General manager of Bristol innovation hub Engine Shed takes up new role as its director

February 2, 2023

Bristol’s Engine Shed enterprise and innovation hub has appointed Mike Paton as its new director.

Mike, pictured, has extensive knowledge of the University of Bristol-owned Engine Shed, having overseen its operations and finance as general manager since 2021. 

He is also programme manager for the University of Bristol’s quantum innovation hub, the Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre (QTIC), which was launched in 2017 with a £35m investment by local government.

Prior to joining Engine Shed and QTIC, Mike worked at aero-engine giant Rolls-Royce in a number of materials engineering, service innovation and programme management roles based in the UK, Singapore and Germany.

He takes over at Engine Shed from Marty Reid, who has joined its tech incubator partner, the University of Bristol-backed SETsquared Partnership, as interim executive director.

Marty, pictured, had led Engine Shed and SETsquared’s Bristol operations since January 2020, strengthening its vital support for start-up communities during the pandemic. 

Engine Shed, which opened nearly 10 years ago in part of Brunel’s original Bristol Temple Meads railway station, has become a lynchpin of the city’s tech ecosystem by encouraging activity where entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, students and corporates can collaborate, inspire and be inspired, enable and be enabled.

Its mission is to stimulate long-term economic growth by supporting business, inspiring young people to get involved and showcasing to the public and potential inward investors the exciting opportunities that exist in Bristol.

Each year it typically welcomes around 30,000 visitors, works with 20-plus partners and hosts more than 1,000 events.

University of Bristol director of enterprise services Mustafa Rampuri said “Mike’s experience in industry and academia, along with his commitment to diversity and inclusion and sustainability, ideally places him to lead Engine Shed, which is a beacon for the University’s innovation and civic engagement work.”

Mike added: “I have loved my time as general manager at Engine Shed, working with so many fantastic colleagues, residents, partners and startups.

“Engine Shed is celebrating its 10th anniversary this December and it’s incredible to see what’s been achieved in that time.

“I’m excited to be at its helm as we define the next chapter and develop a number of new initiatives to enhance membership and innovation services, including skills and training for businesses and academia.”

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