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Cerca Magnetics awarded first IOP qBIG Prize for quantum innovation

17 May 2023

Quantum brain-scanning technology rewarded by quantum Business Innovation and Growth Group.

Cerca Magnetics has been awarded the inaugural IOP quantum Business Innovation and Growth Group (qBIG) Prize, created to support the innovation and commercialisation of quantum technologies.

The prize, sponsored by Quantum Exponential plc, the UK’s first enterprise venture capital fund focused on quantum technology, recognises small and medium-sized companies who are taking quantum technology products or solutions to market.

The winner was announced at The Economist’s Commercialising Quantum Global event on Wednesday 17 May. 

Cerca Magnetics has brought to market the world’s first wearable magnetoencephalography scanner, which measures human brain function in health and disease.

It will receive £10,000 in an unrestricted cash prize; 10 months’ mentoring from the innovative Quantum Exponential investment team; access to Quantum Exponential’s extensive network; access to the IOP’s growing business community of industrial quantum physicists, engineers, innovators and entrepreneurs, and to the qBIG network; access to the IOP’s Accelerator workspace; and a profile in the IOP’s annual business showcase exhibition. 

The runners-up will also benefit from greater support from the IOP.

Dr Niall Holmes, co-founder of this year’s winner Cerca Magnetics, said: “We are delighted to have won the 2023 qBIG Prize. We hope that this recognition will help drive increased support from across the industry and help accelerate market readiness. You will hear a lot more from us in the not-too-distant future! Congratulations also to the runners-up.”

IOP group CEO Tom Grinyer, who hosted an IOP-organised plenary discussion at the event, said: “It has been an amazing day speaking to some of the leading lights in this buoyant and fascinating sector. Congratulations to Cerca Magnetics and all the runners-up, the work they do is vital to the progress we need to see in the UK in our economy and in our tech sector, and I’m delighted the IOP and Quantum Exponential will be able to support them further on their journey.”

The awarding of the prize follows a few months in quantum with the publication of the IOP’s A Vision for Quantum Technologies in the UK report and the announcement of a £5bn government strategy for this vital area.

Cerca Magnetics' wearable magnetoencephalography scanner