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Royal Academy of Engineering establishes new Enterprise Hub in Wales

THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING says it is launching a new Enterprise Hub in Wales to support engineering and technology entrepreneurs across the country.

Enterprise Hub Wales builds on the regional success of the Academy’s Enterprise Hub in Northern Ireland and a decade of successful support to UK engineering entrepreneurs by the Academy’s original Enterprise Hub founded in 2013. The new initiative in Wales is supported by the AgorIP Project, which is backed by the Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund.

Senior Business Development Manager Mike McMahon will lead the pan-Wales initiative to champion ambitious engineering entrepreneurs in Wales and support them to reach their potential. Currently based in Swansea, Enterprise Hub Wales aims to strengthen and expand the existing engineering and technology ecosystem across Wales.

Recent Academy research on hotspots of engineering across the UK identified Flintshire and Wrexham and the Gwent Valleys as engineering hotspots within Wales – with high proportions of the local population employed in the wider engineering economy. Wales has two of the UK’s top universities for generating academic spinout companies as revealed by the Academy’s Spotlight on spinouts report and has the highest per capita rate of graduate startups in the UK, according to Universities Wales.

Enterprise Hub Wales will help to grow this research and enterprise infrastructure by fostering startups, scaleups and deep tech innovation, supporting job creation and collaborating with other organisations operating in Wales.

The Academy established the Enterprise Hub in 2013 to offer programmes for entrepreneurial engineers at different career stages, with benefits including:

  • Equity-free funding.
  • Smart and flexible training, designed around the needs of our entrepreneurs.
  • Access to the unique mentoring capability of the highly talented engineers and business leaders that make up the Fellowship of the Academy.
  • Dedicated presence in the UK’s regions outside London, embedded in the local ecosystem.
  • Long-lasting ongoing benefit and support from the Academy’s global network and unmatched convening ability.

Ana Avaliani, Director of Enterprise at the Royal Academy of Engineering, told Herald.Wales: “The entrepreneurial culture in Wales continues to go from strength to strength with a key focus on technology and engineering, building on decades of innovation heritage. By providing specialist support to entrepreneurs, the Enterprise Hub will give them access to the Royal Academy of Engineering’s network of world-leading engineers and business leaders. Working with the entrepreneurship and innovation community in Wales we want to help vibrant startups and SMEs alike to achieve their ambitions and to prosper”.

Mike McMahon, Senior Business Development Manager, Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Hub Wales, said: “We’re incredibly excited to launch the new Enterprise Hub Wales to invest in entrepreneurship around the country and support diverse engineering innovations. I look forward to growing the Royal Academy of Engineering’s community of entrepreneurs and working with other organisations within the engineering and technology ecosystem across Wales.”

Professor Gareth Davies, Principal Investigator and Chair of the AgorIP Project, said: “Innovation is critical to address the range of challenges facing society, and engineering excellence will be required for Wales and the UK to be at the forefront of responding to them. Technology transfer from universities and the strong engineering sector across Wales combines well with the inherent engineering entrepreneurial spirit. The Royal Academy of Engineering has already contributed significantly to high-potential companies established in Wales, and the new Hub provides a powerful endorsement and further boost to this work. We are delighted to be part of this journey supporting a vibrant ecosystem harnessing engineering entrepreneurship to create enterprise, innovation and a better environment for future generations.”