Plextek launches new innovation business unit – Ignite Exponential

Cambridge, UK – 7th May 2019 – UK-based engineering and design consultancy, Plextek is launching a new innovation business unit called Ignite Exponential, to help established companies compete with agile and fast moving start-ups that are driving new disruptive technologies.

Ignite Exponential (IEX) aims to bridge the innovation gap faced by market-leading businesses struggling to stay ahead and meet changing customer expectations in a climate of unprecedented uncertainty and aggressive competition. In particular, the rise of new technologies such as Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are dissolving the barriers to entry, enabling the rapid introducton of new product and service offerings and challenging existing business models.

Ignite Exponential will build on the 30 years’ experience Plextek has working at the leading-edge of advanced technologies to help its partners navigate this changing landscape, through strategic innovation, future-focussed marketing, human-centric design and enabling technology.

Alan Cucknell, who has been appointed to head up Ignite Exponential, summarises how IEX will bring a new approach to innovation:

“I’ve spent my career helping global companies to innovate and seen how trying to create non-standard solutions to strategically important problems can lead companies to adopt standard processes, which can lead to standard results! There is no silver bullet for strategic innovation in these increasingly complex times and it is too important to outsource. Instead, we will look to create hybrid, collaborative and cross-functional approaches that harness combined skillsets, tools and experience and help to build internal ownership”.

Nicholas Hill, CEO of Plextek adds:

“Front end innovation requires different mindsets, skills, processes and tools to downstream engineering. That’s why Ignite Exponential draws on the specialist development processes, systems and capabilities that Plextek is well known for, to create a distinct offering – a front end innovation partner that is agile, multi-disciplined and experienced. While the units will work closely together, the teams, systems, environment and culture are independent, to focus on maximising the impact of our work.”

Together, Ignite Exponential and Plextek will be able to partner with clients from defining innovation strategy through designing purposeful business models, platform and product solutions to developing final products and manufacturing to market.

An alternative is for established players to innovate through acquisition, but this can lead to paying over the odds and result in costly mistakes. “More than ever, innovation will determine the success or failure of established companies over the next decade – it is too important to be left to chance” says Alan Cucknell.

For more information about Ignite Exponential and how they are helping partners navigate this new complex landscape, please visit

Notes to editors

About Ignite Exponential
Based near Cambridge, UK, Ignite Exponential (IEX) is a multi-disciplinary team which helps established businesses grow strategically in the face of the unprecedented uncertainty and aggressive competition. IEX brings together an unusual combination of hands-on capabilities in developing cutting edge with an expertise and track record in strategic innovation and disruptive design.

For more information, call us on: +44 (0) 1799 533 345 or email: or visit:


About Plextek
Based near Cambridge, UK, Plextek designs new products, systems, and services for its clients in a diverse range of industries including defence & security, medical & healthcare, and wireless communications.

Central to its culture is the company’s ability to innovate, taking an idea from concept to market. For more than 25 years the team of consultants, engineers and project managers has turned our clients’ business opportunities into commercial success, designing, manufacturing and supplying leading-edge products. Supported by our network of suppliers, commercial partners and research organisations, Plextek is the trusted partner of choice for more than 300 commercial clients, government agencies, and ambitious start-up companies.

For images, information or interview requests, please contact: Adam Roberts via email: or call: +44 (0) 1799 533200

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