UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


UCLQ alumna wins Innovate UK award

8 March 2022

Dr Ying Lia Li wins £50K Women in Innovation Award.

Dr Ying Lia Li, Zero Point Motion

Dr Ying Lia Li, UCLQ alumna, start-up founder and CEO has been recognised by UKRI Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Awards. She is one of the 38 leading female entrepreneurs to have won funding to tackle society’s biggest issues. The female entrepreneurs, who come from across the UK will be awarded a cash injection of £50,000 each, as well as bespoke mentoring and coaching to enable them to scale up whilst bringing new, disruptive products and services to market.

Dr Li’s start-up Zero Point Motion recently announced a successful £2.58 million seed round investment. Zero Point Motion uses optical sensing techniques from the research area known as ‘cavity optomechanics’ that has already revolutionized gravitational wave detection and quantum research. By integrating these techniques into the chip architecture of sensors within smartphones, cars, and game controllers, Zero Point Motion enables over 100x improved sensitivity and performance that will reduce positioning error, enable longer duration of tracking without global navigation satellite systems and increase stability in hand-held or head mounted devices.

The flagship Women in Innovation Awards is a key part of Innovate UK’s commitment to boosting the number of UK female entrepreneurs. As highlighted in the recent Rose Review, if we could enable women to start and scale businesses at the same rate as men, it could add up to £250 billion to the UK economy.

Now in its fourth year, Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation programme continues to support high-potential female business leaders from diverse backgrounds. This year, over a third of the winners are Black, Asian or from another ethnic minority group, 16% have identified as disabled, and there are award winners in every nation and region of the UK.



  • Photo of Dr Ying Lia Li (Credit: UCL)