When you’ve won a Queen’s Award for Innovation in photonics, how do you top it?

Ice bloc

How do you top a Queen’s Award for Innovation?

With a new range of high performance photonics-based lab instrumentation (due to popular demand) at icebloc.com?

Dr. Graeme Malcolm OBE, heads up pioneering British photonics technology firm M Squared and as a recent winner of the 2016 Queen’s Award for Enterprise talks briefly about what that means and why he is excited to announce the next big thing - icebloc.com - home of a new range of high performance lab instrumentation designed to help scientists get more from their experiments.

So, how exactly do you top winning an innovation award?

For a serial innovator like M Squared, winning an innovation award for our CW laser platform SolsTiS, and seeing the transformative impact it has had on many fields of study into quantum technology and atomic, molecular and optical physics, well it’s a challenge to keep at it, go further, do better.

When you look back and see how far you’ve come, when you take into account the effort you’ve put it to getting this far and the things you’ve learnt along the way, well it’s like adrenaline – it’s just makes you want to keep going and go further. If you’ve ever walked hills or climbed a Munro, it quickly becomes clear that when you think you’ve reached the top, there’s a higher peak.

What’s next for M Squared – a new laser? 

Not yet. The next innovation project to be released by M Squared has really come about by popular demand. We have a number of large-scale projects on the go but our Ice Bloc instrumentation series has been highly sought after by customers the world over. 

To provide background, a key feature of the Queen’s and Institute of Physics award-winning SolsTiS platform has been the ‘Ice Bloc’ electronics that control it. These electronics enable users to operate their laser from a web-browser (no physical intervention in the laser cavity is required – a major plus) as well as performing key functions such as scans over specific wavelengths. 

Over the past few years we’ve been approached by many customers using a variety of laser sources to deliver a number of customised Ice Bloc’s to perform specific functions in their labs. So, due to popular demand, we’ve developed a range of stand-alone Ice Bloc lab instruments to help any research scientist using any photonics-based equipment.

What exactly is Ice Bloc? 

Well, already proven in the field, Ice Bloc takes the superb control system technology we developed for SolsTiS and makes it available in a range of stand-alone products.

Designed to exacting standards, with state-of-the-art specifications and usability, Ice Bloc is the first system that is fully Ethernet-connected and controlled entirely from a web browser or using any popular programming language, giving researchers more control over their experiments and data.

Explore the Ice Bloc range

You can see the full range of laser diode-drivers, temperature controllers, QCL drivers and advanced digital synthesizer and control systems at icebloc.com.


Ice Bloc Web SiteYou can also sign up for a free trial on the ice Bloc website.


I am personally excited to be providing new ways to help scientists produce quicker, reliable and more accurate results – helping to advance research. We’ve engineered the new range to be “best in class” in terms of performance, ease-of-use and value for money. We have already established plans for expanding the range too.

What do you think?

Visit icebloc.com – I’d love to know what you think via feedback@icebloc.com.


About Dr Graeme Malcolm OBE

Graeme is CEO and Co-Founder of world-leading laser and photonics technology company M Squared, which supplies world-leading research institutions including universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Glasgow and Birmingham in the UK and MIT, Harvard, and Stanford in the USA, supporting Nobel-Prize-winning research.

Since starting the company in 2006, Graeme has established M Squared as one of Britain’s fastest, most disruptive technology businesses. The company not only develops its own range of research tools for scientific researchers; it partners with research bodies the world over to develop novel applications that have the potential to tackle global problems. 

Graeme has played a key role in the development of a range of award-winning photonics systems, which are critical enablers in fundamental physics research, underpinning many world firsts. He is a visiting Professor and Entrepreneur in Residence at the Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde and a Member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland. He has authored and co-authored 62 papers and conference proceedings and has secured 59 patent families with 196 individual filings worldwide. Graeme was awarded an OBE in 2015 for his services to Science and Innovation and the 2016 Institute of Physics Swan Medal.

Follow Graeme on Twitter | Connect with Graeme on LInkedIn





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