Excellence in Innovation
Founded in 2008, Innovative Physics (IPL) is a world-renowned R&D company specialising in sensor technologies, artificial intelligence and pattern recognition in the nuclear sector. Based on the Isle of Wight, the business has unique, bespoke approaches to solving complex science/engineering obstacles.
Among its success stories, it has developed bespoke, cutting-edge AI technology to detect and identify radioactive material, utilised in multiple international markets, including at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant which was devastated by the 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami. The HSL allows users to visualise radiation contamination. Signals from an array of high-energy-radiation sensors are coupled with a set of geometrically opposed shadows. IPL’s specially designed deconvolution algorithms utilise the information eliminating background radiation, revealing both the source of radioactivity and the isotope. The HSL provides an image/video of a large area; with the user observing where radiation hot spots are located, along with the type of radiation being emitted. The HSL speeds up decontamination/decommissioning work (thus saving money) while reducing the exposure of radiation workers and saving lives in the process. Continual refinement of the technology has seen it improve its performance with the latest versions of the HSL being accurate to within 95%, and its ability to detect, identify and grade different types of radiation significantly enhanced through increased sensitivity. Since then, IPL has successfully branched out into other fields harnessing similar technology for use within the homeland security and medical industries.
IPL has developed an artificial intelligence-based diagnostic tool; a ‘black box’ system to help clinicians detect and classify solid tumours to help determine cancer treatment plans. The system, which uses IPL’s proprietary meta-pattern recognition algorithms, applies to a variety of diagnostic modalities, CT/MRI/ultrasound/PET/SPECT and will reduce the analysis of data from days to minutes. The system also incorporates indicators from non-image sources, e.g. blood tests, histology and temporal information to facilitate disease progression monitoring and evaluation. There is a recognised shortage of NHS radiologists to interpret medical image data so, through these innovations, clinicians save time and money, and patients receive a faster diagnosis and can be treated more rapidly and with a higher degree of accuracy. In addition to reducing patient stress, this will reduce NHS costs by speeding up the diagnosis of cancer. Early diagnosis can also significantly improve expected patient outcomes. IPL has had success in the clinical trials for lung cancer through its medical diagnostic tool, accurately classifying data from lung CT images, returning results in minutes. Results display the location, size and likelihood of the nodule/tumour being cancerous. IPL are also about to explore how it can use this system to look into the effects COVID-19 has on the lungs.
In June 2019, IPL signed an agreement with the enterprise arm of state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC); the China Environmental Protection Company Ltd (CEPC), to develop a strategic relationship to enhance and extend their joint capabilities within the domestic and global environmental protection industry. The agreement will lead to the development and deployment of improved technologies and skills to further the safety of nuclear power plants in China and other international markets. In February 2020, two projects began under this agreement; one investigating/screening very low-level radioactive waste and the other focusing on designing a system for in situ-radiation source monitoring. Since February, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic, IPL has been in discussions with CEPC’s sister companies to develop a product range of radiation detectors to sell globally. In Japan, IPL has been commissioned to design and develop leading-edge technology to investigate the Primary Containment Vessels of the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant; aiding the removal of fuel debris. IPL is expected to have further projects commissioned for new technologies for at least the next 3-5 years.
IPL is now exploring other markets utilising its artificial intelligence expertise e.g. to enter the AgriTech sector