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Business Award winners

Our award winners push boundaries and create new opportunities. Their innovations open up markets to promote prosperity and prospects for employment.


2020 award winners

Our Business Awards winners 2020 highlight the successful application of physics in industries including:

  • medical
  • energy
  • rail
  • defence
  • quantum
  • magnetics
  • aerospace
  • environmental

Find out more about our 2020 business award winners.

2019

Download our IOP Business Awards 2019 brochure (PDF, 1MB)

Business Innovation Award winners

Aeristech

The ACT motor is a new class of variable speed motor that has more power for its size than comparable motors; it delivers rapid acceleration, high continuous power output and efficiency. This enables applications in the automotive and fuel cell industries that were previously impossible.

Elekta

Elekta Unity integrates a high-field MRI system, a state-of-the-art linear accelerator and an adaptive workflow to improve delivery of radiotherapy. This will allow clinicians to target tumours more accurately and personalise treatment for better results.

FFEI

FFEI has developed advanced, whole-slide imaging (WSI) technologies that generate ultra-high resolution, colour-calibrated digital images, allowing clinicians to use digital pathology more widely in cancer diagnosis. This is dramatically increasing speed of diagnosis and helping to save lives.

HORIBA

The FLIMERA is a novel molecular movie camera that detects the location and dynamics of molecules using their fluorescence emissions. Each camera pixel simultaneously measures molecule timing and intensity. Bespoke software enables real-time video rate studies of the fundamental cellular processes critical to biology and healthcare.

Reaction Engines

SABRE is an innovative new class of aerospace propulsion with the potential to provide efficient air-breathing thrust from standstill to speeds over five times the speed of sound. A new ultra-lightweight heat exchanger, which stops engine components overheating at high flight speeds, is central to the SABRE design.

Business Start-up Award winners

Matoha Instrumentation

Matoha Instrumentation has developed a low-cost small-scale infrared materials identification and analysis platform, enabling more efficient manual sorting of recyclable waste.

Novosound

Current ultrasound sensor materials and applications have been limited by the fact that machining and manufacturing methods haven’t changed for over 40 years. Novosound uses innovative thin-film processes and technologies to overcome these limitations and drive growth in the ultrasound sensor market.

Opsydia

Opsydia has created a novel security solution for diamond gemstones based on developments in laser processing, including adaptive optics technology.

VeriVin

VeriVin’s through-barrier analyser allows the authentication, characterisation and monitoring of complex liquids without opening their container. The potential analysis applications go beyond wine and spirits to olive oil, honey and personal care or healthcare products: VeriVin’s database could eventually contain optical 'fingerprints' for millions of items in each sector.

2018

Download the 2018 business award winners brochure (PDF, 2.4MB).

Innovation Award winners

EndoMag

For the development of a Sentimag surgical guidance system.

Innovative Physics

For Hot Spot Locators, the radiation imaging systems that identify the type and location of radiation, while reducing exposure and saving lives.

Leonardo

For the development of an Advanced Directed Infrared Countermeasure System, Miysis DIRCM

PepsiCo

For the development of snack products through application of soft matter physics.

Plastipack

For the development of an innovative new swimming pool cover that saves energy and reduces chemical consumption.

Sonobex

For the development of low frequency industrial noise control technology.

Startup Award winners

Causeway Sensors

For the development of a nanotechnology-based point of care solutions for the detection of pathogens.

Creavo Medical Technologies

For the development of innovative diagnostics technology for acute medicine.

Lynkeos

For the development of Muon imaging systems for the 3D-characterisation of shielded containers and structures.

ONI

For the development of the world’s first desktop-sized super-resolution microscope.

Stream Bio

For the development of non-toxic, fluorescent, magnetic nanoparticles. These are used for bioimaging, therapeutics, diagnostics and environmental detection.

York Instruments

For the development of next-generation Magnetoencephalography (MEG) brain scanners for use in research and healthcare.

2017

Download the 2017 business award winners brochure (PDF, 2.3MB).

Innovation Award winners

ICE Oxford 

For the development of the Kelvin High Cooling Power Cryogenic System that will enable research in photonic quantum computing.

M Squared

For the development of the Aurora microscope that produces 3D imaging of live cells to improve the understanding of diseases and provide a better chance of curing them.

MR Solutions

For the development of the first commercially available preclinical, helium-free high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) imaging systems.

Ossila

For the development of its Solar Cell Prototyping Platform.

Thornton Tomasetti Defence

For the development of seismic airgun arrays for the shock testing of warships.

Commended Innovation Award winners

Active Needle Technology

For the development of high-visibility needles that improve image-guided medical procedures.

Oxford Space System

For the development of the AstroTube Space Boom.

pureLiFi

For the development of LiFi-X, providing wireless internet using the visible-light spectrum.

Rolls-Royce

For the development of the E2SG embedded electrical starter generator.

2016

Download the 2016 business award winners brochure (PDF, 7.9 MB).

Innovation Award winners

Ikon Science

For the development of Joint Impedance and Facies Inversion (Ji-Fi). This is a tool that accurately describes petroleum reservoirs and enables more efficient extraction.

Jaguar Land Rover

For improvements to the modelling of the impact of sand and water on vehicles. This enables earlier identification of design improvements.

Kromek

For the development of intelligent radiation-detection networks that can provide early warning of radioactive materials. This improves the ability of security services to counter the threat of nuclear terrorism.

The Technology Partnership

For the development of the SonicSense acoustic gas sensor, which monitors the output of the therapeutic oxygen concentrators used in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Ultra Electronics, Nuclear Control Systems

For the establishment of a facility to design, manufacture and test neutron-flux detectors, which are critical sensors used to monitor reactor cores in nuclear power stations.

Commended Innovation Award winners

Airbus Defence and Space

For the development of the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) Pathfinder satellite and measurement equipment that is sensitive enough to detect gravitational waves.

Aqua Cooling Solutions

For the development of its Leak Prevention System. This enables data centres to benefit from water-cooled data cabinets with guaranteed, continuous, leak-free operation.

e2v

For the development of novel charge-coupled device (CCD) imaging detectors, with enhanced X-rays and near infra-red sensitivity, to capture more detail in biological nanostructures and remote astronomical objects.

Endomag

For the development of the Sentimag System. This is a minimally-invasive surgical guidance system for the management of cancer.

Tesla Engineering

For the development of compact superconducting magnets for medical applications. These enable the more widespread use of proton-beam therapy for cancer treatment.

2015

Download the 2015 business award winners brochure (PDF, 3.7MB).

Innovation Award winners

Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging Ltd

For the development of an MRI scanner and motion correction software used to image the lower leg of a horse while it is conscious and standing. The scanner has revolutionised equine-lameness diagnosis and improved animal welfare.

M Squared Lasers Ltd

For the development of an automated laser toolkit based on continuous-wave Ti:Sapphire laser technology. Leading researchers around the world are using SolsTiS to explore new concepts in quantum and material science technology.

Metrasens Ltd

For the development of detection systems that can identify tiny fluctuations in large magnetic fields caused by ferromagnetic moving objects. The portable technology is being used to ensure the safe use of MRI scanners and to detect contraband in prisons.

Silixa Ltd

For the development of a distributed acoustic sensor that turns a length of standard optical fibre into a string of precision microphones. The accuracy of the technology allows it to be used for a wide range of applications, including seismic imaging.

Tracerco

For the development of an instrument that uses gamma ray tomography to inspect subsea pipelines. Discovery produces high resolution images that allow customers to make informed decisions about issues like blockages, leading to huge operational savings.

2014

Download the 2014 business award winners brochure (PDF, 1MB).

Innovation Award winners

Gas Sensing Solutions Ltd

For developing and commercialising an optical carbon dioxide gas sensor. The low-power sensor allows for greater accuracy, and energy savings for customers in a range of markets. 

Gooch & Housego

For the development of a fibre-coupled acousto-optic modulator device for integration into fibre-laser systems. The Fiber-Q is used to modify the laser beam in systems used in a range of markets and applications, from oil and gas security to medical lasers. 

Magnox Ltd

For developing and implementing an innovative method of refuelling the Wylfa nuclear power station reactor 1. The transfer of fuel from reactor 2 has allowed for continued energy generation at the site. 

MBDA Ltd

For the development of a missile system upgrade which combined two guidance modes for greater precision. The innovation has provided new capability for UK and coalition armed forces.

2013

Download the 2013 business award winners brochure (PDF, 2MB).

Innovation Award winners

Coherent Scotland Ltd

For the development of a range of table-top, ultra-fast tuneable lasers which have underpinned advances in the biological and medical research sectors. 

Elekta Ltd

For the development of a novel multi-leaf collimator for use in radiation therapy. The innovation is at the heart of a range of products for safer and more efficient cancer patient treatment.

Simpleware Ltd

For the development and commercialisation of a physics-based computer modelling package which has brought significant benefits to the aerospace, advanced engineering and medical technology sectors. 

Tracerco Ltd

For the development of a gamma radiation-based thickness measurement system which has enabled significant increases in efficiency in the petrochemical industry. 

Zephir Ltd

For the development and commercialisation of a novel lidar anemometry system which has allowed cheaper and more efficient wind farm siting and operation.

2012

Innovation Award winners

Aurox Ltd

For developing and commercialising an innovative, structured-illumination system for optical sectioning that enables real-time imaging to be obtained using standard microscope illumination. 

Displaydata (formerly ZBD)

For developing and commercialising a novel e-paper display for use in shelf-edge labelling in supermarkets and other retail settings. 

Naneum Ltd

For developing and commercialising a portable scanning mobility particle sizer. This is used in atmospheric physics, occupational health and environmental monitoring. 

The Technology Partnership PLC

For developing and commercialising a novel micropump based on the physics of non-linear acoustic resonance, piezoelectric materials and fluid dynamics.