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 prestigious 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
“I believe the Enterprise Hub provides a terrific opportunity to bring to bear the unique talents and networks of our Fellowship to address an area of real national need.”
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.
Gregory Francis is the Financial Director of BOXARR, a company that uses software to map complex interdependent systems and processes at a vast scale. It helps companies to optimise their operational performance and manage risk by bringing business processes into one place.
Its software is based on the ‘boxes and arrows’ concept, and solves the challenges of complexity across data intelligence aggregation, systems design and engineering, supply chain, process management, programme planning and execution, and joint operations methodology, by highlighting hidden risks and opportunities. Currently, the software is primarily used by the defence and aerospace industries, but the company hopes to diversify into a variety of industries.
Every year hundreds of billions of pounds are spent on storing, separating, and transporting gases using traditional technologies . For example, the use of chemical absorption units to separate carbon dioxide from industrial gases cuts the amount of energy that power plants generate by up to 30%, driving up electricity prices.
Andrew is working to commercialise new technology that could dramatically lower these costs by being able to store gas at much lower pressures and separated more efficiently.
Porous materials called metal-organic frameworks (MOF) that enable gas to be absorbed at the molecular level have existed for over twenty years. However they failed to be applied on an industrial scale as they are unusable in their natural, powdered form.
Andrew's company Immaterial and a team of researchers from Cambridge created a unique, patented technology that overcomes this issue, making MOFs suitable for industrial use where performance and mechanical stability are critical. This new process of expanding them into marble-sized pellets is a revolutionary ‘enabling’ technology which could be the key for these materials finding widespread use.
Initially being incorporated into
‘rebreathers’ to extend the life of oxygen tanks for scuba
divers, the technology could make it significantly cheaper for
industrial power plants to ‘scrub’ carbon dioxide from
their output. It also has many other potential applications such as compressing natural gas at lower pressure so
that it could be stored at significantly lower costs.
Coming from a musical family, Michael wants every child to enjoy being creative with music. He felt that the challenge of getting sounds out of an unfamiliar instrument gets in the way of understanding how notes fit together to make music.
He has now developed a musical product called Soundbops where young children can create their own music easily, discovering as they go what works and what doesn't.
The Bops are brightly coloured buttons that play a different musical note (from A to G) when pressed onto an interactive mat.
Bops can be endlessly
rearranged to create new tunes and even combined into chords when
piled on top of each other. The buttons make it simple for children to compose
songs while having fun.
technology’s ease-of-use encourages creativity and experimentation. It has strong educational value in terms of engaging children in reading sheet music and composing songs without
having to first master a complex musical instrument.
Michael plans to work with toy manufacturers and schools to capture a share of the £45 billion global educational technology market. A working prototype has undergone user testing and received positive feedback from users and the toy industry. He now aims to start a crowdfunding campaign to bring the product to market.
Daniel Thorpe is the Business Development
and Marketing Director at Spiro Control, a company that helps
factories to increase production rates and lower energy costs by using analytics.
Its expertise in advanced process control and optimisation helps manufacturers
turn data into action, using pioneering technology to increase reliability,
energy efficiency and profitability.
Spiro Control has delivered advanced control solutions to clients across the world, in a broad range of industries, including refining, petrochemical, energy, polymer, food processing and mining. Its device captures sensor data and feeds it to embedded data analytics tools, which make it easy to optimise processes by increasing reliability and production rates, reducing equipment damage and improving process stability. In the future, Spiro Control hopes to develop a solution that will work within the Industrial Internet of Things architecture.
Scientists use atomic force microscopes to examine matter such as biological cells and bacteria at the nanoscale.
Loren set out to develop the fastest one in the world, and achieved this ground-breaking goal in 2014.
His project is unique in that it can map not only the height of the sample surface but also its stiffness and conductance with nanometre resolution.
The microscope has a touch screen interface so that scientists can use ‘multi-touch’ gestures much like on smartphones to interact with samples in real time.
This improves usability, makes analysis quicker.and opens up new ways of manipulating samples. And it lets non-skilled operators control the instrument.
Having already invested significant time in his research at the University of Bristol, Loren is now commercialising the project through his company Bristol NanoDynamics. It promises to be even more of a game-changer in future.
“I have spent the last ten years developing and refining my technology, and now is the time to take this work to the next stage and begin to really revolutionise nanoscale imaging. Working with the Enterprise Hub is the ideal opportunity for me to learn how to do this successfully and ensure it is available to users around the world.”
Fabiano Mistano is the Chief Automotive Engineer at Onlicar, a fleet management and vehicle monitoring service that uses the expertise of Formula 1 and the aerospace industry to monitor vehicles. Its integrated systems improve performance and save money by combining engineering, software development and simulation.
The system uses a data analytics platform that is powered by artificial intelligence and connected car technology such as dongles and smartphone apps. It can use vehicle engine information to digitally diagnose and provide a health score for vehicles. Onlicar fleet management products range from tracking of small fleets to automated decision-making for those with more than 500 vehicles. The technology is encrypted and customisable.
Paul Botterill is a director at REACT Engineering, a company that develops innovative engineering solutions to address the challenges faced by the UK nuclear industry, including decommissioning and waste management. The impact of nuclear waste on the environment can be minimised by using careful engineering.
REACT hopes to provide long-term benefits to the environment by improving nuclear clean-up, using problem-driven processes to deliver engineering concepts. Through an understanding of nuclear processes and operations, REACT helps with implementation strategies, plant modification proposals, waste characterisation and safety methods.
Phil Horton is the managing director of Dulas Ltd, an international worker-owned co-operative in the field of renewable energy. The company has been providing renewable energy installations for 30 years. The company started by installing solar power in Kenya in 1984, followed by solar powered blood banks in Sudan, pioneering innovative uses of renewable energy.
Dulas develops and delivers renewable energy solutions to a range of clients, including businesses, charities and landowners. In the UK, Dulas is currently working on wind, solar and hydro projects, including installing wind monitoring instruments for the world’s biggest offshore windfarm, while overseas it is mainly focused on its work on solar powered vaccine fridges.
Oxford Space Systems' innovative structures, such as its novel large deployable antennas (LDAs), use both conventional and new materials. The LDAs offer significant savings in the build and launch costs of satellites and are lighter, less complex and can be stowed more efficiently than those currently in commercial demand. The development of a flight-worthy LDA is currently viewed as "strategically important" by the European Space Agency.
Although still in its early design stages, Oxford Space Systems is generating significant interest from satellite builders and operators globally and has gained investment from venture capital firms and various private investors.
Oxford Space Systems has the ambitious vision of establishing its position as the centre of excellence, making the UK the go-to supplier for large deployable antenna technology.
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.
Hermann is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of the Silicon Fen cluster. He is a co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners, alongside Fellow Anne Glover. He has been involved in a number of successful start-ups in his time at Amadeus such as CSR plc, Entropic Research Laboratory (which was later acquired by Microsoft) and Icera (acquired by Nvidia in 2011).
His career began famously as the co-founder of Acorn Computers, responsible for the iconic BBC Micro computer, which led to the development of ARM Holdings, now a global microprocesser giant. He was also founding director at organisations including IQ (Bio), IXI Limited, SynGenix and Advanced Displays Limited.
Hermann was awarded an Honorary CBE for ‘innovative service to the UK enterprise sector’ in 2001, and was made a member of the Government’s Council for Science and Technology in 2004. He was also commissioned to write a report on technology and innovation in the UK by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
In 2012, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of his contribution to the translation of science into business. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering from 2002 and holds honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Bath, Loughborough, and from Anglia Polytechnic.
“I am a firm believer in the idea that entrepreneurship with supportive venture capital can change the world for the better. Britain has an outstanding track record in computing innovation, and the support of the Enterprise Hub will help to ensure the next generation of highly talented individuals in this space will continue this proud legacy.”
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”.
Following several years as the Managing Director of Atkins’ Oil & Gas division, Martin has been the Chief Executive Officer of Atkins’ Energy business since 2009.
With a career spanning over thirty years with Atkins, Martin is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and has been recognised with a Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal for his work on safety in the oil and gas industry.
Atkins is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing some 18,000 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe.
For Martin, engineers are the key to a better future. "If we can attract and retain skilled engineers as well as encourage a more diverse workforce, we can accomplish great things, not only for the energy sector but for engineering and therefore the world at large."
"It doesn’t get much more important than the quest for secure, affordable energy that is safer, cleaner and smarter, for both the immediate and the longer term."
Malcolm has been an active supporter of the Academy’s entrepreneurship activities in the UK and abroad for many years.
Following a distinguished career at Shell, Malcolm is currently Chair of Engineering UK, President of the Energy Institute and also finds time to Chair the Judging Panel of the Academy’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.
Malcolm was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2002.
Mark has extensive experience in growing and supporting businesses across a wide range of sectors covering oil and gas, energy, defence, instrumentation and communications. Currently he heads Mercia Fund Management’s Electronics, Hardware and Telecoms division.
He holds various positions on several boards, including Chairman of Oxifree Global Ltd; Non-Executive Director of Rawwater Engineering Company Ltd and Non-Executive Director of Smart Reamer Drilling Systems Ltd. He is also on the Advisory Board for Synaptec Ltd and Spectrum Corporate Finance LLP.
Mark holds an engineering degree from Cambridge University, a PhD from Southampton University and an MBA from Edinburgh University. He is a fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology.
Ian is known worldwide as an authority on microdisplay technology, systems and applications. He describes himself as an "academic, innovator and entrepreneur."
Today he is employed by the University of Edinburgh as its Head of the Institute for Integrated Micro and Nano Systems (IMNS) and also acts as an independent consultant with pre-spin-out technology projects and early stage technology companies. He was a force in the pre-spin-out stage of Sofant; is Chairman of PureVLC; advisor to Holoxica and has mentored the management at Optoscribe.
Ian is an Associate Editor of the Journal of the Society for Information Display and sits on the technical program committee of the International Solid State Circuits Conference, the International Displays Research Conference and the Society for Information Display's Annual International Symposium.
His specialities include: electronic information displays, photonic and optoelectronic devices, components and systems.
Recent personal recognition includes Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year, Scotland (2003); Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2004); Gannochy Medal for Innovation winner (2004); Fellow of the Institute of Physics (2008); Appointed to the Scottish Science Advisory Council (2008) and elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in 2008.
David Ball’s career has involved roles as a CEO for six businesses, chairing three publicly quoted companies, and positions as executive director on the boards of over 65 companies across the world.
David’s key experience lies in creating business success in established businesses which have failed and in start ups, with particular expertise in strategic business development, effective and efficient operational management of both large and small businesses, and managing major business transforming R&D. He has also served on the boards of numerous UK trusts, trade associations and public arts and industry bodies.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in 1998.
"It’s rewarding to work with enthusiastic and dedicated young people who have great ideas and inherent capability but lack experience of business. Knowing I’ve had an influential role as an integral part of the team in bringing about subsequent commercial and personal successes is so satisfying for a mentor.”
Professor May has over 45 years' experience in transport planning and traffic engineering. He has been a professor at Leeds since 1977, and has served as Director of the Institute for Transport Studies, Head of the Department of Civil Engineering, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research. Between 1985 and 2001 he maintained a link between research and teaching at Leeds and practical experience in consultancy with MVA Ltd for which he was Director of Transport Policy.
Prior to 1977 he spent ten years with the Greater London Council, where he was responsible for policy on highways, traffic management and transport-related land use planning for the capital. He managed major studies on traffic restraint, parking policy and motorway traffic control during his time there.
Anthony was elected to a fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1995, and awarded the OBE for services to transport engineering in 2004. He retired in 2009 but is still active in research, consultancy and professional development. He served as President of the World Conference on Transport Research Society between 2007 and 2013. He has until recently been Editor in Chief of the European Transport Research Review and Secretary General of the World Conference on Transport Research Society.
Andrew has over 30 years’ design and operational experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, with direct responsibility for manufacturing, logistics, maintenance and capital programme management.
He has developed Biopharm Services into a leading provider of bioprocess modelling and knowledge management tools that support bioprocess innovation.
Prior to Biopharm Services, Andrew was Director of Engineering and Logistics at Lonza Biologics and holds an MSc in Biochemical Engineering from UCL. He was a finalist in “The Manufacturing Processing Thought Leader of the Decade” category at the 2012 BioProcess International Awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (2013).
Meet the innovators and innovations, members and projects that received early support from the Enterprise Hub. Many of these projects have gone on to achieve incredible success, recognition, market share and international awards. The work of our members are, without exaggeration, changing the world and the lives of people everywhere.
Working in tandem with PhD student Robert Rudolf, Reuben is developing the first instance of technology that will allow energy consumed by mains connected equipment to be measured without the need for a monitor between the equipment and the wall socket.
The technology uses state of the art sensors with elegant calibration and measurement algorithms.
This has resulted in an innovative new device that is a non-invasive multi-core current clamp which can be fitted around a cable and removed with ease.
This approach removes the need to access sockets and to power down equipment for the fitting process.
“Being involved with the Hub has been extremely useful with its opportunities to network with experienced business owners and entrepreneurs, many of whom have experienced the difficult decisions we are facing numerous times before. There is no question that these opportunities are vital to developing business ideas and raising the profile of our technology.”
Jack set out to explore what lay beyond the current generation of wearable sensors. His answer was to create a wristband that would actually interact with our bodies and help us to obtain the optimal state of mind for whatever situation we find ourselves in.
He founded his company doppel to develop a novel wristband to achieve this. The wristband creates a silent rhythmic pulse that you feel on the inside of your wrist as a heartbeat-like vibration.
As with listening to music, a fast rhythm helps you to feel more alert while a slower rhythm is calming. The technology is inspired by psychophysiology (the study of the relationship between the mind and the body). It is designed to change mood for specific scenarios such as high-pressure environments, high-intensity exercise or rest and recuperation.
During independent, controlled tests by psychologists, the technology was found to dramatically improve focus. The technology has undergone hundreds of user trials and users reported the ability to concentrate for longer periods, remain calm under pressure or maintain motivation during fitness training.
The wristband offers a radical alternative to traditional energy supplements, meditation and music as a way to achieve deeper focus, greater concentration, or calm under pressure.
doppel exceeded its £100,000 Kickstarter target and is currently focussed on delivering the devices. It is targeting a £6 billion wearable technology market - and that's just in the USA.
Jack's company is now set to undergo a major trial with Disney to improve children’s sleep. There are future applications for mood alteration including among those suffering from ADHD, anxiety or depression.
"I am astonished to find that I really do start to feel more alert and focused."
Rhodri has developed a new test to detect and analyse blood clotting abnormalities that have a high risk of death but are difficult to identify using conventional tests.
His test is the only one currently available that is capable of detecting abnormal clot formation in patients who have suffered a recurrence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) while on warfarin therapy, which is commonly used to prevent DVT, and who appear adequately anticoagulated (prevented from clotting) according to standard International Normalised Ratio (INR) test results.
Rhodri is a professor at Swansea University and a co-founder of Haemometrics Ltd. with a clinical colleague. He formed the company to
exploit the new test’s potential by developing a user-friendly form
of the technology and making it commercially available.
“The Enterprise Hub provides the ideal forum for initiating business meetings, making the right commercial contacts, and raising awareness of the new business offering. This can be particularly challenging for an academic promoting a spin-out whilst working mainly within a university environment.”
Sorin has found a way to significantly reduce the cost and trauma associated with kidney dialysis. He is the founder of Stent-Tek, the company which is continuing to expand upon this incredible innovation.
Over 27,000 UK and 2.5 million people worldwide have kidney conditions that require their blood to be externally filtered by routinely hooking their circulatory system up to a dialysis machine.
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). However, fistulas frequently clog up and fail, which can endanger patient lives and require expensive repair operations.
Sorin invented a new way to connect the vessels in almost any part of the arm using a small covered tube known as a ‘stent graft’, which could enable patients to receive kidney dialysis without surgery.
This would have enormous impact on patients by reducing stress, discomfort and the risk of vascular access problems. The technology could save the NHS an estimated £45 million per annum on kidney dialysis alone, and it also has potential applications in the treatment of coronary heart disease.
Joshua is researching and developing ground-breaking automatic mixing tools for audio and music production. He wants to enable amateur DJs and unsigned bands to produce professional quality recordings without the need for an expensive sound engineer.
His project MixGenius uses technology run in the cloud or on a computer. Advanced algorithms ‘listen’ to the music while applying knowledge of the human hearing system.
This works in real time to distinguish between multiple sounds (either from a live gig or during post-production) and creates a professional quality mix with an optimised blend of the sounds.
Joshua is co-founder and board member of MixGenius and Head of Audio Engineering at the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary University of London.
Dr David Heath is founder and CEO of Cutitronics Ltd, a spin-out company from the University of Strathclyde. David identified a gap in the market for personalised, adaptive skin care which would harness the power of engineering and technology-based innovation, to support consumers in achieving their desired skincare and beauty results.
Cutitronics offers a menu of patented CutiTron™ technology including assessment of personal skin health, a unique method of automated skin stimulation to enhance topical product absorption and precise personalised product dosage. The technology becomes intuitive through adaptive coaching, supporting the consumer to achieve optimum results.
In August 2017 the company announced a strategic partnership with FTSE 100 Company Croda International plc, who recognised CutiTron™ technology as truly innovative and disruptive for the personal care industry. The partnership will support David and the Cutitronics team to progress their ambitious growth and development plans, taking the technology from prototype to market-ready.
"Breaking into such a huge and established market is both an exciting and challenging prospect. The experience of my mentor, Dr Jeremy Burroughes, will be invaluable in this respect, and gaining this recognition for my technology from the Royal Academy of Engineering stands me in excellent stead to take it to market."
Ian is the Managing Director of TribeHive, a University of Sussex spin-out focussing on software to overcome the problem of poor smartphone data connectivity in crowded places.
His innovation lets individual smartphone apps crowd-share data bandwidth by building a network directly between the mobile devices. This network is then used as the basis for distributing information.
Using this technology, mobile apps can reliably deliver match-related content and social media feeds to football fans in stadiums.
The system is now in place in a large number of professional football clubs, and the commercial rights in the sports market have now passed on to the company InCrowd Sports. Working with TribeHive, Ian continues to develop other opportunities for the technology.
“The Enterprise Hub has provided me access to very high calibre mentors, who have considerable experience in the field. It is immensely useful to be able to bounce ideas off them, sanity check our plans, and discuss freely with an independent and smart mind how best to move the business forward.”
Over one million children born prematurely die each year, of which an estimated 75% could be saved with incubation treatment.
The high cost of traditional incubators and difficulty with maintaining and transporting them means that many of the world’s poorest, more isolated or rural communities do not have access to the technology.
James is a product design and technology graduate from Loughborough
University who has invented a revolutionary inflatable incubator called MOM to provide a solution to this terrible situation.
MOM is a tiny incubator that could cost as little as 1/30th of the price of traditional incubators, making it much more affordable for use in the developing world. It
can be quickly flat-packed down for easy storage in air ambulances
and mobile clinics, and powered for 24 hours from a car battery. Small, mobile and affordable means that more incubators can be there when needed to save far more babies.
Julien has developed a 30-minute test for infections that could revolutionise the detection and treatment of significant diseases.
He is a co-founder of SAW Dx, which has designed a testing procedure that is completely automated and carried out on a low-cost handheld system. Significantly, it can be used to test and identify major diseases (including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and malaria) that require costly lab work and a stressful wait for the patient.
new test system allows the manipulation of microvolumes of
fluids, such as a finger-prick sample of blood.
Designed to be a completely integrated sample-to-answer diagnostic test for patients at the point of care, the technology overcomes the limitations that current solutions have handling complex samples such as blood or saliva.
“The Hub has been very beneficial for my work all round, and I expect to deepen the interactions with my fellow members and continue participating with the targeted workshops and seminars. The original interview process for the ERA award was also valuable, with a significant part of the process devoted not to simply grilling me on my project, but offering very useful advice on the best way forward.”