SME Leaders 2020 - Cohort 7

Ben Adeline, Co-Founder and CEO, INSPHERE


INSPHERE develops new measurement technologies for use in advanced manufacturing. Its solutions enable precision measurement and control to allow companies to optimise manufacturing performance to improve quality and profitability. Its 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. Ben Adeline, CEO, is developing a strategy to increase sales of existing products while developing a new product for continuous monitoring and control of industrial automation systems. 

Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Ben aims to strengthen leadership skills for managing a growing team as the company extends its product range and scales rapidly.


Sarah Bond, Chief Product Officer, Mirada Medical Ltd

Mirada Medical

Mirada Medical uses deep learning technology to develop medical imaging software to improve treatment and care for patients with cancer and other diseases. Its accessible software solutions automate processes in a range of clinical work, including diagnostic imaging, radiation therapy and interventional oncology. Installed in over 2,000 sites worldwide, Mirada Medical’s products help clinicians to make better decisions and deliver personalised care.

With support and training through the SME Leaders Programme, Sarah Bond, Chief Product Officer, aims to increase Mirada Medical’s revenue and market share. This is part of an ambitious plan for growth that includes developing products to help the company retain its competitive advantage.


Raunaq Bose, Chief Technical Officer, Humanising Autonomy

Humanising Autonomy

Humanising Autonomy develops software solutions targeting the human-centred implementation of autonomous technology in the road safety sector. The company combines expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) and behavioural psychology to better understand the range of complex human behaviours and predict the actions of vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians. This provides real-time data that can be used in different automated driving systems to make roads safer. Raunaq Bose, CTO, leads the development of Humanising Autonomy’s core technologies. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, his vision is for the company’s solutions to be integrated into real vehicles on the road in urban environments and lay the foundations for industrially scaling the technology.


Dr James Carpenter, CEO, Surepulse Medical Limited

Surepulse Medical Limited

Technologies developed at SurePulse help advance the care of newborns by providing easier access to data helping make better clinical decisions in time-critical situations. Around 10% of babies need some form of stabilisation and resuscitation at birth and heart rate is the best indicator of resuscitation success. SurePulse Medical’s first product, the SurePulse VS, is a vital sign monitoring system, recently launched in Europe, that improves clinicians’ ability to make timely decisions about care pathways. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Dr Carpenter, CEO, aims to use training and networking opportunities to help with product commercialisation and to lead a talented, driven team at a critical stage in the company’s growth.


Dr Amrit Chandan, CEO and Co-Founder, Aceleron


Lithium batteries are often discarded with up to 80% of life left. The way they are manufactured limits their capacity for being repurposed. Aceleron aims to change this by manufacturing batteries and delivering services that make it easier to repair, re-manufacture, reuse and recycle lithium batteries leading to less waste and reduced lifetime costs. Its lightweight, robust solutions can be used at home or in commercial systems, including for solar energy storage. Dr Amrit Chandan, CEO, will use support from the SME Leaders Programme to scale up an international team with commercial and technical expertise, while maintaining a company culture that has a focus on strong results and progress.


Tom Collings, CEO, Kalium Health

Kalium Health

Kalium Health is a University of Cambridge spin-out that is developing a handheld test device for monitoring blood potassium levels with clinical accuracy. Current testing methods are hospital-based and require a venous blood sample. In contrast, Kalium’s device will provide real-time results in any setting, making it possible for patients, including the growing number with kidney disease, to monitor and manage unstable potassium levels before they become life-threatening. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Tom Collings, CEO, is developing leadership skills to support a rapidly growing team to help bring Kalium’s device to market within the next five years.


Niall Coogan, CEO, AssetCool


AssetCool aims to improve the capacity of power networks, and reduce power losses by up 30%, with a photonic coating for power lines that helps them to manage temperature more effectively. AssetCool’s easy-to-use, durable coating enables overhead power lines to reflect solar radiation while also allowing infrared heat to escape more easily. This leads to increased power-carrying capacity, reduced power losses and reduced carbon emissions. Niall Coogan, SME Leader and CEO, is overseeing technology development and industrial scale-up to meet market demand. With support from the SME Leaders Programme, Niall is developing a clear strategic vision for AssetCool to become a global business.


Robert Fryers, CEO, Spotta


Spotta has developed a technology for tracking and monitoring insect pest populations for a range of industries where they can be an issue. Using ultra-low power imaging and image processing, Spotta’s solutions allow customers to detect insects at an early stage and intervene to reduce treatment costs and the impact of lost revenue. Its first product, the Bed Pod, is currently used in hotels and rented accommodation to detect bed bugs and is has a 95% success rate. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Robert Fryers, CEO, is developing a rapidly growing team to help product innovation and expansion into European and North American markets.


Dr Stephen Hicks, Co-Founder, Head of Innovation and Director, OXSIGHT


OXSIGHT develops smart glasses that enhance the residual vision of those living with visual impairments caused by a range of degenerative eye diseases including macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. 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 to help people to see their surroundings in more detail. The technology builds on research by Dr Stephen Hicks, Co-founder and Head of Innovation. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, he  aims to expand OXSIGHT’s technical base and expertise as the company explores new ventures and product development at a time of rapid growth.


Daniel Jamieson, CEO and Founder, Biorelate Ltd

Biorelate Ltd

Over 80% of data is unstructured, which can make it harder to access and seek insights from. Biorelate’s platform, Galactic AI, can organise, analyse and connect large volumes of data to help drug discovery companies gain deeper insights to the innovations they are seeking to develop. It also saves time and resources when solving complex research problems. Its processing power provides insights in real-time and ensures that drug companies keep pace with the latest research outputs and developments. Support from SME Leaders Programme comes at a pivotal time as Daniel Jamieson, CEO, leads the company through a significant phase of growth.


Dmitro Khroma, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Swytch Technology

Swytch Technology

Swytch Technology’s eBike conversion kit can be used to turn a regular bicycle into an electric bicycle. The lightweight, durable, hand-held kit is easy to fit, instantly removable and works on any bicycle type to provide up to 250 Watts of power, with a single charge lasting for up to 50 kilometres. With over 5,000 customers across 40 countries, Swytch is well placed for a share of the global eBike market which is growing at over 50% every year. Dmitro Khroma, CTO, leads all aspects of product development. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, he aims to develop skills for managing his multidisciplinary team as Swytch launches a new product and develops a high-level strategy for continued growth.


Anna Perdrix, Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Officer, Sixfold Bioscience

Sixfold Bioscience

Sixfold Bioscience has developed a patented technology for the safe and effective drug delivery ofcell 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. The non-viral, RNA-based drug delivery technology has shown promising in vitro and in vivo results and has been awarded funding from Innovate UK to support its development. Anna Perdix Rosell, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, aims to use support from the SME Leaders Programme to strengthen skills in strategic product development. This includes developing collaborations for revenue generation and impacting the global drug delivery systems market which is currently valued at $3.2 billion.

SME Leaders 2019 - Cohort 6

Jessi Baker, Founder and CEO, Provenance


Provenance uses blockchain technology to help brands and retailers build customer trust through greater transparency. Ethical spending grew by 3.2 % to £81.3 billion in 2016. With openness and trust becoming key drivers to a brand’s success, Provenance leads the transparency movement with a software platform that helps brands to promote conscious, low-impact consumption. It achieves this by making it easier for a company to provide accessible, trustworthy information about the origin, journey and impact of its products.

Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, CEO and Founder, Jessi Baker is leading a team that is rapidly expanding to meet the demands of this emerging market.


Thomas Fleming, Co-founder and COO, Arctoris


Arctoris’s fully automated experiments-as-a-service accelerates progress towards new discoveries in cancer research. Current data generation methods in cellular and molecular biology are inefficient and yield poor quality data. Powered by robotic experimentation, Arctoris’s cloud-based platform enables efficient data generation with a high degree of consistency, precision and reliability using just a laptop and internet connection. This makes it easier for researchers and biotech entrepreneurs to generate, analyse and visualise data.

Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Tom is responsible for overseeing daily operations and directing strategy and development of new Arctoris technologies. Training will help as Tom leads Arctoris in scaling effectively and transitioning from small-team strategies to large-scale approaches for global distribution.


Lise Honsinger, CFO and COO, NOTPLA


50% of plastic packaging is used once and thrown away with estimates suggesting that plastics can take several centuries to decompose. Notpla is a plastic alternative, made from plants and brown seaweed, that biodegrades naturally in 4-6 weeks. The sustainable materials can reduce plastic waste and lessen the carbon impact as it has 85 % less associated carbon emissions than equivalent plastic packaging. The company’s first product, Ooho, is an edible, biodegradable packaging solution used for beverages and sauces that is fast gaining commercial traction.

With a fast-growing team, Chief Financial Officer Lise Honsinger aims to use support from the SME Leaders Programme to establish a company culture that promotes growth as Notpla enters new global markets.


Fern Kelly, Director of Innovation, Footfalls & Heartbeats

Footfalls & Heartbeats

Footfalls and Heartbeats has developed a technology that integrates sensing systems into fabrics to create intelligent wearables that are comfortable and durable. One of the start-up’s first products is a pressure-responsive bandage for treating venous leg ulcers. Compression therapy is the recommended treatment but its effectiveness is limited by lack of awareness and patient discomfort. Footfall and Heartbeats solution is a customised bandage with embedded sensors for responsive, real-time monitoring to ensure the correct pressure is applied during compression therapy.

Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Director of Innovation, Fern Kelly is strengthening her leadership skills to help with negotiating the commercial partnerships needed to bring Footfalls and Heartbeats first products to market.


Matthew Khoory, Co-founder and COO, mOm Incubators

mOm Incubators

The World Health Organization estimates that there are 15 million premature births each year, and preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death in children under the age of five. Ensuring a baby is kept warm can help with preventing neonatal fatalities. Cost-effective, electronically-controlled, inflatable incubators, created by mOm, can provide an accessible solution in places that need it.

Chief Operating Officer and co-founder, Matthew Khoory, leads strategy and business development as mOm finalises development and testing of its product. Support from the SME Leaders Programme, will help Matthew to strengthen his management skills as he leads an expanding team and builds a network of partnerships to further promote the company’s growth.


Giorgia Longobardi, CEO, Cambridge GaN Devices 

Cambridge GaN Devices

Cambridge GaN Devices’ (CGD) develops high-performance Gallium Nitride (GaN) power electronic devices as a more efficient alternative to silicon based and existing GaN devices. GaN’s physical properties allow it to operate at higher frequencies than silicon, resulting in circuits that are smaller, faster and more efficient. CGDs overcome the stability issues associated with current GaN devices by using a novel patented transistor, allowing customers to leverage the benefits of GaN in a wider range of applications.

The University of Cambridge spin-out was co-founded by CGD CEO, Giorgia Longobardi. The SME Leader manages a rapidly growing team focused on bringing CGD’s energy-efficient technology to the GaN power device market, which is valued at £400 million.


Jordan McRae, CEO, Mobilus Labs 

Mobilus Labs

Mobilus Labs is transforming voice communication with a wearable, hands-free, ear-free voice platform that combines vocal recognition with a two-way bone conduction technology to isolate and capture voice and transmit it directly to the inner ear. Effective in extreme and noisy environments, the platform allows teams of any size to communicate at any distance. This makes it ideal for use in industries such as construction, mixed reality and emergency services.

SME Leader, Jordan McRae, will use support from the programme to deliver his vision to scale the company and build on traction in the construction sector where the cost of poor communication costs an estimated £16 billion each year.


Peter Mountney, CEO, Odin Vision

Odin Medical

Patients showing signs of bowel cancer may have a colonoscopy to inspect tissue for small growths, called polyps, some of which can develop into cancer. These can be challenging for clinicians to detect and diagnose with some studies suggesting that over 20% of polyps can be missed. Odin Vision has developed an AI driven technology that uses deep-learning algorithms to identify polyps in real-time. It helps doctors to effectively make diagnoses at the earliest stage possible, helping to reduce incidence of bowel cancer and improve patient outcomes.

With the technology progressing through clinical trials, Peter will use training and mentoring through the SME Leaders Programme to get timely support at a time of rapid growth.


Pierre Paslier, Co-founder and co-CEO, NOTPLA


Notpla is the name of both a material and a company that aims to significantly reduce plastic waste with a range of sustainable packaging solutions. 50% of plastic packaging is used once and thrown away and estimates suggest that plastics can take centuries to decompose. Notpla is a plastic alternative, made from plants and seaweed, that biodegrades naturally in 4-6 weeks. Co-CEO, Pierre Paslier had a central role in developing Notpla’s first product, the Ooho, an edible, biodegradable packaging solution used for beverages and sauces.

With Ooho gaining commercial traction, SME Leader Pierre is using training and mentoring through the Programme to support him in developing a strategy to support industrialisation, increasing sales and new product development.


Samantha Payne, COO and Co-founder, Open Bionics

Open Bionics

Open Bionics have created the Hero Arm, an affordable, 3D-printed, multi-grip bionic hand. Lightweight and durable, the Hero Arm is an empowering, medically-approved, myoelectric prosthesis for below elbow amputee adults and children aged eight and above. The award-winning technology is lightweight, robust and embedded with special sensors that intuitively detect muscle movement so that it can move with life-like precision. COO and co-founder, Samantha Payne leads Open Bionic’s product design, branding, communications and customer service.

Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Samantha will use structured training to strengthen her leadership and management skills to help with gaining a deeper understanding of the company’s commercial offering as it scales internationally and expands into new markets.


Tim Ramsdale, CEO, Agile Analog

Agile Analog

As semiconductors’ systems and circuit requirements grow in complexity to meet digital demands, more efficient and effective analogue solutions are needed. Current analogue design methods are old and manually-intensive methods often leading to the production of components that are restricted in use, inefficient and costly to change. Agile Analog aims to change this by using artificial intelligence to automate the design and delivery of customised components that match customer’s specific requirements while driving efficiency in both power consumption and cost.

Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Tim Ramsdale, CEO, aims to strengthen skills in sales and business development to help the company grow and target a $2 billion market in analogue intellectual property design.

SME Leaders 2019 - Cohort 5

Alex Appelbe, CEO and Co-Founder, Metis Labs

Metis Labs

Metis Labs' mission is to enable manufacturing engineers to improve the resource efficiency of their factories through intelligent software tools. Its first product, Kelvin, learns the unique characteristics of a wide range of manufacturing processes by continuously monitoring plant data and correlating how each variable affects performance. This increases the profitability of factories and processing plants by warning before inefficiencies occur and instantaneously recommending improvements.

Alex Appelbe, Co-Founder and CEO, started Metis Labs to address specific challenges that he faced during a decade working in the manufacturing sector. Alex will use the SME Leaders Programme to help him refine his leadership, negotiation and financial skills to support a rapidly growing business.


Mohammed Belal, Business Development Director and Co-Founder, MIRICO


MIRICO’s new laser sensing technology allows real-time, accurate gas sensing. Its solutions measure a range of gases, providing the tools to better quantify emissions, enhance analytics in industrial operations and improve safety across facilities through reliable detection of harmful molecules. MIRICO’s primary product platform can remotely track emissions of gases such as methane, a potent greenhouse gas that causes more than $2 billion in lost revenue due to product loss from accidental emissions.

Mohammed Belal, Co-Founder, leads business development and draws on support from the SME Leaders Programme as he builds skills for leading a strong sales team, negotiating new business partnerships and strategically mapping the market for new products and ventures to help MIRICO’s continued growth.


Dr Liucheng Guo, Chief Technical Officer and Co-Founder, TG0


TG0 has developed a new technology for making interactive 3D controls that are ergonomic, intuitive and engaging. TG0’s platform technology is driven by artificial intelligence algorithms and advanced signal processing to accurately detect variations in touch across a single flexible surface. Its material can easily sense pressure, location, speed, direction and movement. TG0’s solutions replace complicated networks of electronic sensors with one material that can be used in many applications including tactile gaming controls, car dashboard controls and ergonomic computer accessories such as keyboards.

Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Liucheng’s vision is to increase the company’s customer base while leading a rapidly growing software and hardware team as TG0 expands its product portfolio.


James Howarth, Engineering Director, Cambridge Mechatronics Ltd

Cambridge Mechatronics Ltd

Actuators are miniature motors that are typically responsible for moving a system. Cambridge Mechatronics Ltd’s (CML) actuators deliver high force in a small size and enable positioning to the accuracy of the wavelength of light. CML’s actuators contain shape memory alloy (SMA) material, which can be controlled by software algorithms to achieve sub-micron accuracy. CML's licensees have shipped millions of SMA-based camera actuators into smartphones, wearables and drones. The company is developing technology for further applications in haptics, facial recognition and augmented reality.

James Howarth, Engineering Director, has a key role in developing the technology and supporting the company as it expands into new areas.


Paul Jackson, Operations Manager, Femtogenix


Femtogenix is an established drug discovery start-up that specialises in the development of payloads - one of three key components in a group of targeted chemotherapies known as antibody-drug conjugates. Payloads are molecules that are toxic to living cells and kill cancer cells. When combined with antibodies to target cancer cells, and a linker to bring all these molecules together, it creates a highly targeted cancer treatment that is less likely to cause side effects than current chemotherapy. Femtogenix’s discovery platform uses computational chemistry and state-of-the-art synthetic chemistry methodologies to design and synthesise payload molecules that can bind to DNA and effectively kill cancer cells at low concentrations.

Paul Jackson, Operations Manager, is supported by the SME Leaders Programme as he helps define Femtogenix’s scientific and commercial strategy for growth.


Steve McNamara, Physics Programme Manager, Tokamak Energy

Tokamak Energy

Fusion, the energy source that powers the sun and stars, could also provide a clean, safe and abundant energy source on Earth. Energy can be generated by using fusion reactions produce heat for electricity generation. Tokamak Energy’s mission is to accelerate the development and commercialisation of fusion power by combining two emerging technologies: spherical tokamaks (a device in which controlled fusion can take place) and magnets made from high temperature superconductors. These two technologies will create a compact and efficient fusion power plant.

As part of the leadership team, Steven McNamara is responsible for Tokamak Energy’s scientific development strategy. This includes planning for accelerated growth as the company demonstrates the viability of its approach with its latest tokamak.


Jonathan Quinn, Head of Software and Games, Reach Robotics

Reach Robotics

Reach Robotics has developed MekaMon, a unique gaming robot that is transforming consumer robotics and creating new opportunities in education and entertainment. MekaMon engages users with lifelike, expressive movements and augmented reality.

Jonathan Quinn, Head of Software and Games, has a central role in delivering the company’s vision to develop technology that inspires, entertains and educates. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Jonathan is focused on optimising development processes and steering the development of high-quality products. This includes developing educational and entertainment software that will help Reach Robotics target several intersecting markets, including the educational and consumer robotics markets that are currently valued at $1.2 billion and $10 billion respectively.


James Roberts, CEO and Co-Founder, mOm Incubators Ltd

mOm Incubators

The World Health Organization estimates that there are 15 million premature births each year, and up to one million preventable neonatal deaths. Ensuring that babies are kept warm can help to preventing neonatal fatalities. mOm’s incubators are compact, cost-effective and inflatable so can be used in environments where conventional incubators are not available.

James Roberts, Co-Founder and CEO, led the strategic development of the robust but lightweight incubators in close collaboration with clinical specialists. The resulting incubator provides a level of thermoregulation that meets the standards set for conventional incubators at a fraction of the cost. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, James is aiming to strengthen his strategic leadership skills to help the award-winning startup increase access to healthcare through its affordable technology.


Oluwaseyi Sosanya, CEO and Co-Founder, Gravity Sketch

Gravity Sketch

A new software platform developed by Gravity Sketch pushes boundaries in design by allowing people to craft digital 3D content using gesture and touch without having to use complex computer-aided design programs. Gravity Sketch uses augmented reality, virtual reality and touch technologies to create a fast, intuitive solution for developing 3D models and concepts. Its tools can be seamlessly integrated into real-world engineering workflows, helping design teams to reduce the time spent on initial design processes by up to 60%. Launched online in 2017, Gravity Sketch sells to customers in industries including automotive and furniture design.

Oluwaseyi Sosanya, Co-Founder and CEO, has a vision to strategically build the company’s customer base while supporting a rapidly growing team.

SME Leaders 2018 - Cohort 3

Dr Cristina Blanco Andujar, Head of Research and Development, Medisieve


Medisieve helps doctors to rapidly target and remove infected cells from a patient’s bloodstream using a technique known as magnetic blood filtration. Cristina has responsibility for all aspects of product development from design to clinical trials and regulatory approval.  She is motivated to improve her commercial skills and establish a sales-to-market strategy that can adapt and respond to different audiences and markets.


Dr Daniel Elford, Co-founder and CTO, Sonobex Ltd


Sonobex develops engineering solutions to increase capacity for effective noise control in a range of environments, such as mechanical plant machinery. Daniel leads a team of acoustic engineers and is responsible for developing Sonobex's technical vision as the company enters a phase of high growth. On the programme, Daniel’s focus is on strategy development as the company establishes licence and distribution agreements to expand into global markets.


Virginia Gardiner, Founder and CEO, Loowatt


Loowatt designs and manufactures high quality, waterless flush toilets that could significantly improve access to adequate sanitation and hygiene where it’s most needed. Virginia developed the technology and now leads the company in establishing a robust strategy and vision for growth. She aims to use training and support from the SME Leaders Programme to advance the company’s fundraising strategy as it develops plans to scale manufacturing processes and sell its products to international utilities.


Jack Greenhalgh, Head of Artificial Intelligence, Skin Analytics

Skin Analytics

Skin Analytics has developed a new screening technology that uses artificial intelligence to quickly and accurately detect melanoma skin cancer. Jack leads in designing and validating the machine learning algorithms behind the technology. His ambition is to build a research team to help the company explore how its technology might support diagnosis of other skin cancers along with skin conditions such as acne and eczema.


Niall Haslam, CTO, Axial3D


Globally, over three million complex surgical cases could benefit from 3D printing. Through a combination of software and expert services, axial3D aims to make 3D printing more accessible across the healthcare sector. Niall leads a rapidly-growing team of engineers involved in refining manufacturing processes and designing new services. His vision is to support the development of the team while fostering a culture of innovation and continued growth at axial3D.


Dr Graeme Karney, COO, VOID Technologies

VOID Technologies

A patented technology, developed by VOID, is enabling the production of a new generation of high-performance products with significantly reduced levels of plastic, such as flexible packaging. Graeme leads the company’s business development activity, manufacturing operations and supply chain. He aims to strengthen his skills in managing technical operations and development, while also drawing on guidance from a mentor with experience in the materials manufacturing sector.


Peter Schrammel, CTO, Diffblue Ltd


Diffblue is disrupting traditional computer programming by automating everyday tasks such as bug fixing, test-writing and translation across computer languages. With increasing sales of its core product, Peter has a key role in coordinating technology development to support sustainable growth at Diffblue. He aims to extend his leadership skills beyond engineering management and strengthen skills in effective communication and engagement to improve decision-making across both technical and non-technical challenges as the company grows in scale.


Dr Phillipa Smith, CTO, Duvas Technologies

Duvas Technologies

Duvas Technologies has developed the DV3000 for rapid, real-time environmental air monitoring. This patent-protected technology ensures that air pollution can be effectively detected and monitored, allowing protective legislation to be enforced at the earliest opportunity. Phillipa’s current goals include developing a technological vision and diversifying the company’s products. Phillipa aims to use the training and networking opportunities gained through the SME Leaders Programme to complement her technical and business skills as she develops a clear strategy for growth as the company scales up.


Dr Simon Thomas, CEO, Paragraf


Paragraf has developed transformative manufacturing processes to make high-quality, large area graphene, bringing the full capabilities of the material to a range of advanced technologies. Simon manages strategy and operations as Paragraf moves from technology transfer to commercial viability. Training through the programme will help to develop partnerships and build strategic business management skills to support the early-stage company in further commercial exploitation as its first products go to market.


Dr Dan Tilley, Principal Analytics Scientist, CyberOwl


CyberOwl develops technologies to help industry tackle the rising levels of risk associated with cyber threats. Dan manages the team that drives the analytical capability behind CyberOwl’s solutions and is developing a corporate strategy for scaling the technology to access the market for cyber-security in industrial systems, which has an estimated value of over £13 billion by 2022. He aims to strengthen his technical expertise, leadership and management skills to build a high-performance team to support the company’s growth.


Umar Wani, Co-founder and CTO, Accelerated Dynamics

Accelerated Dynamics

Accelerated Dynamics (AD) is a deep technology company that uses artificial intelligence to create software for mission control, coordination and collaboration of robot fleets. Umar Wani, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, leads AD’s product development as it defines key features that can be scaled up for various sectors within the drone industry. He is motivated to strengthen his commercial and management skills and embed a culture of good leadership as a foundation for growth in the early stages of the company’s development. 

SME Leaders 2018 - Cohort 3

Christoph Birkl, CEO, Brill Power

Brill Power

Brill Power’s battery control and management system extends the life of multi-cell lithium ion batteries by up to 60%. Through smart battery design, their technology ensures that energy-storage capacity is no longer limited by the weakest cell in the pack. Brill Power’s solution monitors, regulates and adapts the current load for individual cells at every charge so that they reach their full potential. This extends battery life in a safe and reliable way that could significantly impact their use in a wide range of everyday items from laptop batteries to electric cars.


John Burton, Founder and CEO, Metronome Energy Ltd.

Metronome Energy

Demand side response technologies are creating opportunities for smart grid management by providing information that can help with managing fluctuations in energy supply and demand. Metronome Energy Ltd.’s low-cost technology achieves this by seamlessly integrating with its customers’ power consuming assets to generate live data on energy usage that can be used for balancing energy services. The technology can be used by customers including homeowners, small businesses, farms and supermarkets. Metronome Energy’s services enables customers to generate revenue whilst monitoring the performance of their energy-consuming assets.


Hugh Christensen, Researcher, BMLL Technologies

The financial markets are complex and a significant challenge lies in working with large-scale, highly dynamic data sets in rapidly evolving contexts is a significant challenge. BMLL Technologies (BMLL) offer a range of solutions to make this easier for customers ranging from tier one US investment banks in the US to hedge funds and trillion-dollar investment managers. BMLL’s platform brings clarity and ease to data management and analysis, enabling data scientists to efficiently interrogate data, allowing them to quickly generate insights that add value.


Benjamin Crowther, Co-Founder and Engineering Lead, LettUs Grow Ltd.

LettUs Grow

Vertical farms are a rapidly developing solution for increasing the world’s food supply. Improving irrigation and management processes could significantly increase crop yields. Co-Founder Ben, and the team at LettUs Grow, have developed a technology, known as aeroponics, that allows plants to grow without soil, by watering their roots with a fine mist. When combined with the company’s integrated farm management software, farmers gain a hassle-free way to optimise crop conditions and increase yields whilst saving water. With a pilot R&D vertical farm being built in Bristol in 2018, the company plans to scale up with a view to accessing a global farming technologies market that is forecasted to grow 27% annually in the coming years.


Claire Fenwick, Managing Director, nuron ltd.


nuron has developed a dual-purpose fibre sensing technology that allows more efficient sewer management. It also creates opportunities for smarter cities by improving infrastructural capacity for fibre networks, including fibre to the premises (FTTP). nuron creates networks of optical sensing fibres that extend through sewer pipes to provide real-time measurements on flow, depth, temperature and structural integrity. This can be used to improve sewer performance and reduce costs and environmental pollution in wastewater management by helping to identify and manage blockages, highlight irregular use and give early indications of structural damage.


Alan Finnerty, Head of R&D, Grant Instruments (Cambridge) Ltd.

Grant Instruments (Cambridge) Ltd. (Grant) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of equipment for gathering and analysing research data. With a 65-year history of innovation, Grant continues to develop reliable, high-quality equipment that meets the adapting demands of customers across scientific, healthcare and industrial markets. For rapidly growing sectors, such as gene therapy and stem cell research, amongst others, Grant’s solutions are evolving to accommodate Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things. This is leading to the development of new, customised laboratory equipment with unique applications and features, such as secure remote data access and increased connectivity.


James Gough, Chief Business Development Officer, Cydar Ltd.

Cydar’s cloud-based solutions are helping surgeons with the delicate task of navigating complex networks of arteries and veins in vascular surgery. Cydar’s game-changing advances in imaging fuse live 2D X-rays with the patient’s CT scan to create 3D overlays that provide deeper insights. Core algorithms recognise and adjust to the patient’s anatomy in real time, giving surgeons automated access to more accurate information. This improves patient outcomes, reduces operating times by 28% and reduces radiation exposure, a significant benefit to medical staff.


Pawel Kisielewski, CEO, CCm Technologies Ltd.

CCm Technologies

A patented technology developed at CCm Technologies Ltd. can use industrially produced CO2 to make valuable products such as fertilisers and replacement plastics. This highly adaptable technology adds value by cleverly combining CO2 with other waste streams, leading to more efficient and environmentally sustainable processes. A target market for the team at CCm Technologies is agriculture, where the technology brings together farm waste and CO2 captured from power generators to produce fertiliser for crops. The company’s first full-scale commercial units for fertiliser production launch in early 2018 and have capacity to produce 10,000 tonnes of fertiliser per year.


Ian David Macafee, CEO, Oxsensis


Oxensis have developed optical sensors to meet the challenge of taking precise measurements for variables such as temperature, pressure and acceleration in harsh, industrial conditions. Oxsensis manufacture optical sensor systems for industries relying on high-accuracy measurements, such as aerospace, energy and oil and gas. Oxsensis’ sensors provide an efficient, cost-effective way to capture data at the heart of the action and deliver it via optical fibres for use in monitoring systems. This helps to enhance performance in critical applications such as flight systems for managing safe propulsion of aircraft and gas turbine monitoring for clean energy production, amongst many others.


Haikal Pribadi, Founder and CEO, and Tomás Sabat, COO, GRAKN.AI


GRAKN.AI (Grakn) has developed a knowledge graph technology to organise complex networks of data and make it queryable. Rooted in Knowledge Representation and Automated Reasoning, Grakn provides the knowledge base foundation for Artificial Intelligence systems. Effectively, Grakn is a database that allows AI systems in industries such as financial services, life sciences and cyber security to model, query and analyse complex information easily. Rather than relying on large, highly-skilled teams of data engineers, Grakn’s intuitive and expressive database streamlines the knowledge engineering workflow so that new insights, solutions and discoveries easily emerge.


Sithamparanathan Sabesan, CEO and Co-Founder, PervasID Ltd.


Ground breaking patented technologies developed by PervasID draw on advances in Radio-frequency identification (RFID) to create new opportunities to track items rapidly, accurately and in real-time. Developed from spin out technology from the University of Cambridge, PervasID’s solutions are made up of networks of antennas that detect and track items carrying passive RFID tags. They achieve an extremely high level of accuracy (99%+), enabling cost-effective, continuous monitoring for use in industries such as retail, healthcare, manufacturing and security.


SME Leaders 2017 - Cohort 2

Dr Alexander Reip, CEO, Oxford Nanosystems

Oxford Nanosystems

A novel coating technology developed by Oxford nanoSystems is revolutionising the production of materials used in heat exchange systems, such as those in air-conditioning units. The coating vastly improves a material’s heat-transfer capabilities enabling the manufacturing of products that are lighter and more efficient, generating savings for manufacturers and consumers. Dr Alexander Reip, founding developer and CEO, is developing a strategy to implement the product across a range of platforms. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme since 2017, Dr Reip has grown the team from three to 17 staff and raised over £2 million in equity funding. Oxford nanoSystems is now preparing to install its first production plant with a view to accessing new markets.


Andrew Hine, Director, GreenSpur Renewables

GreenSpur Renewables

GreenSpur Renewables has developed a generator that could drive down the cost of wind energy, making this renewable energy source more efficient and sustainable. Wind turbines are getting bigger and require larger generators. Many existing machines use scarce and expensive rare earth magnets but GreenSpur’s unique and patented design makes use of ferrite – a cheaper, more abundant alternative type of magnet. Its direct-drive permanent magnet generators (DD-PMGs) 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. By using a low-cost, abundantly available material, Andrew, and the team at GreenSpur Renewables Ltd, have the potential to deliver substantial cost savings at multi-megawatt levels.


Arthur Kay, Founder and Deputy Chairman, Bio-Bean


Fuelled by an interest in sustainable cities, Arthur Kay developed bio-bean, the first clean-technology company to industrialise the recycling process for spent coffee grounds, and transform them into advanced biofuels and biochemicals. The company works closely with waste-management companies, offices, transport hubs and coffee shops (including Costa Coffee) to collect thousands of tonnes of spent coffee grounds every year. These are recycled to become 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. As its recycling capacity increases, research at bio-bean is investigating other ways to produce carbon-neutral biofuels and biochemicals for commercial use.


Dr David Tuch, Founder and CEO, Lightpoint Medical

Lightpoint Medical

Lightpoint Medical has developed a novel imaging device to improve success in cancer surgery by helping surgeons to remove cancerous tissue, while leaving healthy tissue intact. By increasing the likelihood that all cancerous tissue is removed in one surgery, patients do not need repeat procedures, delays to follow-on treatments are minimised and healthcare costs are reduced. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme since 2017, Dr David Tuch has grown his team to 22 staff and raised over £10 million in funding, helping the company towards clinical validation and early commercialisation of its first robotic probe for cancer surgery.

Dr Julio Enrique Guerrero, Managing Director, Metix Medical

Metix Medical

Metix Medical has developed a medical monitoring solution that helps emergency first responders to quickly and efficiently make decisions about treatment. The light, compact device rapidly gets a patient’s vital information by combining several monitoring functions into one. This saves first responders from having to manage multiple machines at a crucial time.

Developed by Dr Julio Enrique Guerrero, a medical doctor with an interest in emergency medicine and healthcare management, the technology can also be used to transmit data in real time, helping medical teams to plan treatments in advance and prioritise emergency care admission. The company aims to launch its first line of interconnected medical products in late 2018.


Gareth Morgan, Director, Terrabotics


Terrabotics uses powerful algorithmic engines to turn large volumes of satellite imagery into practical 3D maps for industries in the natural resources and energy sectors. Its solutions provide high-quality terrain intelligence that helps companies to make smarter decisions, improve safety and increase efficiency. High profile clients include BP, ExxonMobil and Shell. In 2018, Terrabotics was awarded a contract from the European Space Agency and UK Space to develop Energy SCOUT™, a solution for oil and gas supply chain monitoring from space. Gareth Morgan, CEO and Founder, has been supported by the SME Leaders Programme since 2017 and is developing a strategic plan for Terrabotic’s continued growth that includes expanding the team and launching new products to meet the growing demands of the industry.


Dr Gil Travish, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer, Adaptix Ltd

Adaptix Ltd

Adaptix aims to improve the availability of 3D X-ray diagnosis with its lightweight, portable X-ray imaging solutions. In contrast to the bulky, expensive equipment currently used to produce 2D imagery, Adaptix’ 3D solutions make X-ray imaging more mobile and can improve access to rapid, accurate diagnosis for a range of conditions, from cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases to lung cancer and osteoporosis. Dr Gil Travish, Chief Science Officer,  leads the development of the technology. Since becoming an SME Leader in 2017, Dr TRavish has benefited from training and support at a time of rapid scaling as Adaptix prepares for the launch of its first products.


Jenny Griffifths, CEO and Founder, Snap Vision

Snap Vision

Snap Vision has developed a range of visual search tools to improve the way that people shop. Its technology uses deep learning algorithms to improve digital search by turning any image into the start of a search, allowing its users to ‘shop the look’ in a magazine or the real world, and instantly learn more or discover alternatives.

Snap Vision’s solutions are used by retailers and fashion publishers to increase customer engagement and generate additional revenue. Jenny Griffiths, CEO and Founder, has been an SME Leader since 2017. Training and support through the programme have helped Jenny to develop strategic partnerships and secure additional funding as Snap Vision prepares to rapidly scale in sales in its next phase of growth.


Mark Evans, CEO, Adaptix Ltd

Adaptix Ltd

Adaptix aims to improve the availability of 3D X-ray diagnosis with its lightweight, portable X-ray imaging solutions. In contrast to the bulky, expensive equipment currently used to produce 2D imagery, Adaptix’ 3D solutions make X-ray imaging more portable. It also improves access to rapid, accurate diagnosis for a range of conditions, from cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases to lung cancer and osteoporosis. Since becoming an SME Leader in 2017, Mark Evans, CEO, has seen his team grow from 16 to 32 employees. His management team has also benefited from training to scale the business and secure capital. Adaptix has now raised of £8 million in equity, published over 50 patents and will be launching its first products soon.


Mathew Holloway, CEO, Q-Bot Limited

Q-Bot Limited

Q-Bot blends expert knowledge in energy-efficient buildings and artificial intelligence to create smart solutions for the construction industry. Its principal technology is a small robot that can access the small spaces below homes, and be operated remotely to apply underfloor insulation. This insulation can reduce heat loss through floors by 90%, making draughty, older homes more airtight and energy efficient. In other words, buildings become cosier, warmer and its cheaper to keep them that way.

Q-Bot is now rolling out the underfloor insulation service with social landlords across the UK, while looking at other ways its technologies can revolutionise the construction industry through the development of smart tools that empower construction workers and make them more productive.


Ryian Ludwick, Managing Director, Ludwick Precision

Ludwick Precision

Ludwick Precision is a specialist in the design and manufacture of high-end, bespoke products from sheet, box and tubular metal, for use in office and laboratory environments. 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. With support from the SME Leaders Programme since 2017, Managing Director, Ryian Ludwick has grown the team to 20 staff. He has also purchased the company from the majority stakeholder and is setting out a vision for its continued growth.

SME Leaders 2017 - Cohort 1

The leaders and SMEs selected for the programme's inaugural cohort were:

  • Dr Peiman Hosseini, CTO – Bodle TechnologiesCreating a pioneering new ‘smart material’ that manipulates lights at a flick of a switch, enabling display devices with dramatically reduced battery consumption
  • Alastair Pettigrew, CEO, and Greg Francis, FD – BOXARR Ltd – Helping organisations save time and money by bringing together business processes in one place
  • Dr Siraj Shaikh, Founder and Chief Scientist – CyberOwl – Providing a ground-breaking early warning cyber threat system through real-time analysis
  • Phil Horton, MD – Dulas Ltd – Providing consultancy that delivers maximum output from renewable energy schemes
  • Khizar Ali, CEO, Fabio Nisitano, Chief Engineer, Sheeraz Ahmed – Operations Director – ONLICAR – Applying Formula 1 technology to fleet management to improve performance and save money
  • Shefali Sharma, Business Development Director – Oxford Space SystemsDeveloping lighter, compact space structures to pave the way for lower-cost commercial space ventures
  • Phil Redfern, MD – REACT Engineering Ltd – Changing how we clean up nuclear waste to improve environmental impact
  • Christine Boyle, CEO – Senergy Innovation – Creating and deploying a technology that reduces the cost of solar panels by 25%
  • Daniel Thorpe, Business Development Director – Spiro Control Ltd – Helping factories increase production rates and lower energy costs through analytics


Prior to the SME Leaders programme, the Academy ran a programme called Pathways to Growth, which provided training grants for upskilling of engineering and technical staff within SMEs. The awardees of the discontinued programme are listed below.


Pathways to Growth awardees in 2015-2016 were:

  • BPE Design and Support
  • Entropea
  • Eta Projects
  • Fianium
  • Hyperdrive Innovatio
  • Keit
  • Kiln Flame Systems
  • Lontra
  • Magnomatics
  • Mirico
  • Mo-Sys
  • OC Robotics
  • Oil and Gas Measurement
  • Oxford Space Systems
  • Photocentric
  • React Engineering
  • YASA Motors


Pathways to Growth grants were first made in 2014-2015. The awardees were:

  • 3D Laser Mapping
  • Capital Refractories
  • Cobalt Light Systems Ltd
  • Data harvesting
  • e2e Services
  • Embody Orthopaedic
  • ETA projects
  • Etdyn
  • Featurespace Ltd
  • Fianium
  • Firefly Clean Energy
  • Hireserve Ltd
  • HMD Seal/Less Pumps Ltd
  • Lindhurst Engineering Ltd
  • OC Robotics
  • PPM
  • React Engineering
  • Recycling Technologies Ltd
  • Shadow Robot Company
  • Sonobex
  • YASA Motors