Institute of Physics Award for Spin-out

2 November 2018

Oxford Nanoimaging Ltd, a spin-out from Oxford Physics was amongst the winners at the Institute of Physics Business Awards 2018, for the development of the world’s first desktop-sized super-resolution microscope.

Employment Minister Alok Sharma MP spoke at the presentation of the Business Awards at a reception in parliament on 16 October. Sharma, a former physicist who has sponsored the annual event since its inception, said: “In this country we are a nation of entrepreneurs, but the trouble with physicists is that we are all too shy – we are not good at saying what we are doing and the difference we are making.”

IoP President, Professor Dame Julia Higgins said: “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.”

ONI is passionate about democratising super-resolution microscopy and bringing it to the bench of every researcher. To achieve this, they have designed their flagship product, the Nanoimager, which miniaturises Nobel Prize winning technology in the world’s first desktop-sized super-resolution microscope. The Nanoimager breaks the limits of microscopy by allowing scientists and doctors to visualise cellular features that were previously invisible.

In just over two years, ONI has grown to a global team of more than 70 people with over 25 nationalities represented, working together to empower researchers across the world with the ultimate microscopy technology. ONI was founded by Professor Achillefs Kapanidis and his student (and now CEO) Bo Jing.

Prof Higgins said: “Our IOP produced economy report shows that physics-based businesses add £177bn in gross value, which represents a 16% share of the entire business economy. Additionally there are more than two million people employed in these businesses. These figures demonstrate that the effects of physics-based technology are not just being scrawled across University blackboards, but playing out in a real time contribution to UK businesses and the UK economy.

These awards bolster the UK’s reputation as the home of world leading institutions and pioneering businesses. Underpinning all of this, is physics as the major protagonist in driving business innovation and growth and creating genuine social and economic change. Positive change that can only progress with continued investment and continuing spotlight on the potential of physics to produce cutting edge technologies.”