Regional Talent Engines programme launches to support aspiring entrepreneurs

  • The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub has opened a new round of applications for its Regional Talent Engines programme to support entrepreneurial mid-late career engineers and individuals from vocational backgrounds to develop innovative ideas. 

    The Enterprise Hub will grant successful applicants £20,000 equity-free funding for living and business costs to help grow their ideas into startup businesses.

    Designed to boost innovation in regions across the UK, applicants must be based in Northern Ireland. The programme is targeted at people who either hold a technical qualification from a Further Education college or are experienced mid-late career engineers looking to bring an innovative idea to market.

    In addition to funding, successful applicants will also receive six months’ support to prepare them for commercialising their engineering solutions. The Enterprise Hub will provide expert mentoring, training, one-to-one coaching, access to the Academy’s diverse network and meeting space in the Academy’s Taylor Centre in London and at its regional base in the Ormeau Baths, Belfast. 

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    After completing the programme, participants will be invited to become Hub Members with lifetime support, including access to the Enterprise Hub’s facilities, training opportunities, and network of Academy Fellows, investors, experts, and advisors.

    Speaking about the launch of the new programme, Ana Avaliani, Director of Enterprise and Sustainable Development at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “Our Regional Talent Engines programme supports ambitious mid-late career engineers and individuals with technical backgrounds who can often be underrepresented in the enterprise community. This programme hopes to cultivate their passion for creativity, problem-solving, and design to launch their own startups. With an emphasis on mentoring and skills development, participants can gain the confidence to begin new careers as entrepreneurs with equity-free financial backing from the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub. We encourage anyone with an idea for an engineering or technological solution to apply.”

    Ms Avaliani added: “Having recently started the programme in Northern Ireland, we are keen to champion diverse talent from across the regions of the UK. Our long-term aim is to strengthen local entrepreneurial ecosystems by helping launch successful engineering and technology businesses, creating jobs and economic prosperity.”

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    Gillian Gregg, Senior Business Development Manager at the Royal Academy of Engineering also commented: “The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub continues to support some of Northern Ireland’s brightest entrepreneurs to realise their potential and collaborates with local ecosystems to drive successful innovation. We welcome applications from everyone in Northern Ireland with an idea for an engineering solution.”

    Applications are open until 23 May 2022 with the programme commencing in early September. Full details of the programme including guidance notes can be viewed on the Academy’s website. All applications for each regional programme must be submitted on the online grant system. 

    Source: Written from press release.


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    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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