can be caused by a range of degenerative eye diseases including macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. The glasses enable people to see their surroundings in more detail.
Over 50 million people worldwide are registered as having a visual impairment. OXSIGHT’s patented technology aims to promote independence, inclusion and opportunity by drawing on advances in machine learning and augmented reality. Its smart glasses combine style and functionality and make use of embedded cameras that can operate in a wide range of lighting conditions. These cameras collect video data that is processed using machine learning algorithms to detect faces, text and other objects.
The technology builds on research by Dr Stephen Hicks, Co-founder and Head of Innovation. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Dr Hicks aims to expand the company’s technical base and expertise in areas such as user-interfaces, mobile computer vision, personalised machine learning and wearable technology. He will use training and mentoring in systems such as change management to support him as he leads the company in exploring new ventures and product development at a time of rapid growth.
Visit OXSIGHT's website here.
Trade workers are at risk of long-term knee damage caused by kneeling. Existing knee pads lack flexibility, durability and sufficient support, further increasing this risk .
Victoria Hamiliton created Recoil knee pads following conversations with her father, a carpenter, about the need for trade workers to have access to better knee support. Victoria’s patented design sandwiches springs between two layers of support so that pressure is better absorbed and spread more evenly.
Developed by a team of biomechanical engineers, Recoil knee pads provide a 76% pressure reduction on the knee – a 20% improvement over existing competitors. The advanced cushioning provides trade workers with greater comfort while helping to prevent knee damage.
By incorporating a 360° pivot mechanism, Victoria has created a knee pad that moves more naturally with the knee. User-tests and feedback have helped the company to improve its design and achieve greater levels of protection and durability.
Recoil officially launched to market in 2016 and has since grown into an international business with sales in over 20 countries worldwide.
Victoria was awarded a 2017 RAEng 1851 Royal Commission Enterprise Fellowship to further develop the business by recruiting to her team and expanding capacity for manufacturing Recoil Knee pads in Scotland, UK.
CEO and Founder, Biorelate Ltd
Over 80% of data is unstructured, which can make it harder to access and to develop insights from. With global scientific output doubling every nine years, biomedical innovation is limited by a company’s ability to make use of the large volumes of data at its disposal. Biorelate’s solutions overcome this challenge by creating a high-performance platform for curating biomedical knowledge that can be used to accelerate innovation.
Biorelate’s platform, Galactic AI, improves access to data and information. This enables drug discovery companies to gain better insights to develop new innovations. The cloud-based computing platform they have developed can organise, analyse and connect large volumes of data to save time and resources when solving complex research problems. Its high-level processing power provides real-time insights and ensures that companies keep pace with the latest research outputs and developments.
Daniel Jamieson, CEO and Founder, has set a vision for Biorelate’s growth that includes expanding product sales in existing markets and gaining traction in the US. Support from SME Leaders Programme comes at a pivotal time as he focuses on business development, product innovation and sales. He will be able to use training through the programme to further develop leadership skills, in areas such as negotiation, as the company enters a significant phase of growth.
Visit Biorelate's website here.
A child dies of malaria every two minutes, often because they arrive at hospital too late to be saved. The disease is one of the world’s most deadly, with approximately 207 million infections and more than 600,000 deaths each year. Drug resistance is spreading globally and many strains of the disease are untreatable.
George developed the MediSieve system to tackle this terrible situation. MediSieve uses haemofilter technology which ‘sieves’ the blood rapidly and safely reduces malarial parasites from a patient's system. This novel technology requires no drugs or chemicals and can be used to treat any malaria patient, including drug-resistant and other untreatable cases, keeping patients alive and symptom-free indefinitely.
Used either in isolation or as a stand-alone treatment, the haemofilter removes malaria infected cells directly from the bloodstream in a dialysis-like process.
In severe cases, MediSieve could reduce mortality and recovery times; in non-severe cases, patients could recover in hours rather than days as the efficacy of drugs is increased and their side-effects eliminated.
Following extensive trials, MediSieve products will be commercially available in the next couple of years.
Simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) is essential for robots to explore and understand their environments. Nearly all autonomous vehicles or robots, from driverless cars to robot vacuum cleaners, use SLAM technology in some way. SLAMcore Limited, a spinout from Imperial College London, has developed spatial AI by using algorithms to generate reliable positioning and mapping intelligence on low-power, cost-effective hardware.
SLAMcore’s technology can calculate an accurate and reliable position without the need for GPS or any other external structure. Its software can enhance the capabilities of off-the-shelf sensors that enable commercially-viable solutions for applications such as warehouse robots, inspection drones, delivery and service robots.
Owen Nicholson is co-founder and CEO of SLAMcore. Owen became an SME Leader in 2020. He says that the programme can help SLAMcore: “I’m very excited about meeting and working with my mentor and coach. The former will hopefully help address some of the challenges of being a first time CEO of a deep-tech startup. The coach will guide us towards relevant tools, resources and best practice. The timing is right with us transitioning from a team with great tech, to a company with a great product.”
After three years of development and fundraising that has garnered millions of pounds backing, SLAMcore is now gaining commercial traction and developing product-market fit. If all goes according to plan in the coming years, the company will have thousands of robots using its spatial AI technology to calculate their positions, understand unfamiliar surroundings and navigate with consistent reliability.
Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Swytch Technology
Swytch Technology’s eBike conversion kit can be used to turn a regular bicycle into an electric bicycle. The lightweight, durable, hand-held kit is easy to fit, quickly removable and works on any make of bicycle.
Converting existing bicycles into electric ones is more energy efficient than building an electric bike from scratch. This makes Swytch’s patent pending technology a more accessible way to get the benefits of electric transport without the costs. Its system provides up to 250 Watts of power and a single charge can last up to 50 kilometres.
With over 5,000 customers across 40 countries, Swytch is well placed for a share of the global eBike market which is growing at over 50% every year. Swytch is now preparing to launch its new eBike system that aims to deliver industry-leading performance in a cost-effective way.
Dmitro Khroma, CTO of Swytch, is responsible for all aspects of the product development lifecycle including conceptual design, supply-chain management and quality control. Leadership skills gained through the SME Leaders Programme will support him in developing skills for high level strategy and leading a multidisciplinary team to ensure Swytch’s sustained success. Dmitro Khroma also plans to use networking and mentoring through the scheme. This will gain him benefits from a broad range of perspectives on some of the challenges facing rapidly growing business.
Visit Swytch Technology's website here.
There are approximately 1 billion people living with a neglected
tropical disease worldwide. Two of the main infectious diseases, visceral
leishmaniasis and cryptococcal meningitis, account for 220,000 global deaths
annually – most of these fatalities are children.
These diseases can be treated with liposomal amphotericin B nanomedicine (which measures ~100 nm), a safer and more efficacious version of amphotericin B. However, due to the difficulties and costs associated with large scale production, there is a significant global supply shortage of this crucial nanomedicine – around 60 million vials are needed with an estimated value of more than $6 billion. The current multi-step, batch-based process requires the addition and removal of water and organic solvents, which is inefficient. It also limits the potential scale of its manufacture.
Dr Justin Tian is one of the inventors of CommandNano technology. He is also a co-founder of the company that is aiming to overcome the manufacturing issues of the nanomedicine by creating a one-step, solvent/water-free continuous nanofracturing platform. This would enable scalable production by halving costs, reducing manufacturing time from hours to minutes, and allowing interactive integration of design and process. The new process maintains product quality and by eliminating the use of solvents or contaminated water, it generates no toxic wastes.
CommandNano is also capable of synthesising other nanomedicine systems such as solid lipid nanoparticles, nanostructured lipid carriers and polymeric nanoparticles. It can also encapsulate small organic molecules, large biological molecules and inorganic nanoparticles.
The technology has already received £500,000 of financial support and is now looking to form a partnership for pilot scale clinical manufacturing. In the coming years it intends to conduct a bioequivalent study on liposomal amphotericin B nanomedicine. It will also file an FDA application in the US for producing generic drugs.
Dr Tian says: “The Enterprise Fellowship has enabled to me to actively engage with companies and organisations within the nanomedicine supply chain. It has also identified the key challenges in relation to the scale-up and commercial production of liposomal nanomedicines.”
2016 NSF-SFI centre-to-centre research project on continuous manufacture of
2017 Invest Northern Ireland Proof-of-Concept project
2018 Ex-vivo nanomedicine comparison
2019 Innovate UK ICURe programme
2019 Dr Justin YW Tian was awarded an Enterprise Fellowship
2020 The company made an international patent application for its process platform and formulation
CEO, Mobilus Labs
Mobilus Labs is transforming voice communication with a wearable, hands-free, ear-free voice platform that enables teams of any size to communicate and connect in any environment from whatever distance.
Using innovations in bone conduction technology and voice recognition, Mobilus enables voice communication in extreme and noisy environments. Its two-way bone conduction technology uses micro-vibrations on the surface of the head to capture voice and transmit it directly to the inner ear. Its ability to isolate the voice makes the platform effective even when used in noisy environments, making it easier for teams to communicate in target industries such as construction, mixed reality and the emergency services, amongst others.
Building on over 10 years of experience as an entrepreneur building complex hardware and software platforms, Jordan McRae founded Mobilus Labs and leads the development of its technology. Jordan will use the SME Leaders Programme to support his vision of creating a diverse and inclusive team focused on agile innovation while delivering a return to investors. Working with experienced mentors, Jordan aims to triple the size of his team as the company scales up and builds on traction in the construction sector where the cost of poor communication costs an estimated £16 billion each year.
Visit Mobilus Lab'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."