OUI is active in regional, national and international networks that support entrepreneurs and innovators. The Oxford Innovation Society (OIS), which we run on behalf of the University, allows members to access and engage with world-class researchers and cross-sector peers. During the year OIS events covered diverse themes from the genetics revolution to Oxford’s engagements with China.
Our annual Technology Showcase drew nearly 300 attendees to explore the theme of Healthcare Challenges in Chronic Disease. This regional event is now a regular fixture, organised with partners including the Oxfordshire AHSN and the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre. Professor Ian Walmsley, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation welcomed the contribution that the Technology Showcase makes, “to a new era in knowledge exchange and innovation”.
Increased investor support for University spinouts has made a dramatic impact on the number of new ventures created. We welcomed the formation of Oxford Sciences Innovation in 2015. With a £350m, now £580m, fund to invest and grow spinouts from Oxford it has been a major catalyst for spinout activity, attracting nearly £27m in 1st round spinout funding from other investors, up from £2.2m in 2015. OSI is recognised globally as holding the largest capped university venture fund. It is no coincidence that the Financial Times reported an Enterprise Research Centre report, “Oxfordshire has the most innovative economy in Britain… The findings… challenge the commonly held view that Britain is dependent on London for innovation and growth.”