Business and innovation

Business Innovation and Growth Group

This is an IOP special interest group, which is a community of IOP members focused on a particular discipline, application or area of interest. 

Special interest groups allow members to connect and share knowledge and ideas. The IOP funds groups to deliver a range of activities including events, prizes and bursaries. All of our groups are driven by members.  


About the group

The Business Innovation and Growth (BIG) Group is a member-driven, special interest group, supporting individuals and businesses of all sizes, as well as entrepreneurs from the physics community who take ideas to market. 

Being a member of the group provides opportunities for: 

  • physics networking 
  • profiling and B2B development  
  • knowledge-exchange events to support industry/academia collaborations 
  • business support, finance and affordable workspace 
  • accessing our business hub and resources  

Joining an IOP special interest group

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Group prizes

IOP Business Awards

Our annual IOP Business Awards recognise the significant contribution of physicists and physics to industry across all sectors – from start-ups to multi-national corporations. 

The awards are a celebration of entrepreneurship, excellence in innovation and the successful implementation of physics into a product or service. 

Award winners join a growing network of the most innovative and promising from the physics business community. We are committed to developing strong, effective relationships with the winners and opening new opportunities with them through our business innovation and growth network. 

There are three categories of IOP Business Award: 

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

For enquiries regarding IOP Business Awards, email [email protected].

Awards for individuals in business 

We also have three awards for individuals in business: 

  • Katherine Burr-Blodgett Medal and Prize (Gold Medal and Prize) 
    For outstanding and sustained contribution to the application of physics in an industrial, commercial context. 
  • Denis Gabor Medal and Prize (Silver Subject Medal and Prize) 
    For distinguished contribution to the application of physics in an industrial, commercial or business context. 
  • Clifford Paterson Medal and Prize (Bronze Early Career Medal and Prize) 
    For exceptional early career contribution to the application of physics in an industrial or commercial context. 

For enquiries regarding IOP Awards, email [email protected].

Learn more about our IOP Business Awards  

Group events

The Business Innovation and Growth (BIG) Group supports an exciting business events programme for IOP members, R&D innovators, engineers, investors and leaders of small, medium and large business. 

Events include: 

  • ‘Business Briefings’ on access to finance, facilities and business support
  • ‘Sector Forums’ to understand challenges, consider physics solutions and explore business development opportunities
  • Our annual ‘Innovation Showcase’ spotlighting exemplar business taking innovative physics solutions to market

Get involved and be part of our active Business Innovation and Growth network. 

Find out more about our Business Events Programme 

Committee and contacts 

Chair Dr John Bagshaw, CEng CPhys FInstP
Secretary Dr Jonathan Helliwell, MInstP
Treasurer Mr Michael Valente, FInstP
Ordinary Member Professor Paul Beasley, CPhys MInstP
Ordinary Member Mr Richard Bray, FInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Allan Colquhoun, FInstP
Ordinary Member Mr Richard Corken, CPhys MInstP
Ordinary Member Mr Jonathan Griffiths
Ordinary Member Ms Margaret Harris
Ordinary Member Dr Anke Lohmann, MInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Hugh Mortimer, MInstP
Ordinary Member Mr Oliver Nailard
Ordinary Member Ms Wendy Sadler, MBE FInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Marek Scibor-Rylski, CPhys MInstP

Get in touch

For any enquiries regarding the IOP Business Innovation and Growth (BIG) Group, email [email protected].

Find out more about IOP for Business 

Quick Links: IOP for Business