Our Enterprise Hub members create groundbreaking innovations in a widely diverse range of fields, from nanotechnology to wind turbines, physical rehabilitation to counterfeiting protection and much, much more.
Here you can find out about our members and mentors, their experience of our programmes and how the Enterprise Hub has helped move innovative new technologies from concept to market.
Our programmes run throughout the year: if you are interested in finding out more about how the Enterprise Hub might benefit you, please find out how to become a member here
The Enterprise Hub’s membership is made up of some of the UK’s most promising and innovative entrepreneurs and researchers. But don't just take our word for it. Read more about our members and their projects here, and see for yourself how Enterprise Hub members who have been supported by our programmes are changing their sectors, engineering, technology and indeed the world.
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 resultin limited accessibility for many.
Adaptix aims to transform this with its lightweight, truly portable X-ray imaging solutions. These harness the strengths of emerging techniques, such as digital tomosynthesis, to produce higher quality 3D X-ray imagery and increase diagnostic accuracy.
Making X-ray imaging techniques more mobile will ensure that those with previously poor access will be able to benefit from rapid, accurate diagnosis for a range of conditions, from cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases to lung cancer and osteoporosis.
In addition to making 3D X-ray more accessible, the technology is more cost effective and energy efficient. It could also reduce health risks to clinical staff as less radiation is emitted.
CEO Mark Evans brings extensive expertise in both business management and medical imaging to Adaptix Ltd. With several patents and other products in the pipeline, the company has potential to make a groundbreaking impact on medical and dental practice. It has also identified other uses for its 3D imaging technology in industrial, security and veterinary applications.
The fabrication of metal for applications such as laboratory benches and office furniture requires major expertise in materials, as well as finely tuned engineering processes. Ludwick Precision is a specialist in this area, leading in the fabrication of high-end, bespoke sheet, box and tubular metal solutions.
Established for over 25 years, the Hertfordshire-based company has built up a significant pedigree in the design and manufacture of products that have been engineered to meet customers’ specific requirements.
From design and prototyping, to assembly and installation, clients are supported at every stage in the process, positioning Ludwick Precision as a fully integrated manufacturing consultancy. This has enabled the company to develop several long-term customer partnerships through its consistent ability to deliver projects on time and within budget. Ludwick Precision’s extensive work in the pharmaceutical sector, for example, includes the development and manufacture of the first height-adjustable laboratory bench to be built in the UK.
Ryian Ludwick, Sales Director, will benefit from support and training through the SME Leaders Programme as his business embarks on a new programme of expansion. While acknowledging its manufacturing heritage, Ludwick Precision is adapting to changes in the industry by continuing to focus on the demands of existing customers, and exploring the potential to make products applicable to other niche market sectors.
From air-conditioning units to big data computing, heat-transfer components play a fundamental role in a range of technologies. Oxford nanoSystems is revolutionising the manufacture of these components with a novel coating technology that substantially improves materials’ heat transfer capabilities, enabling the development of lighter products at a reduced cost.
Before completing his PhD, Alexander Reip was invited to bring his expertise in nanomaterials to Oxford nanoSystems, which was then a new startup, where he played a founding role in developing its groundbreaking coating.
The coating facilitates production of heat-transfer components that are more efficient and consume less energy, improving their environmental sustainability. It is flexible enough to either be customised and incorporated into existing manufacturing processes, or applied to components after manufacturing.
Alexander is now CEO and leads a team that is dedicated to delivering the company’s ambitions to more widely implement its product. At this pivotal stage, the SME Leaders Programme will support him in strengthening the entrepreneurial skills he developed while engineering the innovative technology.
Drawing on a tailored programme of support, Alexander aims to lead Oxford nanoSystems towards its longer-term goal of marketing its technology to any industry that can benefit from greater efficiency in creating products with a heat exchange system, bringing savings to both manufacturers and consumers.
GreenSpur Renewables has developed a generator that could drive down the cost of wind energy, making this renewable energy source more cost effective, efficient and sustainable.
Wind turbines are getting bigger and require larger generators. Many existing machines use scarce and expensive rare earth magnets. In contrast, GreenSpur’s unique and patented design makes use of ferrite – a cheaper and abundant alternative type of magnet. Its low-cost, direct-drive generator can concentrate flux and maximise energy generation, making it the first company to develop a credible offering using ferrite magnets for large-scale turbines.
GreenSpur’s direct-drive permanent magnet generators (DD-PMG) are targeted at the offshore and large-scale onshore markets because of the rising demand from wind turbine manufacturers for bigger, reliable and cost-effective generators. Using a low-cost, abundantly available material has the potential to deliver substantial cost savings at multi-megawatt levels.
Founding Director, Andrew Hine, and the team at GreenSpur are working with partners that include the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and Warwick Manufacturing Group to optimise the technology. As the company grows, Andrew will draw on support from the SME Leaders Programme to further develop the team and its strategic partnerships in preparation for commercialisation.
A desire to help create sustainable and resilient cities led Arthur Kay to develop bio-bean, the first company to industrialise the recycling process for spent coffee grounds and transform them into advanced biofuels and biochemicals.
With over 500,000 tonnes of spent coffee grounds going to waste in the UK every year, Arthur recognised them as a valuable, and abundant, resource. They are highly calorific and packed with the right compounds to be a source of sustainable energy.
The company slots neatly into pre-existing waste and energy processes, and works closely with waste-management companies to get spent coffee grounds to their large-scale recycling factory. As a result, the award-winning clean technology company already collects thousands of tonnes yearly from offices, transport hubs and coffee shops, including Costa Coffee.
The used coffee grounds are then transformed into sustainable, high-performance products, such as biomass pellets for heating buildings, and the company’s first consumer product ‘Coffee Logs’ for use at home in stoves and fires.
Rapid growth has enabled the company to build its capacity to recycle up to 50,000 tonnes of used coffee grounds each year, which has significantly reduced the amount that ends up in landfill. By engaging in extensive research, bio-bean now plans to expand its range of advanced carbon-neutral biofuels and biochemicals for commercial use.
Flexypix is a startup dedicated to unlocking the potential of flexible plastic displays that can be integrated into glass windows. This will enable them to switch from transparent to opaque to provide privacy or reflect unwanted heat. Contemporary environmentally-led design will benefit from being able to incorporate smart surfaces that can adapt to, and enhance, our indoor environments.
Founded by Dr Chris Williamson, these displays use a liquid-crystal-based material that can be switched on demand in seconds. The technology does not require constant power, and testing has shown that it is up to 10 times cheaper to both purchase and maintain, which makes it both energy efficient and more responsive to user control.
The displays are flexible in more ways than one; ultra-thin, plastic panels can be seamlessly retro-fitted to existing surfaces, or integrated within materials such as glass during manufacture. They can also be tailored to display company logos or other custom imagery, and change between these at the flick of a switch.
The manufacturing process is being developed with a view to establishing continuous mass production. The aim is to access part of the global commercial indoor window market, which was valued at $30 billion in 2015. The rapid growth of the sector reflects increasing interest in smart glass for architecture, and its potential to make significant contributions to sustainable design and helping buildings to meet environmental targets.
Chris was awarded a 2017 Enterprise Fellowship to spin out his business, continue testing and upscale the manufacturing process.
For many, musical expression can be frustrated by an inability to play an instrument. As CEO of the startup Vochlea Music (VM), innovator George Wright is hoping to change that by developing an audio engine with the capacity to understand vocally produced sounds and turn these into live instrumentation.
By identifying that our voices can be a first step toward musical exploration, George has developed an audio engine that employs machine-learning algorithms to recognise sounds. This enables the VM audio engine to learn its user voice and turn ‘wah-wahs’ into guitar riffs, and beatboxing into vibrant percussion.
Unlike alternative software that is able to recognise just pitch, the VM audio engine works with vocal nuances to recreate a fuller, higher quality representation of sound that also matches pitch, timbre and tone. In doing so, it helps amateur and professional music producers alike to creatively prototype new sounds and songs.
VM is continuing to develop tools powered by the audio engine while working in collaboration with Abbey Road Studios. The software and tools have potential to be licensed for use in a range of markets from mobile gaming market to high-end music production. Meanwhile, the company is ready to launch the VM Apollo, a smart microphone marketed to the amateur enthusiast, and testing has revealed high interest among the early-adopter crowd.
George was awarded a 2017 Enterprise Fellowship supported by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 to further develop VM and support his work to bring technologies powered by it to market.
Bringing ideas to life has always been restricted by the awkward transition from three-dimensional (3D) thoughts to two-dimensional methods of design. However, Oluwaseyi, Co-Founder of Gravity Sketch, is working on an easier way. His novel software lets people effortlessly sketch and develop concepts in mid-air.
Gravity Sketch allows users to conceptualise their thoughts using only gestures and touch, and without having to learn complex computer-aided design (CAD) programs. By exploiting emerging opportunities in immersive technology, such as virtual reality, the software creates a new, simple way to craft digital 3D content.
The team at Gravity Sketch places a strong emphasis on the user experience and is committed to creating useful, time-saving tools for designers and engineers. The software has attracted interest from the automotive industry with adaptations tailored for this market that allow designers to create freely, while improving the quality of information received by technicians. This ability to be seamlessly integrated into real-world engineering workflows sets Gravity Sketch apart from alternatives in the digital 3D design space.
The product’s adaptability makes it a powerful addition anywhere that art, design and engineering intersect. It was recently launched online and has sparked interest from users in a diverse range of industries, from computer-generated imagery (CGI) to furniture design.
Seed funding and support from Innovate UK have already been awarded to support developments at Gravity Sketch. Oluwaseyi was awarded a 2017 Enterprise Fellowship to help him bring the product to market.
“Not only has the Enterprise Hub opened me up to new professional networks, it has also helped me to readily access knowledge that is accelerating our efforts to bring our innovation to market."
Material corrosion is a cross-sector problem that costs industry potentially $500 billion globally each year. Current anti-corrosion chemicals contain hexavalent chromate, a highly toxic chemical that will be banned from use in the EU from 2019. The need for alternatives is pressing, and Dr Patrick Dodds, CEO and Founder of Hexigone Inhibitors Ltd, has found a novel solution.
Dr Dodds’ anti-corrosion technology is not simply a chemical, but a system of nano-reservoirs that can be incorporated into coatings such as paint. This technology is activated by the chemicals that cause corrosion, triggering the rapid release of a protective agent and essentially making the coated material self-healing.
The aerospace, automotive and shipping industries are among those currently searching for new anti-corrosion solutions. Dr Dodds’ technology has potential to penetrate the £200 billion-dollar protective coating industry thanks to its speed of action and environmental acceptability. It also aims to match current equivalents on price and the length of its guarantee.
Awards from the Worshipful Company of Armourers & Brasiers, Royal Society and Innovate UK have supported proof of concept and development to date. Dr Dodds is now developing this novel technology in collaboration with Tata Steel to manufacture anti-corrosive paint for metals in Europe. Discussions are progressing with other investors, and there has been interest from several multinationals within the paint industry.
Dr Dodds was awarded a 2017 Enterprise Fellowship to support him to develop the business. Next steps involve scaling up the manufacturing process and both long-term and accelerated testing.
An unparalleled level of access to the expertise of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Fellowship is a key benefit of being an Enterprise Hub member. With experience spanning the entire engineering and technology spectrum, the Fellows provide bespoke support and mentoring to Hub members. Mentors typically give at least one day a month to advise Hub members on business strategy, helping facilitate valuable connections, networking and practical support. The Enterprise Hub team connects members with the most appropriate mentor based on industry sector, stage of business cycle and any unique issues that need to be addressed. So far over a hundred Fellows have pledged their time in support of our programmes, and continue to be committed to help our members succeed.
David Gammon founded Rockspring in 2002 after 17 years of investment banking experience.
Rockspring provides advice and capital to disruptive technology companies from seed through scale up. His family are the benefactors of the JC Gammon Launchpad Award run by the Enterprise Hub.
David is a non-executive director at Raspberry Pi Trading Limited, Accesso Technology Group plc and Frontier Developments plc.
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.”
Chair of the Enterprise Committee and a long-standing Academy Fellow, Ian has played a prominent role in establishing the Enterprise Hub. His track record of helping businesses in the engineering and life science sectors transform their approach and improve their vision, ambition, business models and enterprise value is an invaluable resource.
Ian is currently Managing Director of contract R&D company Arcinova and is also the Managing Partner at investment and advisory firm Shott Trinova LLP. Prior to his specialist investment work at Shott Trinova, Ian was the founder and CEO of Excelsyn, which was sold to an American multinational in 2010. Earlier in his illustrious career he held numerous senior executive positions at multinational life science companies across the globe.
Ian has a wealth of experience with major industry bodies. He is currently the Chair of the UK government’s Leadership Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and a Governing Board Member of Innovate UK. Ian is also Visiting Professor at Oxford, Nottingham and Newcastle Universities.
“Apart from a deep-seated passion to change the entrepreneurial landscape in the UK and rediscover our legacy from the industrial revolution, I am highly excited by the prospect of engaging with new young talent and using my experience to accelerate and amplify their success. I’ve been involved in mentoring for over a decade but believe the Hub offers a very special opportunity to work with the brightest and best”.
Dick Whittington is a serial entrepreneur, business mentor and investor, focusing on the software industry and digital marketplaces, with over thirty years of experience in business. His experience has included co-founding a successful international software business recognised in UK through three Queen's Awards covering both Innovation and International Trade.
In 2012 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering where he plays an active role including as a mentor for early-stage technology startups and spinouts through its highly successful Enterprise Hub. From 2015 Dick has been Visiting and Honorary Professor of Business Innovation at the University of York, where he has developed and delivered a respected course in Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship for students and staff. He is also an active mentor and angel investor within several London and regional technology accelerator programmes.
Prior to pursuing business interests, Dick lectured in Computer Science at the University of York. He managed a successful research team and published a number of research papers and books, including Database Systems Engineering (1987), which became a standard text within many universities. He also contributed to several significant texts including The Software Life Cycle (1990) and the Software Engineers' Reference Book (1991).
"The concept of the Enterprise Hub resonated with me as a solid, practical initiative to benefit UK engineering through engaging the Academy’s extraordinary network of talent. The role of the Hub in launching and scaling such businesses is of enormous value to the UK economy and the engineering profession.”
Mike is a leading Silicon Fen-based entrepreneur. He is best known as a co-founder of enterprise software company Autonomy and founder of Invoke Capital, which invests in promising British technology businesses.
A celebrated technologist with a proven track record of identifying and monetising fundamental technologies, Mike has been recognised as one Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs in the industry. The Times has referred to Mike as “the closest thing Britain has to its own Bill Gates”.
Mike studied Information Sciences, received a PhD and held a research fellowship in adaptive pattern recognition at Cambridge University. After co-founding Autonomy he served as CEO for over fifteen years, during which time it became one of the UK’s most successful technology companies on the FTSE100. His latest venture Invoke Capital has raised over $1billion since its launch in 2012 and made its first investment in the cyber-security firm Darktrace in 2013 ,now valued at $800m, other investment areas include machine learning to automate legal functions, augmented reality and genomics.
Mike has received a number of prestigious honours throughout his career. He was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999 by the Confederation of British Industry; presented with an award for Autonomy as a technology pioneer by The World Economic Forum in 2000, and awarded an OBE in 2006 for Services to Enterprise. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering from 2008.
“It’s vital that we encourage and support emerging UK technology businesses, and mentoring programmes are a great way of guiding those with fundamentally clever ideas to fulfil their potential. I’m proud to be a part of the Enterprise Hub, which is helping to ensure the next generation of talent keeps Britain at the forefront of science and innovation.”
Formerly the UK Innovation Director for Atkins, Elspeth is the CEO and Founder of Indigo&, 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.”
Nigel’s career has involved working in the UK and the Netherlands for Unilever and Wellcome Research. While abroad, he built and operated the first large-scale Dutch facility for the manufacture of the genetically engineered protein alpha-galactosidase. Later, he led the process design for Wellcome’s WelGen interferon manufacturing plant in the USA.
Nigel has served as a co-founding non-executive director for two manufacturing SMEs, Cobra Biomanufacturing Plc (which was listed on AIM) and Angel Technology Ltd. The latter was awarded the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2006 and the International Sial d’Or prize for the most innovative new UK nutritional product at the Paris International Food Conference 2004. Currently he is Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at Cambridge University.
Nigel was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in 2004.
“My relevant technical and personal experience was well-matched to Janice’s needs and I am pleased to be involved in such a positive initiative.”
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.