Digital and quantum start-ups join pioneering business support programmes

The Digital and Quantum Business Incubation Centres are helping start-ups to bridge the gap between science and business.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has announced the first innovative start-ups to join two new business support programmes aimed at helping digital and quantum technology start-ups succeed in global markets.

Seven pioneering UK start-ups have been selected to join the Digital Incubation Centre (Digital BIC) and the Quantum Business Incubation Centre (QuBIC), designed to help early-stage technology businesses reach their full potential.

From optimising patient operation lists to new video game technologies, these pioneering businesses are developing potentially revolutionary products and services to bring economic and societal benefits to the UK.

Digital BIC

In collaboration with the STFC Hartree Centre, the Digital BIC is providing early-stage companies with an opportunity to use advanced digital technologies in their mission to turn their technology concepts into market reality.

From artificial intelligence (AI) to data analytics, four new companies will join the Digital BIC to develop transformative solutions across a range of industries.

The first companies to join the Digital BIC are:


Developing an affordable software-as-a-service based, AI-powered, virtual adviser for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), covering more than 1,000 business areas.

MagnifyB is a business performance management and assessment toolset. It uses logic and AI to provide powerful management information, business intelligence and an e-learning platform that offers tailored advice and support, empowering SMEs to improve business productivity and profitability.

Pixel Research

Developing advanced techniques for the upscaling and style transfer of low-resolution assets into premium high-resolution assets in the video games market.

It is the first business of its kind to focus on hand-drawn assets to remaster vintage video games for modern resolutions and hardware.

Spotlight Pathology

Developing AI tools to streamline the diagnosis of blood cancers, with an initial focus on lymphomas.

The solution increases the diagnostic capacity of pathology services with the existing workforce, improves the objectivity of diagnosis to minimise uncertainty in the process and reduces turn-around times for patients to receive their diagnosis.

Spotlight Pathology is a spin-out from The University of Manchester and has received support from:

  • Innovate UK
  • National Institute of Health Research
  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Deepbridge Capital


Reducing the generation of 3D mesh digital models from an eight-hour process to just five minutes by creating a new meshing algorithm for high performance computing (HPC). This is normally a slow process that can take up to 80% of an engineer’s time.

Welcoming MagnifyB and Voxshell, two of the start-ups to join the Digital BIC. Credit: STFC

Empowering innovation

Located at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, at Sci-Tech Daresbury in the Liverpool City Region, the Hartree Centre is home to some of the UK’s most advanced supercomputing experts and technologies. It is also the UK’s only supercomputing centre dedicated to industry engagement.

Kate Royse, Director, Hartree Centre, said:

I am very much looking forward to working with these four new businesses, as they harness the advanced digital skills and technologies here at the Hartree Centre to overcome industry challenges and grow into globally successful enterprises.

The Digital BIC exemplifies the Hartree Centre’s firm commitment to supporting high-potential digital tech start-ups across the North West and beyond, helping to bridge the gap between transformative ideas and commercial success.

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