As part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Royal Academy of Engineering has given rapid feedback to government on how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting UK engineering and technology entrepreneurs, to help government shape and design appropriate economic interventions. This was based on inputs from its Enterprise Hub members.

Following Monday’s announcement from the government on funding support for innovative firms, David Cleevely FREng, Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Committee Chair, says:

"The exceptional engineering and technology start-ups, spin-outs and high growth SMEs we support through the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub need support now if they are to become the commercial successes of the future. There’s a danger that today’s short-term financing problems will snuff out the engineering and technology giants of tomorrow. That’s why the government’s Future Fund announced this week will be so important in helping to bridge the gap in support for innovative R&D intensive start-ups and help to safeguard our future economy. We hope that the scheme details will allow for EIS compatible investment alongside that of the government convertible loans to further encourage much-needed capital to flow at this difficult time.

"The acceleration of the Innovate UK grants and increased Innovate UK funding is also very welcome. Comprehensive and sustained support is needed to allow the ideas with the most potential to flourish and become high growth businesses and this support is consistent with the government’s long-term commitment to invest in R&D. 

"At times like these, we need immediate action and long-term thinking. The Future Fund and loans and grants for R&D focused SMEs address both.”

Read more about how engineering entrepreneurs have been affected here

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 Sir Robin Saxby FREng, Anne Glover CBE HonFREng and Ian Shott CBE FREng. The Royal Academy of Engineering opened the Taylor Centre – a physical home for the Enterprise Hub with meeting and networking facilities for its Members – in February 2017. 

Find out more about the Enterprise Hub here