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.
Co-Founder and CEO, INSPHERE
INSPHERE develops new measurement technologies for use in advanced manufacturing. Its solutions enable precision measurement and control so that companies can optimise and improve manufacturing performance. This leads to improvements in quality and consistency, greater efficiency and increased profitability.
INSPHERE technologies can be used in environments such as car production lines where failures can lead to costs of up to £10,000 per minute while issues are resolved. The company aims to become a global leader for advanced monitoring and control technologies and already has high-profile customers including Rolls-Royce and the Mercedes Formula 1 team.
Ben Adeline, CEO, is developing a strategy to increase sales of existing products and services while developing new solutions and services. This includes a new product due for launch in late 2020 that will enable continuous monitoring and control of industrial automation systems.
With support and training through the SME Leaders Programme, Ben aims to strengthen his leadership skills in areas such as corporate finance and strategy. This will also help with managing a growing team as the company extends its product range and scales rapidly.
Visit INSPHERE's website here.
Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Sixfold
Sixfold Bioscience has developed a patented technology for the safe and effective drug delivery of cell and gene therapeutics. Its programmable oligonucleotide delivery system (PODS) provides a cost-effective way to deliver a diverse range of therapeutic cargo with high targeting specificity.
There is currently a lack of safe, efficient in vivo delivery systems for cell and gene therapeutics. Many cell and gene therapies show great potential for achieving this, but their wide implementation has been limited by both complex and expensive manufacturing processes, and an inefficiency in reaching their targets. PODS is an efficient, non-viral, RNA-based drug delivery technology that has shown promising early in vitro and in vivo results.
Based at the Translation and Innovation Hub at Imperial College London, Sixfold Bioscience has been awarded funding by Innovate UK to support two projects that will help in accelerating the pre-clinical development of the PODS platform.
Anna Perdix Rosell, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, leads Sixfold Bioscience’s R&D team and is helping to devise its long and short-term strategy for preclinical research. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, she aims to strengthen skills in strategic product development to support Sixfold’s goal of revenue generation through pharmaceutical collaboration. This will help the company make an impact on the global drug delivery systems market which is currently valued at £/$3.2 billion and is projected to rapidly grow.
Visit Sixfold Bioscience's website here.
CEO, Kalium Health
Kalium Health aims to make it quicker and easier for patients to monitor and manage unstable blood electrolyte levels that can become life-threatening, especially for those with kidney disease. Its first product is a handheld test device for monitoring blood potassium level with clinical accuracy.
The University of Cambridge spin-out is developing the device in response to patients’ request for an alternative to current methods, which involve hospital-based tests requiring a venous blood sample. These are often considered inconvenient, expensive and can lead to delays with treatment. In contrast, Kalium’s device will provide users with real-time results in any setting.
Tom Collings, CEO, is responsible for setting the company’s overall strategy and overseeing operational activities. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Tom aims to gain skills in areas such as recruitment, effective leadership and financial management to build a motivated team and drive efficiency as Kalium’s operations rapidly expand.
Networking with peers and support from a mentor will help Tom as he seeks to raise the company’s profile and develop the right commercial partnerships to help Kalium towards its goal to launch its first device in Europe and the US in the next five years.
Visit Kalium Health's website here.
AssetCool aims to improve the efficiency of power networks, and reduce power losses by up to 30%, with a photonic coating for power lines that helps them to manage temperature more effectively.
As electricity lines operate, their heat increases because of incoming solar radiation and the current running through them. This increased heat makes power lines less efficient. AssetCool’s solution is an easy-to-use durable coating for overhead power lines that improves their ability to reflect solar radiation while also allowing infrared heat to escape more easily. This creates extra network capacity by improving conductive efficiency resulting in up to 40% more power down the line and reduced carbon emissions.
Niall Coogan, SME Leader and CEO, is responsible for overseeing developments with the technology, while also focusing on industrial scale up, IP portfolio development and gaining commercial traction in key markets. He aims to use support from the SME Leaders Programme to develop leadership skills that will help with setting a clear strategic vision for a global business.
Training and support in effective management and communication skills will also help Niall to grow his team while directing technological and operational developments as AssetCool scales up to meet service market demand.
Visit AssetCool's website here.
Spotta’s technology tracks and monitors insect pest populations for industries where they can be an issue. Insect pests are estimated to cause up to £320 billion of damage globally every year, impacting industries such as agriculture, forestry and the domestic and residential sectors.
As insect populations grow exponentially in the right conditions, early warning is essential to minimise damage. Using ultra-low power imaging and image processing, Spotta’s solutions allow their customers to detect insect pests at the earliest stage so that they can efficiently intervene to reduce treatment costs and the impact of lost revenue.
Spotta’s first product, the Bed Pod is currently being used in hotels, hospitals and rented accommodation to detect bed bugs. It has been on the market since 2018 and has a 95% success rate for customers. Further products are in the pipeline to support other industries in tackling insect pest issues.
Robert Fryers, CEO, was awarded a place on the SME Leaders Programme as Spotta aims to increase its commercial focus. This will involve strengthening its existing customer base while also expanding into new markets with new products. Support from the programme will help Robert meet the challenge of leading a team of mixed commercial and technical talent that is expected to rapidly increase in size as Spotta moves into European and North American markets.
Visit Spotta's website here.
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.
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 Robert Sansom FREng is an experienced angel investor and mentor to technology-based startup businesses in the UK and US.
He is the founder of the Cambridge Angels, a group of expert technology and biotechnology entrepreneurs who invest in and mentor technology startups across the UK.
Robert serves on the board of several startups including Arachnys Information Services, Cambridge Communication Systems, CRFS, Featurespace, IQGeo plc, Myrtle Software, and Netronome Systems. Prior to becoming an angel investor, he co-founded FORE Systems, a leader in high-speed data communications, where he was Chief Technical Officer. Fore Systems went public on NASDAQ in 1994 and was sold to Marconi plc in 1999.
Robert was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2010.
“Through my career I’ve built up considerable experience taking knowledge-based technology business from initial idea through to becoming successful businesses. I’d like to help a new generation of technology entrepreneurs do the same, and the Enterprise Hub is an excellent platform for me to do this.”
Steve is a leading expert with over 35 years of experience.in the fields of semiconductor device research, nanotechnology and millimetre-wave integrated circuit design.
After founding and leading the Nanoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Glasgow, he co-founded and became Technical Director of Intellemetrics Ltd. His enterprising spirit continued with the foundation of Kelvin Nanotechnology Ltd in 2001.
Steve became Vice-Principal for Research and Enterprise at the University of Glasgow in 2005 where e is responsible for the University’s research strategy and policies. These includes key relations with research sponsors and strategic partners. He also heads up the University’s enterprise activities which has a strong focus on research links with industry and the promotion of spinout companies.
Steve was awarded an OBE for services to the field of nanotechnology in the 2002 Jubilee Honours List and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2007.
“Encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship in technology and engineering requires a genuine link up and sharing of knowledge between research partners and industry. The Enterprise Hub is a key part of this, sharing enterprising expertise with individuals who have an incredible amount of technical talent, and providing the links to springboard their success in the industry.”
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.
Suranga has long experience as an engineer and entrepreneur. He founded Blinkx - an intelligent search engine for video and audio content - in 2004. He led Blinkx as CEO for eight years as well as taking it public in 2007. He is widely regarded as an expert on the convergence of the web, television and online advertising.
Before his work with Blinkx, Suranga was US Chief Technology Officer of Autonomy where he was mentored by Mike Lynch and led the effort to enable Autonomy’s software to work in highly distributed environments. Suranga joined Balderton as a General Partner in 2014.
An accomplished speaker and commentator on the overlap between technology and media, Suranga has been elected by the World Economic Forum as one of its Young Global Leaders. He was also included in the Top 10 leaders in Science and Innovation by The Observer’s Future 500 list, and was a recipient of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Silver Medal in 2012. Suranga was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in 2012.
“The real high-growth value companies are currently all in the tech space. In order for these businesses to reach their potential, it’s vital that they can benefit from the guidance of those with experience.”
Anne is a prominent venture capitalist and European technology investor who has been Chief Executive of Amadeus Capital Partners from 1997. As a co-founder in the organisation, Anne’s role combines her experience as a scientist, operating manager and venture capitalist.
Anne began her career in manufacturing with Cummins Engine Company before moving into investment as a business angel. She was also Chief Operating Officer of Virtuality Group, which had been one of her investee companies.
Anne has held a number of high profile advisory positions, having served as Chairman of the British Venture Capital Association in 2004, and as a non-executive director of the UK Technology Strategy Board from 2005-2012. In 2008 Anne led the establishment of the Glover advisory committee for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, reporting on government procurement from SMEs. She is also a member of the European Research and Innovation Advisory Board. Anne was awarded a CBE for services to business in 2006 and was elected an Honourary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2008.
“There is a long-standing need for science to engage more proactively with policy-makers and business. The Enterprise Hub is playing a big part in addressing this, by bridging the gap between outstanding academic talent and influential figures in the industry to ensure the UK’s ongoing international success in science and technology.”
John is a highly experienced executive and senior consultant across the oil and gas, renewable energy and digital technology sectors, as well as a member of many international boards. He has significant interest in the commercial and technology challenges that energy transition presents, especially as these intersect with corporations’ digital transformation.
John is currently Chair of the Gresham House Energy Storage Fund Board, which specialises in the commercialisation of grid-level storage investments. The company is now the largest energy storage fund in the UK and is the market leader. In November 2018, the company listed on LSE at £100 million and at the end of 2020 had a market cap of around £250 million; it is on a strong growth trajectory and should double in size over the next 24 months.
Until April 2019, John was an advisor to the Board of ACWA Power International (Riyadh), the largest independent power producer in Saudi Arabia. Until December 2017, he was on the Board of the ASX-listed Carnegie Clean Energy, based in Perth, WA. He is also an investor and Board member of Global Integrity, a cybersecurity software and cyber consultancy firm based in Washington DC.
John spent more than 25 years working at BP, the last 10 of which were spent at the corporate executive level in various roles including:
In his early career, John worked on the design and construction of nuclear power generation plants in UK.
Since leaving BP, John has been active as a senior advisor to blue chip global consultants specialising in the energy sector, energy transition and corporate digital transformation.
John serves on the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Committee.
Professor Norman Apsley OBE FREng recently retired from 18 years as founding Chief Executive of Catalyst Inc (formerly Northern Ireland Science Park), steering the organisation from idea to reality. The NI Science Park was a key first step to transform the near derelict H&W shipyard into the innovation district for Belfast. He had spent the previous two decades at the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (now QinetiQ Malvern), where he had researched a wide variety of microwave and optical devices, publishing some 70 scientific papers and patents during his scientific career. He joined management in 1990, rising to Director Electronics and Site Director for the Malvern cluster in the then Defence Research and Evaluation Agency by 1995.
In 2011, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, just as he finished his term as Vice-President (Business and Innovation) of the Institute of Physics. He has been an active Enterprise Committee member from the beginning and continues to contribute to its various programmes as reviewer, mentor and on steering groups, most lately the SME Leaders’ Award.
Norman also supports the international work of the Academy. In 2018, he became Chair of the Academy’s Newton-funded project, Leaders in Innovation Fellowships (LIF), which works in all 16 Newton Fund countries. Alongside in-country partners, LIF helps innovators with technology to tackle their country’s sustainable development goals launch startups. Over the past few years, LIf fellows have been built into a thousand strong, peer-to-peer support group across the world.
At home, Norman chairs the Local Economic Development Company serving South and East Antrim and consults occasionally for both public and private sector. In 2012, Norman was awarded an OBE for his contributions to science and economic development. In 2019, the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (Econ Sci) was conferred by Queens University Belfast. In the same year, he was awarded the Max Rainey Medal for service to the Polymer Industry of Northern Ireland. He is looking forward to Belfast becoming the first (of many) spokes to the Enterprise Hub.
"(Engineering) entrepreneurs are typically rich with ideas, energy and enthusiasm but cash poor. They cannot afford the quality help they need to find the right business model for their idea, discovery or invention. Pro Bono support from Fellows from their experience and from their “black books” helps speed the process and leads to increased innovation.”
Professor Neville Jackson FREng has spent nearly 40 years in industrial R&D, primarily in transport and energy systems. He has experience in managing complex R&D portfolios and spinning out new technologies into commercially funded startups.
He currently chairs both the RAC Foundation and the Institute of Digital Engineering Advisory Board and is also a non-executive director of the UK Advanced Propulsion Centre. He also chairs the Royal Academy of Engineering’s steering group for the Increasing engineering business R&D investment project. He has been a member of the UK Automotive Council since it was formed and is a member of the Strategy Team, chairing the R&D/Horizon Scanning working group.
From 2009 until 2019 he was Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for Ricardo plc. He has co-ordinated and authored a wide range of technology roadmaps at national and European level, defining the potential, and technology pathways for transport energy, propulsion systems, future vehicle electrical/electronic architectures and digitalisation/virtual product development.
A graduate of Imperial College London, he is also a visiting professor at the University of Brighton. His past roles have included Chairman of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, a six-year term as a member of the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Network, Vice Chair of the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC) and a member of the Industry Delegation for the European Green Vehicles Initiative (EGVI). He is also a Fellow of the US SAE and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2011.
Saeed is Technical Director at the prosthetic manufacturer Blatchford, winners of the 2016 RAEng MacRobert Award.
He has built a highly successful career based on outstanding innovation, product development and scientific research in the field of prosthetics. His work saw the company shortlisted for the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award in 2010.
Saeed has provided invaluable advice to emerging innovators in his field, such as negotiating with investors, creating new business cases and establishing alternative investment return strategies, IP issues, and how to identify new needs and opportunities in the market to develop a road map of future products.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in 2012.