The Institute of Physics (IOP) has recognised York Instruments Ltd as part of its 2018 Business Start-Up Award for the development of next-generation MEG brain scanners for use in research and healthcare.

York Instruments has been awarded one of six Business Start-Up Awards from the IOP, with representatives from the company receiving their award at a Parliamentary reception in London on Tuesday 16 October 2018.

The Business Start-Up Awards are presented to young companies with a great business idea founded on a physics invention, with great business growth potential and/or the potential of significant societal impact.

York Instruments is a technology company currently working on the next generation of magnetoencephalography (MEG) scanners. Its wider product range is centred on the use of magnetism for clinical diagnostics and scientific research. Magnetoencephalography is becoming established as a major neuroimaging technique.

Unlike fMRI, it allows direct temporal measurement of neuronal activity and provides improved localisation accuracy and broadband detection range as compared to EEG. York Instruments’ MEGSCAN product is ground-breaking in that it offers a vastly improved signal-to-noise ratio through its use of hybrid quantum interference devices (HyQUID) sensors, zero liquid helium to achieve cryogenic cooling, and low-noise, modular electronics to control the system.

Researchers and clinicians working in the fields of epilepsy, traumatic brain injury and chronic brain pathologies welcome the introduction of this high-quality research and diagnostic tool that takes advantage of core technology advances via a more usable interface – and that is cheaper to run than any comparable system on the market.

The award was presented to the company at a Parliamentary reception at Westminster, attended by MPs, Lords, policy makers, business leaders and leading physicists in the field.

President of the IOP Professor Dame Julia Higgins, offered her congratulations to the winners, and commended them on their fantastic achievements: “I am delighted that the IOP Business Awards are recognising and celebrating this year’s winners tonight. These awards are the only awards in the country that recognise and reward companies that have built success on creative applications of physics.

“These awards shine a light on the potential of physics to produce cutting-edge technologies, to drive business innovation and growth and to stimulate far reaching social and economic change. But they also remind us that these benefits can only be sustained with continued investment and a healthy supply of physicists and other STEM trained people.”

Gordon Baltzer, CEO of York Instruments Ltd, said on winning this award: “The IOP award represents a great honour for York Instruments, and is testament to dedication of our talented physics team.”


Notes to Editors

The IOP Business Awards 2018

The IOP Business Awards celebrate high-growth businesses that are succeeding through physics-based innovation.

These awards are the only ones that recognise companies in the UK and Ireland that have built success on the innovative application of physics – companies that have generated profit, secured jobs and improved efficiency across a range of sectors, from oil and gas to renewable energy, medical technologies to high-tech manufacturing.

This year there are 12 businesses receiving awards across two categories: the Business Start-Up Award 2018 and the Business Innovation Award 2018.

The Business Innovation Award recognises and celebrates small, medium and large companies that have excelled in innovation, delivering significant economic and/or societal impact through the application of physics.

Those receiving a Business Start-Up Award this year are (in alphabetical order):

  • Causeway Sensors Ltd
  • Creavo Medical Technologies
  • Lynkeos Technology Ltd
  • Oxford Nanoimaging Ltd
  • Stream Bio Limited
  • York Instruments Ltd

The Business Innovation Award recognises and celebrates small, medium and large companies that have excelled in innovation, delivering significant economic and/or societal impact through the application of physics.

Those receiving a Business Innovation Award this year are (in alphabetical order):

  • Endomagnetics
  • Innovative Physics Ltd
  • Leonardo
  • PepsiCo
  • Plastipack Ltd
  • Sonobex Ltd

York Instruments

York Instruments specialises in magnetic measurements and their healthcare applications. In our first product, MEGSCAN, we are improving the sensitivity and precision with which we can monitor biologically-generated magnetic fields, allowing earlier and improved diagnoses of a variety of clinical conditions that were previously invisible.


The Institute of Physics (IOP)

The Institute of Physics is the professional and learned society for physics in the UK and Ireland, inspiring people to develop their knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of physics. 

We work with a range of partners to support and develop the teaching of physics in schools; we encourage innovation, growth and productivity in business, including addressing significant skills shortages; and we provide evidence-based advice and support to governments in the UK and Ireland.

Our members come from across the physics community, whether in industry, academia, the classroom, technician roles or in training programmes as an apprentice or a student.

However our reach goes well beyond our membership to all who have an interest in physics and the contribution it makes to our culture, society and economy.

We are a world-leading science publisher and we are proud to be a trusted and valued voice for the physics community.



For further information contact IOP’s Media Officer:
Melissa Brobby
Direct tel: +44 (0) 20 7470 4851

16 October 2018