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Previous Business Awards winners

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

2023 IOP Business Award winners

See the 2023 IOP Business Awards winners


Download the 2022 IOP Business Awards winners brochure (PDF, 905KB)

Business Innovation Award winners

Cerca Magnetics

Cerca Magnetics receives a Business Innovation Award for bringing to market the world’s first wearable magnetoencephalography scanner. The device measures human brain function in health and disease, providing unprecedented accuracy and unparalleled practicality.

Read the full citation for Cerca Magnetics

Innovative Physics

Innovative Physics receives a Business Innovation Award for the development of neutron detector technology designed and deployed for decommissioning inside the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Primary Containment Vessels.

Read the full citation for Innovative Physics


Zilico receives a Business Innovation Award for using bioelectrical technology for the development of more accurate medical device diagnostics, which provide results in real time leading to better patient outcomes.

Read the full citation for Zilico

Business Start-Up Award winners

Ceryx Medical 

Ceryx Medical receives a Business Start-Up Award for developing a unique bioelectronic technology that could change the way diseases such as heart failure are treated by reinstating natural communication between the heart and lungs.

Read the full citation for Ceryx Medical


Digistain receives a Business Start-Up Award for solving treatment delays in breast cancer by using a biomedical implementation of infrared vibrational spectroscopy.

Read the full citation for Digistain


Porotech receives a Business Start-Up Award for the development of porous semiconductors enabling the world’s first commercial native indium-gallium-nitride red light-emitting diode (LED) epiwafer – simplifying full-colour micro-LED display manufacture and advancing this next-generation technology towards widespread adoption.

Read the full citation for Porotech

Universal Quantum

Universal Quantum receives a Business Start-Up Award for its work developing the world’s first million-qubit quantum computer. Universal Quantum’s electronic modules are based on silicon technology, connected using ultrafast electric field links to form an architecture that truly scales.

Read the full citation for Universal Quantum


Download the 2021 IOP Business Awards winners brochure (PDF, 3.3MB)

Business Innovation Award winners

Toshiba Europe

Toshiba Europe receives a Business Innovation Award for pioneering technology developed over two decades of research, protecting communication infrastructure from present and future cyber-threats, and commercialising UK-manufactured products which pave the road to the quantum internet. 

Read the full citation for Toshiba Europe

Lightpoint Medical

Lightpoint Medical receives a Business Innovation Award for developing leading technology for targeted cancer surgery. From concept to commercialisation, they develop miniaturised imaging and sensing tools for accurate intra-operative cancer detection in real time.

Read the full citation for Lightpoint Medical

Business Start-Up Award winners


AEGIQ receives a Business Start-Up Award for the development of a breakthrough quantum photonics platform enabling new applications in quantum communications, computing, and imaging utilising high-performance sources of indistinguishable single photons. 

Read the full citation for AEGIQ

Quantum Dice

Quantum Dice receives a Business Start-Up Award for the development of verifiable and secure photonics to advance key industrial applications in security, simulation and AI.

Read the full citation for Quantum Dice

Lee Lucas Business Award winner


CanSense receives the Lee Lucas Business Award. For the early detection of bowel cancer, CanSense is developing an accurate, rapid, non-invasive, blood test combining Raman Spectroscopy and AI-based technologies to identify cancer metabolite activity in the blood.

Read the full citation for CanSense


Download our 2020 IOP Business Awards brochure (PDF, 7.15MB)

Business Innovation Award winners

Advanced Hall Sensors

Advanced Hall Sensors specialises in the design and manufacture of semiconductor Quantum Well Hall Effect (QWHE) magnetic sensors. It supplies to a global customer base in industrial, medical, and oil and gas industries, servicing demanding environments ranging from extremes of temperatures to very high sensitivity applications.

Visit the Advanced Hall Sensors website

Hirst Magnetic Instruments

Hirst Magnetic Instruments is an innovative magnetics technology company, which has taken scientific processes into industrial production areas involving magnetising and the accurate characterisation of magnetic components. Its recent advance in the latter sector promises significant increases in product yield in the manufacture of EV motors, making an important contribution to this green energy sector.

Visit the Hirst Magnetic Instruments website

Promethean Particles

Promethean Particles designs, develops and manufactures nanoparticle dispersions to meet product specifications. The company covers many industry needs such as inks and pigments, functional nanoceramics, biocompatible materials, printed electronics and metal organic frameworks. It offers a feasibility service to tailor a custom-made solution for specific customer requirements.

Visit the Promethean Particles website

Thornton Tomasetti Defence

Thornton Tomasetti Defence is a multidisciplinary firm of consulting engineers who provide expert advice on structural survivability, blast, ballistics and weapons effects to the UK Ministry of Defence, other UK government departments, and the US, Netherlands, German, French and Canadian Navies as well as global defence companies and suppliers.

Visit the Thornton Tomasetti Defence website

Business Start-up Award winners


Established in 2016, FeTu is an innovation-driven enterprise based in West Yorkshire that has created a revolutionary ‘green’ energy device targeting carbon reduction across a broad range of systems and industries. FeTu offers a disruptive enabling technology; a versatile ‘positive displacement turbine’ suitable for various applications.

Visit the FeTu website

Geoptic Infrastructure Investigations

Founded in 2019, Geoptic Infrastructure Investigations is a spin-out company from the universities of Durham, Sheffield and St Mary's. Using patented technology which detects cosmic-ray muons, the company specialises in non-invasive imaging of critical infrastructure, such as railway tunnels, to identify areas of concern such as hidden voids.

Visit the Geoptic Infrastructure Investigations website

ORCA Computing

ORCA Computing is a UK company developing a completely new approach towards quantum computing. Its quantum memory allows storage and synchronisation of single and entangled photons, enabling the prospects for future high-performance, highly connected and scalable quantum computing.

Visit the ORCA Computing website

Oxford HighQ

Oxford HighQ is a spin-out company building on more than a decade of quantum technology research from the University of Oxford. The company is developing unique nanoparticle sensing instruments using micro-scale optical microcavities. The first product addresses a crucial application in nanomedicine to provide single particle measurement of drug loading.

Visit the Oxford HighQ website

OxMet Technologies

Founded in 2017 by Oxford University researchers, OxMet Technologies develops proprietary alloys, powders and components for the aerospace, automotive, industrial and biomedical markets. OxMet’s ABD® alloys have a wide range of applications, making rockets, planes, and cars more fuel efficient, and reducing medical implant problems.

Visit the OxMet Technologies website

Photon Force

Photon Force designs and manufactures time-resolved single-photon-sensitive scientific cameras for application in areas spanning quantum physics, bio-medical imaging and communications. The business span out of Robert Henderson’s CMOS Sensors and Systems Group at the University of Edinburgh in 2015, and now employs a skilled team at its Edinburgh base.

Visit the Photon Force website

QLM Technology

Founded at the Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre at the University of Bristol, QLM is developing innovative low-power tuneable diode LIDAR gas imaging systems based on infrared single-photon detection. QLM aims to produce a low-cost platform of gas imagers that enable continuous and fully automatic greenhouse gas emission monitoring to help natural gas producers, distributors, service providers and environmental agencies limit climate change.

Visit the QLM Technology website

Lee Lucas Business Award winners


Nebu-Flow’s acoustic aerosol formation technology enables delivery of hard-to-nebulise respiratory drugs to the lungs, including both existing formulations and emerging novel high-value therapeutics such as biologics, nanomedicines and vaccines.

Visit the Nebu-Flow website

Cellular Highways

Cellular Highways develops and commercialises cell-sorting instrumentation based on a novel technology, VACS (vortex-actuated cell sorting), which exploits new physical principles in inertial microfluidics. The technology will vastly increase the speed and scalability of sterile cell sorting, opening up new applications in cell therapy and other areas of biotechnology.

Visit the Cellular Highway website


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

Business Innovation Award winners


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.

Find out more about Aeristech


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.

Find out more about Elekta


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.

Find out more about FFEI


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.

Find out more about HORIBA

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.

Find out more about Reaction Engines

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.

Find out more about Matoha Instrumentation


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.

Find out more about Novosound


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

Find out more about Opsydia


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.

Find out more about VeriVin


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

Innovation Award winners


For the development of a Sentimag surgical guidance system.

Find out more about EndoMag

Innovative Physics

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

Find out more about Innovative Physics


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

Find out more about Leonardo


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

Find out more about PepsiCo


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

Find out more about Plastipack


For the development of low frequency industrial noise control technology.

Find out more about Sonobex

Start-Up Award winners

Causeway Sensors

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

Find out more about Causeway Sensors

Creavo Medical Technologies

For the development of innovative diagnostics technology for acute medicine.

Find out more about Creavo Medical Technologies


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

Find out more about Lynkeos


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

Find out more about ONI

Stream Bio

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

Find out more about Stream Bio

York Instruments

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


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.

Find out more about ICE Oxford

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.

Find out more about M Squared

MR Solutions

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

Find out more about  MR Solutions


For the development of its Solar Cell Prototyping Platform.

Find out more about Ossila

Thornton Tomasetti Defence

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

Find out more about Thornton Tomasetti Defence

Commended Innovation Award winners

Active Needle Technology

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

Find out more about Active Needle Technology

Oxford Space System

For the development of the AstroTube Space Boom.

Find out more about Oxford Space System


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

Find out more about pureLiFi


For the development of the E2SG embedded electrical starter generator.

Find out more about Rolls-Royce


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.

Find out more about Ikon Science

Jaguar Land Rover

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

Find out more about Jaguar Land Rover


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.

Find out more about Kromek

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.

Find out more about The Technology Partnership

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.

Find out more about Ultra Electronics, Nuclear Control Systems

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.

Find out more about Airbus Defence and Space

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.

Find out more about Aqua Cooling Solutions


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.

Find out more about e2v


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

Find out more about Endomag

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.

Find out more about Tesla Engineering


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.

Find out more about Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging Ltd

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.

Find out more about M Squared Lasers Ltd

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.

Find out more about Metrasens Ltd

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.

Find out more about Silixa Ltd


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.

Find out more about Tracerco


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. 

Find out more about Gas Sensing Solutions Ltd

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. 

Find out more about Gooch & Housego

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. 

Find out more about Magnox 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.

Find out more about MBDA Ltd


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. 

Find out more about Coherent Scotland Ltd

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.

Find out more about Elekta Ltd

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.

Find out more about Simpleware Ltd 

Tracerco Ltd

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

Find out more about Tracerco Ltd 

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.

Find out more about Zephir Ltd


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. 

Find out more about Aurox Ltd

Displaydata (formerly ZBD)

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

Find out more about Displaydata

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.

Find out more about The Technology Partnership PLC