Call us on:  01933 510 022 
5 Min Read

Reports: 4 stand-out innovators from Advanced Engineering 2021

The first Advanced Engineering Show since 2019 certainly did not disappoint, with the usual breakthrough innovations across the industry on display. It’s always hard to choose standout innovations, as we were totally spoilt for choice, but here are our 4 ‘ones to watch’ from this year:

1. Cecence

Nominated for the ‘Innovation in Composite Materials’ category at the Composites UK awards this year, Cecence describe themselves as “pioneers of scaled production and practical design for the manufacture of high-strength, lightweight, Fire, Smoke and Toxicity (FST) compliant components for the mass transportation and defence sectors”.

Samantha Bunyan, Co-Founder & Head of Industry Engagement & Sustainability
Samantha Bunyan, Co-Founder & Head of Industry Engagement & Sustainability

What adds to the weight of what they’re doing is the fact they focus on “sustainable, scalable, practical composites for a greener future”. Although their background is in F1 and marine racing, their work is applicable in the aerospace, rail, defence, sports & leisure and space sectors. At the Advanced Engineering show, Cecence was showcasing some uses of their recycled composites and sustainable cladding.

Impressively this year Cecence co-founder, Samantha Bunyan, won a ‘Women in Innovation’ award from Innovate UK. The award will support the delivery of ‘Ecocence’ as an independent in-house sustainable brand for Cecence.

“I am proud of the team at Cecence and what we have already achieved in this area, and excited to see how we can make further advances in lightweight sustainable materials and components for aerospace interiors. Being selected as part of this cohort of extraordinary women is a huge honour and I am looking forward to connecting with and supporting one another on our independent and collective journeys over the course of this year.”

You can learn more about the innovation taking place at Cecence on their website.

2. Symetri

Symetri exhibited this year as part of the Silverstone Technology Cluster Innovation Zone, demonstrating the amazing Varjo XR-3 headset. Varjo claims the headset “immerses you in the most natural mixed and virtual reality environments ever experienced”. This particular model is revolutionary in the accuracy of picture – thanks to the world’s fastest, most accurate built-in eye tracking (at 200 Hz) and hum-eye resolution with 71 PPD peak fidelity. The situation they demonstrated involved projecting a CAD design of a car through the headset, and Industrial Design and Visualization Manager at Symetri, Nicholas John, explained their aim at Symetri and how extensive the applications of this technology really is:

“The Varjo family of XR products democratises the very highest level of performance and immersion for design review, enterprise training, collaboration and digital prototyping for design, engineering, simulation and R&D.

Having helped companies both large and small on their respective journeys to onboard immersive technology, our aim at Symetri in my ID&V (Industrial Design and Visualisation) department has always been to connect people with the most appropriate tools, tech and expertise at the right time. What excites us most with the Varjo solutions is the clear opportunity to fundamentally improve their internal and external communication. The real power of Varjo isn’t the resolution of the form factor of the headset, it’s that high-quality communication is a fundamental factor in good business, regardless of the sector, and we have been lucky enough to have seen and measured the positive impact implementing it across a wide range of customers from AEC, Manufacturing, Automotive, Defence Academia and Gaming further compounded by the positive responses at Advanced Engineering 2021.”

There are so many applications for this technology, which we’re sure will become commonplace in so many industries. The headset enables global teams to come together to look at new product ideas as if they were real, enabling them to discuss and iterate concepts in real time, saving time in physical prototyping and travelling.

It can also be used in a research capacity, for example to undertake market research without having to send customers into real environments, with the ability to employ eye-tracking which adds to the depth of research.

You can learn more about Varjo on the Symetri website.

3. Cyclopic Ltd

The Cyclopic team have been exhibiting at the show for a few years now, initially showcasing the amazing E-Cyclopic – the world’s first spokeless, foldable ebike at the show in 2019. Featured in The Times and London Evening Standard, the product went on to win the ‘Innovate Ingenuity Award’ in 2017. Two years later, Cyclopic Ltd was voted one of the Top UK trailblazers of 2019 by Catapault – for good reason!

This year they showcased their new EV Platform Technology. Their ground-breaking Centreless Wheel Electric Drive system operates a platform, combining drive, steering, braking, suspension and height adjustment in one unit.

Rishi Haraniya, Director at Cyclopic Ltd, explained:

“The versatility of the Cyclopic Centreless Wheel allows the core technology to be applied into many industries such as; automobile & mobility, robotics, agriculture, space & aviation, healthcare, construction, warehouses and many others… We anticipate strong interest from many sectors given the flexibility and capabilities of the technology and are now keen on developing new key business developments and partnerships for the next stages.”

We can’t wait to see how this amazing technology is applied in coming months. Find out more about Cyclopic’s Drive System on their website here.

4. Composite Braiding

Winners of this years ‘Innovation in Composite Materials’ award at the Composites UK annual awards dinner, Composite Braiding was nominated for their amazing work making public transport safer and more sustainable. They have created an anti-microbial, lightweight composite grab pole which is proven to kill 99.9% of surface bacteria and reduce the weight of grab poles by 70% (compared to the traditional mild steel versions) – without any compromise on performance.

Composite Braiding Founder & MD, Steve Barbour
Composite Braiding Founder & MD, Steve Barbour receiving his award from MPA’s Talitha Heaton

The poles are also retrofittable, meaning they can be used to replace existing steel grab poles as well as in newer fully electric vehicles. Managing Director Steve Barbour explained:

“Grab poles are high-touch items in public transport and so play a role in the transmission of infections. Our antimicrobial design will help to protect the people who use them from dangerous bacterial infections such as E.coli and MRSA. At the same time, because they are lightweight, they will help to reduce emissions in petrol and diesel vehicles or increase the performance of electric vehicles. So it’s a win-win for people and the planet!”

A worthy winner of this years’ award – Cecence had stiff competition! To find out more about Composite Braiding, visit their website.


For more inspirational stories about the UK innovation landscape, follow us on LinkedIn. For more information on Advanced Engineering 2022, which takes place at Birmingham NEC on 2nd-3rd November 2022, register your interest on their website here.