The Oxford Innovation Society (OIS) has been facilitating relationship building on an international scale for over 25 years.

…It’s who you know. But in fact, here, it’s both. We set the scenes, add the lighting and create opportunities to bring people together who want to develop ideas.

Introducing people, making connections and encouraging relationship building is part of how innovation and new enterprises get underway. We run networking events throughout the year both within the University and externally, sometimes partnering with other organisations to raise awareness about innovation, investment and opportunities to collaborate with Oxford.

The Oxford Innovation Society (OIS) has been facilitating relationship building on an international scale for over 25 years. This year our meetings and dinners, held once a term, focussed on themes including equality and diversity in the University and commercial settings, work funded by the STFC around Oxford and the Harwell campus, and successful collaborations with Japan. At this particular meeting the Ambassador of Japan to the UK, H.E. Mr Koji Tsuruoka, gave an inspiring talk on how increased interactions can stimulate creative innovation for all parties.

Newly introduced in 2017, the Oxford Innovation Society Fellowship (OISF) offers Oxford researchers and members from the business world a chance to build closer links and learn more about intellectual property, technology commercialisation and spinout formation through a series of masterclass sessions. This year the group of 14 Fellows heard from spinout CEOs, patent attorneys, investors, entrepreneurial researchers, senior OUI staff and others from our innovation ecosystem. The sessions encourage discussions and exchange of ideas, and provide extended opportunities for the Fellows, presenters and guests to network and build relationships.

This year’s Technology Showcase, held at the Saïd Business School in June, looked at how precision medicine and digital health are changing healthcare, and how these approaches are already contributing to healthcare systems and the treatment of diseases. It was a lively and packed programme with around 250 delegates through the day and over 20 presentations of different technologies and projects. This year the event was led by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre in partnership with OUI, the Oxford AHSN and Oxford AHSC. This event is a popular networking event for the region and guests come from many institutes and businesses both regional and national. Attendees included a great mix of researchers, clinicians, representatives from pharma and biotech companies, investors, innovation support professionals and others.

Internally in the University we continue to provide regular and bespoke seminars and training sessions to researchers and staff along with weekly drop-ins in 16 different locations. In May an internal technology showcase brought an array of spinouts and startups into the University at an event jointly hosted with MPLS Enterprise Programme, the Launchpad and Enterprising Oxford.

The Oxford Angels Network, managed by OUI, brings private and company investors regular investment opportunities in spinout and startup companies. One meeting, held at Corpus Christi College in April, highlighted Inkpath, Brightlylit, Redacto, Oxford Safety Solutions and Stealth Pharmaceuticals. Later on in July OUI held a very successful joint event with Cambridge Enterprise at the London Stock Exchange. Opportunities presented included Polypharmakos, PervasID and 8Power from Cambridge, and Oxford Endovascular, Oxford HighQ and Verivin from Oxford.

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