The Royal Academy of Engineering has opened the new Taylor Centre, a space for the Academy’s Enterprise Hub, which supports entrepreneurs, and which is named after one of Britain’s most successful engineers, Dr John C Taylor OBE.
Dr Taylor, who is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) made his name creating small electrical components that are vital to many pieces of technology we couldn’t live without.
Early electric kettles would not turn off when the water was boiling, meaning that they needed constant supervision and were in danger of melting and starting fires if they were not properly attended. Dr Taylor created the solution to this problem: a small, bimetallic thermostat which would break the kettle’s circuit when the water started to boil.
Having continued to innovate throughout his life, Dr Taylor now has over 400 patents to his name.
Dr John C Taylor said, “The UK has a great history of invention and enterprise, and our reputation as a nation of problem-solvers and innovators continues to this day. It is vitally important that, in a globalised world, we support the next generation of innovators, who will support their communities by creating jobs, financial growth and opportunities for others. That is why I am delighted that the Taylor Centre has been opened. It creates a space for the future’s engineering leaders to collaborate, discuss ideas and see their businesses expand.”
The Taylor Centre was made possible by a generous donation by Dr Taylor, and will help transform the UK’s best and brightest engineering technology entrepreneurs into the business leaders of tomorrow by providing a brand new place to network, work, and develop their skills.
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 brings 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 £30million total in follow-on funding and investment for their technologies.
At the launch of the Taylor Centre, a number of technologies developed by Royal Academy of Engineering members were showcased, including:
• StarTracker by Mo-Sys (https://www.mo-sys.com/product/startracker) – a highly accurate, robust and reliable VR system that allows any space of any size to be converted into a virtual realm
• doppel (http://www.doppel.london/) – 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 (http://comp-a-tent.com/) – the world’s first fully compostable, plant-based tent, with the potential to save festival organisers millions in clean-up costs
• NeuroSensi by NeuroCONCISE (http://neurosensi.com/) – a wearable technology that measures brainwaves and allows users to interact with computers using their mind
• Marty the robot by Robotical (http://www.robotical.io/) – a 3D printable robot that is used to help children learn to code
• KENOTEQ (http://www.kenoteq.com/) – a brick made from 90 per cent construction waste, paving the way for highly renewable brick buildings
• Armourgel (http://www.armourgel.co.uk/) – 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 (http://bodletechnologies.com/) – 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 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.