The latest edition of the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks IP100 sees M Squared, the Scottish photonics specialists, take the top spot as they enter for the first time.

Adrok PGM, a company specialising in geophysical services for the identification and exploration of natural resources, and P2i, a company specialising in liquid repellent nanocoatings, took second and third place respectively.

This year’s IP League Table was supported for the second year by the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, and by Jumpstart. It also attracted new support from Safeguard IP, Johnston Carmichael, and Swedish specialists Search-a-patent.

The IP League Table ranking process is based upon the assessment of five IP asset classes – brand & reputation, patents, critical databases, software and trade secrets. These were chosen to highlight companies that are using their IP assets to create effective barriers to entry and the competitive advantages needed for growth and international expansion.

It’s the third in a spell of accolades for M Squared in 2017, as they secured the Small Exporter of the Year award at the Scottish Export Awards last week, and have been named in the Sunday Times SME Fast Track 100.

The 85-strong team produce advanced laser platforms supporting cutting-edge physics research. Founder and CEO Dr Graeme Malcolm founded M Squared in 2006, with his business partner Dr. Gareth Maker.

They export lasers throughout Europe, the USA and Asia, where their customers vary from world-leading universities and specialist public research institutions to high-value manufacturing firms.

M Squared placed in the league’s top spot thanks to their exceptional management of IP across each of the five asset classes, combined with an impressive patent portfolio.

Last year’s highest placed entrant for brand & reputation, Jones Publishing (a publishing and events platform under the Citywealth brand), retained its spot at number one this year, with Adrok PGM placing in second and Dogtag (a company offering an innovative travel insurance for athletes and adventurers) following in third.

It was also tight at the top of the patent table this year, with first-placed P2i and runner-up Lifescaped (a new entrant focussed on researching natural structures and procedures to create biomimetics; that is, processes which imitate nature) leading the pack.

BQ’s Bryan Hoare said: “As co-founders of the IP100 we’ve been delighted to see the growth of the IP100 during the past year.

“We’ve firmly established the league as a credible benchmark for SME’s to establish and help them leverage the value of their IP. The fact that we’ve created something which is being embraced not just across the UK but also now gaining attention overseas gives us great satisfaction.

“IP100 entrants are innovative, investable, high growth companies and we are delighted to put the spotlight on them.”

Stephen Robertson, founder of Metis Partners, said: “I honestly didn’t think we would come this far this quickly. I’m thrilled that the IP100 is putting the spotlight on so many dynamic, fast-growing and innovative entrants, and I’m equally excited to see two newcomers, M Squared and P2i, performing so well.

“This year’s results come quick on the heels of the first event with our new partners, LSEG ELITE, who themselves are focused on supporting ambitious UK companies looking to grow and scale up their business. I’m sure this partnership will only further enrich both the IP100 and ELITE programme, and I am tremendously excited about our future collaborations.

“The next phase of development of the IP100 is to launch a dedicated digital platform to showcase our entrants and make it easier for them to attract the interest of investors and lenders, secure international recognition and to assist them in achieving their business goals. It’s an exciting time for all involved.”