Business and innovation

Business Awards

The IOP Business Awards recognise the vital role physics and physicists play in our economy, creating jobs and growth by powering innovation to meet the challenges facing us today, ranging from climate change to better healthcare and food production.

Applications for the 2022 IOP Business Awards are now closed.


This is the tenth year of the IOP Business Awards, which have celebrated the achievements of more than 70 companies during that decade. Watch our video celebrating innovation and excellence since 2012.  

The IOP Business Awards are awarded in three categories: 

We also award three prestigious medals and prizes to individuals for their contribution to the application of physics in an industrial, commercial or business context. These are the Katharine Burr Blodgett, Dennis Gabor and Clifford Paterson medals and prizes.

2021 IOP Business Awards winners

See the 2021 IOP Business Awards winners

2021 IOP Business Awards Celebration Event

Attend our online event to hear from this year's winners, network and ask them questions

Find out more and register

Further information on awards

Business Innovation Award

This award recognises and celebrates companies that have excelled in innovation, delivering significant economic and/or societal impact through the application of physics.

Why apply

As the winner of this award you can expect:

  • prestigious validation of your innovative application of physics and its impact
  • collateral to enhance funding and investment applications for future developments
  • an increased confidence in your business innovation, especially among new customers
  • evidence of company excellence in the commercial application of physics for the recruitment of talented, young physicists

As the winning company you will:

  • receive a trophy and an e-trophy for use on marketing material and websites
  • attend and exhibit at IOP events, providing an opportunity to network with funding agencies, key industry figures and MPs
  • have your award-winning innovation highlighted in IOP marketing material and social networks
  • have the opportunity to present at relevant meetings and conferences, increasing your profile across the IOP network
  • be able to participate in our Business Innovation and Growth Group, making connections to help build an even stronger business

Eligibility

This award is open to companies or a subsidiary based in the UK or Ireland and who demonstrate excellence in the innovative application of physics to a product or service, leading to:

  • business improvements or growth in terms of turnover or job creation or
  • substantive societal and/or other impact as a result of the innovation

How to apply

You will be asked to provide information to support your application across the following fields:

  • main contact and authorising representative
  • company details
  • citation
  • evidence
  • attachments

Please note businesses cannot be nominated by a third party and applications must be made by an authorised representative at the business.

For further guidance on completing your application, please see the application guidance notes (PDF, 303KB). You can also watch our recorded webinar for further support.

If you have any questions, please send them to [email protected]. Include your phone number and a member of the team will get back to you.

See previous winners of the Business Innovation Award.

Business Start-Up Award

This award recognises and celebrates young companies with a great business idea founded on a physics invention, with the potential for business growth and significant societal impact.

Why apply

Receiving the Business Start-Up Award is a quality seal for a product, validation that the physics and its implementation is sound and that the business concept has merit. It will help a young company by:

  • improving future investor and customer confidence in the company and product, potentially paving the way for future funding and sales
  • providing constructive feedback from seasoned business leaders on the award judging panel
  • raising the profile of the company and its product

As the winning company you will:

  • get access to IOP business support
  • receive a trophy and an e-trophy for use on marketing materials
  • attend and exhibit at IOP events, providing an opportunity to network with funding agencies, key industry figures and MPs 
  • have your award-winning innovation highlighted in IOP marketing material and social networks
  • have the opportunity to present at relevant meetings and conferences, increasing their profile across the IOP network
  • be able to participate in our Business Innovation and Growth Group, making connections to help build an even stronger business

Eligibility

To be eligible your company must:

  • be beyond the prototype stage that proves functionality
  • provide a sound business plan aiming to make a profit
  • have some proof of validation of a need for the product, ideally by a potential customer

How to apply

You will be asked to provide information to support your application across the following fields:

  • main contact and authorising representative
  • company details
  • citation
  • evidence
  • attachments

Please note businesses cannot be nominated by a third party and applications must be made by an authorised representative at the business.

For further guidance on completing your application, please see the application guidance notes (PDF, 215KB). You can also watch our recorded webinar for further support.

If you have any questions, please send them to [email protected]. Include your phone number and a member of the team will get back to you.

See previous winners of the Business Start-Up Award.

Lee Lucas Award – medical and healthcare sector

The Lee Lucas Award recognises and celebrates very early stage companies taking innovative products into the medical and healthcare sector.

As the winning company you will:

  • receive £5,000 prize money
  • get access to IOP business support
  • receive a trophy and an e-trophy for use on marketing materials
  • attend and exhibit at IOP events, providing an opportunity to network with funding agencies, key industry figures and MPs 
  • have your award-winning innovation highlighted in IOP marketing material and social networks
  • have the opportunity to present at relevant meetings and conferences, increasing their profile across the IOP network
  • be able to participate in our Business Innovation and Growth Group, making connections to help build an even stronger business

Eligibility

To be eligible your company must:

  • be taking innovative products into the medical and healthcare sector
  • have been incorporated in the last three years, either in the UK or Ireland
  • provide a sound business plan aiming to make a profit
  • have some proof of validation of a need for the product, ideally by a potential customer
  • be able to show how the prize money would add value to your organisation

How to apply

You will be asked to provide information to support your application across the following fields:

  • main contact and authorising representative
  • company details
  • citation
  • evidence
  • attachments

Please note businesses cannot be nominated by a third party and applications must be made by an authorised representative at the business.

For further guidance on completing your application, please see the application guidance notes (PDF, 319KB). You can also watch our recorded webinar for further support.

If you have any questions, please send them to [email protected]. Include your phone number and a member of the team will get back to you.

Awards for individuals in business

We have three prestigious medals and prizes awarded to an individual for their contribution to the application of physics in an industrial, commercial or business context.