Taylor Centre opens to accelerate the innovations of tomorrow

09 Feb 2017

Flexible meeting and workspaces such as the Taylor Centre are proving crucial to the growth of technology companies; such open and varied settings stimulate collaborative discussions and foster serendipitous encounters that can lead to business relationships. With powerful connectivity and state-of-the-art AV across eight versatile rooms and ‘touch down’ work spaces, the Taylor Centre will provide a professional space for entrepreneurs to develop their ideas, meet investors and potential customers, and take their work to the next stage.

The Taylor Centre is the physical space for the Academy’s Enterprise Hub, which provides funding, mentoring and PR support to entrepreneurs turning their engineering innovations into viable businesses. The Centre is the next piece of this package, bringing excellence, creativity and innovation together under one roof. The Enterprise Hub offers unique one-on-one mentoring with Academy Fellows, who have a wealth of engineering and business experience. Since its inception in 2013, the Hub has helped 61 Members get their businesses off the ground (generating 150 jobs in the process) and its Members have raised over £30m total in follow-on funding and investment for their technologies.

Many of the technologies that Members have developed will be showcased at the Taylor Centre launch event tonight, including:

  • StarTracker by Mo-Sys – a highly accurate, robust and reliable VR system that allows any space of any size to be converted into a virtual realm
  • doppel – a wristband that mimics the natural rhythm of a heartbeat, doppel can be tuned to help focus or relax the wearer whenever they need it
  • Comp-A-Tent – the world’s first fully compostable, plant-based tent, with the potential to save festival organisers millions in clean-up costs
  • NeuroSensi by NeuroCONCISE – a wearable technology that measures brainwaves and allows users to interact with computers using their mind
  • Marty the robot by Robotical – a 3D printable robot that is used to help children learn to code
  • KENOTEQ – a brick made from 90 per cent construction waste, paving the way for highly renewable brick buildings
  • Armourgel – a very thin, flexible material that stiffens on impact, this can be used to protect wearers from injuries, such as hip breaks in the elderly
  • Bodle Technologies – creators of a pioneering new ‘smart material’ that manipulates lights at a flick of a switch, enabling the creation of vivid smartwatch and other display devices, with dramatically reduced battery consumption

The Taylor Centre is part of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s wider ambition to create a national centre of excellence for engineering. Ana Avaliani, Head of Enterprise, Royal Academy of Engineering, adds:  

“The UK is one of the best countries in the world at innovative research and technological development<a href="http://www.raeng.org.uk/news/news-releases/2017/february/taylor-centre-opens-at-royal-academy-of-engineerin#REF1"><sup>1</sup></a>. Through the Taylor Centre and our wider community, we are helping to turn such innovation into viable engineering technology businesses, supporting UK entrepreneurship in uncertain times. As a place for networking and sharing ideas with fellow innovators and the UK’s leading engineers, the new space will mark a step-change in the support we are able to offer and in the results our Members will achieve and therefore the country’s capacity for engineering innovation. This is the start of something really special.”

Jack Hooper, Hub Member and Co-Founder of doppel, a company that is showcasing their newly launched smart wearable at the Taylor Centre opening, said: “The mentoring we have been able to access because of the Enterprise Hub has been an enormous support to us, helping us to make the decisions and connections so important to getting our technology to market. The opening of the Taylor Centre will add another level to the Hub’s support, giving us and many other entrepreneurs access to incredible expertise and facilities that will help us grow our businesses.”

The Taylor Centre is open from 10 February. 

You can contact us by email here: enterprise@raeng.org.uk or call 0207 7660625.

The Taylor Centre was made possible by a generous donation from distinguished inventor and entrepreneur Dr John C Taylor OBE FREng, as well as the support of the late Geoffrey Argent FREng and the Wolfson Foundation, and the kind donation of equipment for the new space from Toshiba UK. The Royal Academy of Engineering thanks these supporters for their invaluable contribution to creating a home for the best of engineering entrepreneurship.

Notes for editors

1. See https://www.elsevier.com/connect/report-how-do-the-large-research-nations-compare</a>

About the Enterprise Hub. The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub is a national resource for the UK’s most promising engineering entrepreneurs. The Hub forms part of the Academy’s commitment to stimulate excellence and promote creativity and innovation in engineering. The Hub does this by making awards to exemplars of excellence and innovation in engineering who will be the founders and leaders of tomorrow’s high-tech companies. The awards include provision of money-can’t-buy bespoke support and one-to-one mentoring from its Fellowship, which comprises many of the country’s most successful engineers from across academia and industry, including prominent entrepreneurs and business leaders such as Mike Lynch OBE FREng, Sir Robin Saxby FREng, Anne Glover CBE HonFREng and Ian Shott CBE FREng.

About the Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering.We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.We have four strategic challenges:

  • Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
  • Address the engineering skills crisis
  • Position engineering at the heart of society
  • Lead the profession

About Dr John C Taylor OBE. Dr Taylor is considered one of the UK’s greatest inventors. He has hundreds of patents to his name, of which his most famous is for the Otter G, a bi-metal blade that allows thermostats, domestic appliances and other household electrical equipment to be dramatically shrunk down. This expertise in home appliances engineering led him to also develop the 360-degree cordless kettle connector, which won his company Strix four Queen’s Awards.

About The Wolfson Foundation. The Wolfson Foundation is an independent charity that awards grants to support and promote excellence in the fields of science, health, education and the arts &amp; humanities. Our funds are generated through an endowment. We have awarded over £800 million in grants since our establishment (£1.7 billion in real terms), supporting over 10,000 projects across the UK, all on the basis of expert peer review.

About Geoffrey Argent FREng. Geoffrey Argent was an eminent electrical engineer and Senior Partner with Newcastle-based engineering consultancy Merz and McLellan (now part of Parsons Brinckerhoff). He was elected a Fellow of the Academy in 1985.

For more information please email David Cohen at AprilSix Proof or call 020 3141 2973 / 07729 321096

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